Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 11th 2016 Contents A14
President general of
the OWTU Ancel Roget
says he is prepared to
use the upcoming
elections to settle out-
for State sector work-
At the Union Week
which was launched at
San Fernando, yester-
day, Roget reminded the
were voters and prom-
ised to "deal with
them" if outstanding negotiations were not settled.
He affirmed that the OWTU was a political union
from which the country had benefitted based on
the political action it had taken in the past, including
getting rid of the last government.
Demanding their fair share of the pie, Roget said
he was not prepared to accept the excuse that the
country was experiencing a difficult economic
period not to honour the commitment to
He said once the union put forward
compelling arguments and those would
effect what the law allowed, which was
to take strike action if that became nec-
"We have had a significant number
of successes with respect to private
enterprise and private companies but
those companies for which we have
negotiations outstanding are State com-
panies---Petrotrin, National Petroleum
Marketing Company, the University of
the West Indies and up to recently
T&TEC," he added.
He said some of those negotiations
dated back to 2011 and 2012 but accused
the last government of dealing them a
vindictive blow to ensure they were not
able to settle their outstanding negoti-
"I need not remind them that workers are voters
and so in their campaign to solicit the support of
the population to have them win Local Government
elections, I want to remind them that we also have
members from whom we have solicited the support
against the poor governance in the past.
"If it is they are prepared to continue with that
action of the last government, meaning that they
are not prepared to settle our outstanding nego-
tiations, and lift the veil of vindictiveness left by
the last government, we will deal with that situation
as we deem necessary," he added.
Roget said during the Union Week, they would
be meeting with all of their 13,000 members, visiting
all of their work places in Trinidad and Tobago and
even point them in the correct political direction
if that became necessary.
During the launch, Roget presented the two top
Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) 2016 win-
ners---Kaithlyn Booker and Michael Beepath---who
also topped the OWTU Quiz Competi-
tion, with plaques commemorating their
With the onset of online taxing there have been
claims that courier companies have begun to
retrench workers amid an already challenging eco-
Tabaquite MP Suruj
Rambachan said so in
Wednesday as he crit-
icised the seven per
cent online tax which
came into effect on
October 20, saying
even a simple man
who wanted to buy a
gift for his wife for
Christmas was now
unable to do so.
He urged the gam-
ing bill be passed and
said the casino indus-
try, which was unregulated, was a major area where
revenue was being leaked.
The former minister said he visited two Chinese
restaurants and was shocked to see children using
the roulette machines.
"You will get so annoyed when you
go in these small restaurants all over
the country and you see children play-
ing this one arm bandit machines and
the parents are there waiting for food
or eating," Rambachan said.
Saying billions of unaccounted dol-
lars were passing through the members'
clubs he questioned whether money
was being laundered through those
On the issue of the recently-pro-
posed wage restraint which Rambachan
said was the same as a wage freeze,
he said it was difficult for people to
comfortably feed their families now in
the face of rising inflation.
He said the Government had to
change its paradigm on how business
was conducted, including building the
credit union movement so that loans
could be made available at cheaper
rates and encourage an environment
of saving, starting with the children.
Rambachan also called on Govern-
ment to explain how many job cuts were there in
the public service and how many jobs were also lost
in the oil and service sectors.
Community Development Minister, Nyan Gads-
by-Dolly, during her contribution said there had
been an increase in citizens owning credit cards
over the years, thus paving the way for greater
potential of online shopping.
She said people shopped online mainly for con-
venience and sometimes things were also cheaper
and of a wider variety.
The local business community, Gadsby-Dolly
added, should now look at those issues, adding that
the future of shopping was digital.
She said that was an opportunity for the small
enterprises especially to grow and develop by rising
to the occasion.
"They have a window of opportunity
and the need to rise to the opportunity.
Local shoppers have a responsibility to
support our local businesses," she said,
adding that there were some 200,000
people employed in the small and
medium business sectors.
Roget on stalled
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