Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 11, 2017 Contents claimed by the Minister," he told the T&T
Remy said an announcement about dis-
solution should not have been made when
the employees had no clue because there
had been no discussion on the issue.
"The irony is that only on Wednesday an
interim CEO was introduced to the work-
ers," he said.
Remy said the CWU has had one meeting
with Cudjoe since she assumed office and
that had to do with the chairman. He said
the union used that opportunity to ask about
the renewal of workers' contracts.
"She told us they were doing a human
resource audit and when it is completed the
issue would be addressed," he said.
Remy said with her announcement on
Thursday the minister has placed the jobs
and the lives of more than 120 workers in
He said she had "disregarded all basic
principles of industrial relations and good
and proper governance and employment
practices." He also questioned the tim-
ing of the statement since it came "on the
heels of an investigation that is now being
conducted into the award of a contract by
the TDC early in 2016 to a purported PNM
financier to clear and desilt drains along the
Maracas Bay carpark."
He said: "Based on information gleaned so
far, we have been advised that some startling
revelations have been made and as such,
there is now this haste to close down the
TDC before the information reaches the
CEO Warren Solomon was sent on leave
in January pending an investigation and just
last week Finance Manager Davis Ragoo-
nanan was sent on leave.
Remy said the CWU was demanding that
Government "lay its hands off the jobs of
those TDC workers who are not responsible
for the poor management and mis-spending
of funds that the minister is alluding to." He
is also demanding that she engage the union
"in discussions about the current unit for
workers at the TDC."
Taking a line from Lady Gypsy's 2017
offering, Remy added: "We wish to advise
the PNM that the CWU will ring the bell for
justice, we will ring the bell for job security
for the TDC status of the bargaining workers
and we will ring the bell for the right of trade
union representation of the TDC."
Remy further warned: "We are prepared
to engage in an intense struggle to protect
the jobs of all members of our bargaining
unit and by extension their families."
Saturday, March 11, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Remy: CWU not consulted on TDC
President of the Communication Workers
Union Joseph Remy yesterday accused Tourism
Minister Shamfa Cudjoe of being "disingenu-
ous". He said there was never any consultation
on the decision to shut down the Tourism De-
velopment Company (TDC).
"At around 1.14 on Thursday afternoon I got a call
from Minister Cudjoe. She told me she wanted me
to know before she made the announcement to the
media that they had taken a decision to dissolve the
TDC. There was absolutely no discussion as is being
President of the Communication Workers
Union Joseph Remy PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
Legendary broadcaster tells journalists:
Publish and be damned
Although the Government's
proposed cyber crime and whis-
tle-blower legislations may pose
a threat to press freedom, award
winning broadcaster Sir Trevor
McDonald is urging journalists
that no one can suppress infor-
mation for too long.
McDonald, who was born in San
Fernando and went on to become
one of Britain's top newscasters, said
while it was not his place to crit-
icise any government and knows
little about the legislations, he
was almost to the point of saying
"publish and be damned" when it
came to information that was in the
Article 9 of the Cyber Crime Bill
states that anyone who, without
lawful excuse or justification obtains
privileged computer data faces up to
five years in prison.
Article 13 states that anyone who
receives or is given access to priv-
ileged data from another person
also faces up to five years in prison,
whether or not he or she knows how
the information was obtained.
While the clauses were intended
to combat the illegal access of data,
there is a debate that it can create
self censorship for journalists and
Speaking to journalists at his alma
mater, Naparima College, San Fer-
nando yesterday, McDonald said
given the technology in today's
world, it was easy to share infor-
He said: "I'm not too sure that
anybody can, for too long, prevent
the free flow of information, es-
pecially in today's world. I'm not
too sure that it is possible and you
know all governments throughout
the ages tried. I was reading about
the early American president who
started complaining about the press.
The people in Britain complained
about the press. In parts of Europe
in the 1930s, people tried to reign
in the press and make sure some of
the information had not got out.
It eventually did. It's like a cooker
pressure when you try keeping the
lid on something.
"The other point, of course, it is
in the people's interest, it's in Gov-
ernment's interest to have this infor-
mation shared. People are very good
at straining and deciding what is in
their interest and what is not. My
parents used to say and I think it is
biblical: Where there is no informa-
tion, the people perish. Information
is key and I don't know that you can
try to suppress it," McDonald said.
He said Trinidad has always had
a strong tradition in journalism,
which even the late prime minister
Dr Eric Williams recognised when
he would use his press conferences
and radio broadcasts as lectures to
the nation. He said the media's role
was the inform the populace so that
they could make proper decisions.
Appreciating the work of jour-
nalists, he said it was much more
difficult now, with news having to
be churned out at a faster rate. He
said journalists now had to gather
information, assess it and make a
judgement as to what they present
to their audiences as breaking news.
"There is a rush to fill acres and
acres of space for the news. I'm sure
it is well done, but some issues take
a little more time to be considered
and I think I was lucky to have that
time. I am not to sure how I would
have fared in the more hectic pace
of today's world."
McDonald told students that
education was important in help-
ing them to make proper decisions.
He said the education that he got
from Naparima College, the en-
couragement he received from the
staff at that time and his parents'
vision propelled him to be one of
the renowned journalists in Britain.
McDonald started his career at
Radio Trinidad before taking up his
role as producer at the BBC Radio in
1969. In 1973, he began working at
Independent Television News where
he spent most of his career.
He was awarded honorary degrees
from Plymouth University and Liv-
erpool John Moores University.
In 1992, he was awarded an OBE
in the Queen's honours list and re-
ceived a knighthood in 1999 for his
services to journalism.
Press freedom, award winning broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald, centre, attempts to play the notes of the 2017
Road March, Full Extreme under the guidance of students Christopher Dind, second from left, and Aidan Adams
during McDonald's visit to his alma marter Naparima College, in San Fernando yesterday. Also in photo is school's
principal Dr Michael Dowlat, left, and vice principal, Dev Gosine. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
In loving memory of
Gone but not forgotten
There are no words to describe
How much you mean to us
We miss you
From your loving
Wife Jeanette and
Daughter Dawn 0311002
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