Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 6th 2013 Contents A5
Saturday, July 6, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Thousands of Joint Trade Union Move-
ment (JTUM) members and PNM support-
ers converged on Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar s St Clair office yesterday
to deliver a letter to her containing one
So said Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley
yesterday afternoon as he addressed the large
crowd at Adam Smith Square, at the end of
a march through the streets of Port-of-Spain
that began at Woodford Square at 1 pm.
Rowley said the marchers went to deliver
the letter to Persad-Bissessar, but she ran.
A Baptist woman "swept" in front of the
PM's office with a cocoyea broom and a man
The woman began ringing the bell from
Woodford Square and burned something on
the ground at Adam Smith Square before
the marchers arrived.
Verna St Rose-Greaves, former government
minister, also caused a stir at Woodford
Square as she pushed a baby stroller with
burning incense through the crowd.
The scene was reminiscent of the night
the PNM made a clean sweep at the Tobago
House of Assembly (THA) elections on Jan-
uary 21 earlier this year, complete with the
cocoyea broom and bell-ringing.
Although it was dubbed a workers' march
and was organised by the JTUM, it appeared
to be a PNM march, as red, the PNM's colour,
The PNM came out in a powerful show
of force, walking through the streets and
waving red, white and black national flags
like a Carnival band.
Asked why the PNM was there, Rowley
said it was because labour was there.
"If anybody knows the PNM, they will
know the PNM and labour's navel strings
are one and the same," he added, listing a
number of PNM politicians who were
involved in the labour movement, such as
Nathaniel Crichlow, former PNM general
council member and senator, Carl Tull, sen-
ator, Owen Hinds, general council member,
and Milton Hackshaw, former Oilfield Work-
ers' Trade Union general secretary and PNM
"So when I'm on a platform supporting
the labour movement, I'm right at home
with the PNM," said Rowley.
"That aside, when labour calls us out to
support ourselves against a government that
has been making a mess of our country, the
PNM is here to support."
Rowley said the Government had termi-
nated more than 8,000 contract workers
because they were thought to be PNM sup-
"In a matter of months of coming into
office, this Government deprived over 8,000
persons of their daily bread," he claimed.
He said no reason was given to explain
why the contracts were not renewed.
"So when labour calls us out in defence
of those people, the PNM cannot stand idly
by."Rowley claimed the termination of the
contracts of workers perceived to be PNM
supporters had continued relentlessly.
CHARLES KONG SOO
The Ministry of Environment and Water
Resources will cut through red tape and port-
folios to collaborate closely with Port-of-Spain
mayor Louis Lee Sing to alleviate flooding.
So said Environment Minister Ganga Singh.
He was speaking at the launch of the Water
and Sewerage Authority's (WASA) Adopt A River
(AAR) Programme at the Lee King Quarry, Valen-
"We are currently working on the Inter-Amer-
ican Development Bank (IDB) programme of
building Port-of-Spain into a sustainable city,"
"There are several components, but you cannot
make the city alive and sustainable if every time
rain sets up, it floods.
"So we're working in close collaboration with
Mayor Lee Sing with a view to doing simple
things in the city of Port-of-Spain in order to
alleviate flooding, and that in itself will provide
the basis for the St Ann's River, when hydraulic
modelling is done, the kind of infrastructure work
will be implemented.
"Throughout the system we're cutting across
portfolios and in fact doing the work to bring
about change in the environment."
He said he wanted to congratulate WASA in
keeping with the one water concept, for providing
work crews to help the ministry do the work
required in Port-of-Spain.
Singh said when the Beverage Containers Bill
becomes an act, through funding by the Green
Fund, his ministry, together with CEPEP (Com-
munity Environmental Protection Enhancement
Programme) and Solid Waste Management Co
Ltd (SWMCOL), would remove millions of bev-
erage containers from the environment when the
refund mechanism is established.
Ganga, Lee Sing join forces to tackle flooding
PNM in full force
at workers' march
Former minister Verna St Rose-Greaves adds incense to a clay pot cradled in a stroller
which she walked with at Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain as she joined in the protest
march through the streets of the city yesterday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
must go and she must go now!"
Those were the words of Joint
Trade Union Movement (JTUM)
leader Ancel Roget as he delivered
the feature address after yester-
day's march in Port-of-Spain.
He made the comment to
thousands of workers, citizens,
members of civil society organ-
isations and supporters of the
People's National Movement
(PNM) and the Movement for
Social Justice (MSJ), after they
gathered at Adam Smith's Square
following a demonstration
through the streets of Port-of-
Roget made several demands
of the Government, among them
an increase in the minimum
wage, investigations into the e-
mail scandal, the recovery of the
$6.8 million for the recovery of
the firetruck, the removal of
Rabindra Moonan as the chair-
man of the Housing Development
Corporation (HDC) and Attorney
General Anand Ramlogan, the
ratification of the ILO convention
189 recognising domestic workers
as workers and an end to political
interference in the recruitment
practices of state boards.
He said the union would take
to the streets again in the coming
weeks and launched the "Kamla
Must Go" campaign.
He added: "This march cannot
be a one-and-done. We have to
go into the communities. We have
to organise better, differently.
"The 25,000-plus today must
be increased by two and three
and four-fold as we come back
here in Port-of-Spain. We will
occupy the streets. We will call
attention to the bad governance
whether they have Caricom vis-
itors here or not."
Roget chided Persad-Bissessar
for her call at the United Nation-
al Congress' (UNC) Monday
Night Forum, Caroni, for a boy-
cott of yesterday's march. He
called comments by Persad-
Bissessar "a shameless misrep-
resentation of the facts."
He asked the cheering crowd:
"Why would the PM say that?
What does she stand to gain?
What was that coded message
to supporters in Caroni?"
Roget also challenged Labour
Minister Errol McLeod and Per-
sad-Bissessar to name the 66
negotiations which the Govern-
ment claimed to have settled.
He described the People's
Partnership Government as "the
most anti-worker Government
Several other labour leaders
and political leaders shared the
platform with Roget, among
them Opposition Leader Dr
Keith Rowley, MSJ chairman
David Abdulah, PNM chairman
Franklin Khan and Banking
Insurance and General Workers'
Union (BIGWU) president Vin-
cent Cabrera, who chaired the
Abdulah, during his short
address, said in his last meeting
as a member of the Government
he informed Persad-Bissessar
that corruption would being the
He said he was asked by Per-
sad-Bissessar whether he was
speaking of state boards or Cab-
inet and, he said, he responded
He said former minister of
national security Jack Warner
was present at the meeting and
said "David is right." He then
said Persad-Bissessar said she
heard that too but could do
nothing and would not do any-
thing about it.
Roget also warned Rowley of
"traitors" in the PNM, saying
that there were attempts to
impede the march by holders of
high office at City Hall, Port-
When asked by the T&T
Guardian exactly what was done
to impede the march, Roget said:
"They took a very long time
to give us the letter of approval
to give to the police and it was
excuse after excuse and so on
about the office being closed
and all of that.
"The person, whoever the
person is, PNM will investigate
and find out who that person is.
Maybe by Valentine Day next
year we will find out."
Thousands of people had ear-
lier taken to the streets after they
gathered at Woodford Square
and set off on the march.
They stopped for a short while
in front the Office of the Prime
Minister, then walked down
Alexandra Street, onto Carlos
Street, before stopping at Adam
Smith Square for final speeches
from union leaders.
JTUM in promise to hit streets again says:
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