Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 18th 2013 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, July 18, 2013
MALE & FEMALE
Plus Weights Loss Pills
93 Rushworth St., San F'do 657-3382
6.1000 6.2649 6.4435
5.7620 6.0653 6.3989
9.0661 9.5433 10.0587
7.8264 8.2383 8.6914
****** 0.0629 0.0667
2.1123 2.2960 2.4567
* 2.5688 ****** 3.2722
for JULY 17th 2013
The Communication Workers
Union (CWU) has warned the
Telecommunication Services of
Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) that
if it does not pay more than 50
workers about $100,000 in deduct-
ed salaries owed for June, and
address several health and safety
concerns, the union will take legal
action and if pushed, call for a shut-
down of operations.
"We are going on the offensive.
If we have to shut down every work-
place in this company---we make no
apologies---we will do it, because
that is our right," CWU president
Joseph Remy said at a press confer-
ence at the Oilfields Workers Trade
Union s (OWTU) South branch office
The fallout stems from a decision
by workers at the Cipero Road Work
Centre to refuse to work under con-
ditions they deemed unhealthy and
unsafe from June 10-14, after their
complaints to management were not
addressed. This led to a deduction
from their salaries for the period.
According to Remy, this was a
violation of a well-known and estab-
lished industrial relations rule, prac-
tised on principle, as well as provi-
sions of the OSH Act which states
a company cannot take punitive or
disciplinary action until after an
investigation into the circumstances
that led to the workers claims.
Additionally, Desmond Campbell,
general shop steward at CWU,
claimed line managers signed off on
refusal to work forms dated June 11-
14 on the weekend of June 7. He said
at a meeting on June 7 with the
CWU, TSTT s Industrial Relations
Department, Health and Safety
Department and other heads of
departments, assurances were given
that no disciplinary action would be
taken against employess until the
matter was mutually resolved.
On July 11, an OSH inspector, who
the union did not identify, carried
out investigations on the health and
safety issues and wrote a report
addressed to Burris Pierre, head of
the Health and Safety Department,
which "authenticated the legitimate
claims of the workers," Campbell
The union said it called the press
conference because of TSTT man-
agement s "outrageous and illegal
action of withholding salaries from
workers in their southern branch."
Remy said the CWU tried to have
the matter addressed using proper
protocol and good industrial relations
practices, but TSTT management
had "pushed the workers too far."
"We were trying to avoid this kind
of confrontational approach, but not
withstanding all our good efforts,
the company went ahead and to us,
engaged in an act of industrial rela-
tions treason," Remy said.
The union is demanding that the
findings of the health and safety
report be revealed, the issues be
addressed and the company imme-
diately reimburse employees salaries
In a release yesterday, TSTT
acknowledged a health and safety
risk at the Cipero Road Work Centre.
It said based on a visit to the building
on July 11, an investigator s report
highlighted "a number of issues with
the maintenance of the work centre,
which in the investigator s opinion
had the potential to become a health
and safety risk for employees."
TSTT conducted an internal
assessment of the facility, which
included feedback from staff about
their specific concerns, it added.
"TSTT takes a very serious view
on providing staff with a work space
that is conducive to the safe and
efficient execution of their duties.
The review at Cipero Work Centre
and the input provided by the OSH
Agency will form the basis for guid-
ing the company s broader plans for
other key facilities in the coming
The statement did not, however,
address the reimbursement of
salaries to workers.
Two Trinidadian nationals were among four peo-
ple arrested by the Barbados Drug Squad and
charged with a number of drug-related offences.
Barbadian police held Mariska Chartar, 25, Vishnu
Ramlochan, 41, both from T&T, as well as Ramon
Griffith, 27, of Barbados, after a Barbadian man was
intercepted at the Grantley Adams Airport and his
luggage was found to contain illegal drugs.
The man has been identified by Barbadian police
as Andrew Reron Holder, 32.
Holder arrived by air from T&T on Saturday and
cleared Customs, but was intercepted by police outside
the arrivals hall. He and his luggage were taken to
the Oistins Police Station where a search of his luggage
revealed the illegal drugs.
The four were jointly processed and will answer
several charges related to possession, importation
and trafficking of cannabis and cocaine.
Two Trinis on drug charges in Barbados
Workers' salaries cut after safety walkout...
Union threatens TSTT shutdown
President of Communication Workers' Union (CWU) Joseph Remy, centre, speaks to members of a media during a
press conference at the OWTU building in San Fernando yesterday. Also at the table are secretary general Bryan St
Louis, left , and general shop steward Desmond Campbell. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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