Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 15th 2017 Contents We wish to place on public record the facts as they relate to the PETROTRIN
Negotiations, in order to dispel the misinformation placed in the Public Domain.
Firstly, the Union has always taken the position that the Petroleum Company of
Trinidad and Tobago (PETROTRIN) belongs to the people of Trinidad and Toba-
According to the Trinidad and Tobago
Extractive Industries Initiative (TTEITI)
Reports, during the period 2010-2014
(the same period of the outstanding wage
negotiations) PETROTRIN contributed
TT$15.9 Billion to the national economy.
This money helped to build roads, schools,
provide health care, and pay for transfers
and subsidies including assisting govern-
for the PETROTRIN workers this would
not have been possible. Moreover, this is
the same period in which the vast majority
of the country’s workforce received 14%.
period of high oil prices, and it is only within the last two years that the Company
projects, poor management decisions, and a fall in commodity prices; all of which
had nothing to do with the workers.
It is also an irrefutable fact that a similar situation existed under the People’s Part-
nership government where the Union served the Company strike notice on 14th
February, 2012, and on February 17th, mere hours before the strike was to take
effect, a 9% settlement was reached for the period 2009-2011.
The records will also show that for the 2011-2014 period, PETROTRIN workers
were offered 0, 0, 0 by the People’s Partnership, whilst they offered others 14%.
When the government changed, the 0, 0, 0 offer was maintained by the PNM.
For the current period 2014-2017, the Union was again offered another 0, 0, 0
by this present government. With 0, 0, 0 and 0, 0, 0 clearly representing a wage
Therefore, it was only because of the threat of major strike action that there was
ment to be agreed by 28th February, 2017. The Union consistently stated publicly
during this negotiation that if the earlier period 2011-2014 was settled the strike
would be called off.
We have always maintained publicly, and during this negotiation, that the Union
would take a progressive and unprecedented stand to link productivity bargaining
to a negotiating period that went before for the outstanding back-pay. This is con-
sistent with our position with regards to the importance of increasing local crude
production. Clearly, if PETROTRIN produced more local crude then the Com-
will be much more.
When we consider the high risk, the dangerous, toxic and volatile environment,
the high value of products produced, and its importance to the national economy,
PETROTRIN workers must be respected for their contribution. The offer of 0, 0,
We must make it abundantly clear that our discussions around this negotiation
not only had to do with wages and salaries, but also, we repeatedly advanced
that hinders the Company’s operations and threatens its productivity. We insist that
wage increase or not, the Company will not survive if these issues are not urgently
addressed. Numerous investigative reports published in the nation’s newspapers
revealed what the Union has been saying for years. In fact, the Union reported
and even supplied documentary evidence to the fraud squad in connection with
the South West Soldado Scandal. Our President General was viciously attacked,
state of PETROTRIN. Yet many conveniently remained in absolute silence whilst
the Union vociferously spoke publicly about the urgent need for radical changes
in conduct of PETROTRIN’s business.
These same special interests, commentators, economists, past government
ministers, talk show hosts, Energy Chamber, ECA, and the Business Com-
munity all stood silent when the Union highlighted the following: -
Failed WGTL Project which cost the Company over $1 billion under
the former Energy Minister, Conrad Enill, former Junior Finance Minister,
Mariano Browne, and former Petrotrin Executive Chairman, Malcolm Jones.
Under the same former Energy Minister, Conrad Enill, former Junior
Finance Minister, Mariano Browne, and former Petrotrin Executive
Chairman, Malcolm Jones, hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on
Under former Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine, payment for a
production facility at SW Soldado never materialized causing the
Company to lose an additional 10,000 barrels of oil per day; so, the
Questionable awarding of huge multi-million dollar contracts.
The refusal to maximize the Company’s own bunkering service, while
been delayed further to 2020.
Hundreds of Millions of Dollars to contractors for equipment the
company already has.
Payout of huge compensation packages.
Political appointments to top positions in the Company, while failing to
address manpower needs in critical technical and operational areas.
Many projects with huge cost overruns and long-time delays for delivery.
PETROTRIN has survived only through the vast input of the workers who consis-
tently work in spite of all these challenges. Our position is that the Company must
not only depend on high oil prices to survive.
We cannot forget that as far back as 2011 the Union presented to the People’s
Partnership government a plan for the restructuring of PETROTRIN, and
a plan to immediately increase production. Under a pilot project for Quick-
Wins initiated by both the Union and the then Minister of Energy, Carolyn
Seepersad-Bachan, the Quick-Win plan actually produced an additional four
Minister of Energy, Kevin Ramnarine, shut down both Union initiatives, and
the Company paid the price in lost production.
Franklin Khan, these same Union initiatives, i.e. the Plan for Restructuring and
himself. The Union and the country are yet to hear a response.
The Union’s initiatives for the turnaround and success of PETROTRIN, which
were presented to the past and present administrations, coupled with the tireless
efforts of the workers who held the Company together despite all its challenges,
provides a basis and a moral authority for our fair and just wage demands. Go-
OILFIELDS WORKERS’ TRADE UNION
O.W.T.U.’s POSITION ON THE
PETROTRIN WAGE NEGOTIATIONS
PETROTRIN’s Contribution to
the National Economy:
TOTAL $TT 15.9 Billion
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