Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 13th 2013 Contents A7
Tuesday, August 13, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Unsanitary toilets, dirty carpets and
irritating fumes were a few of the
health and safety issues raised by
employees who refused to work at the
Telecommunications Services of
T&T s (TSTT) building, St James
Street, San Fernando, yesterday.
About 30 people, comprising TSTT
workers and representatives from the
Communications Workers' Union, gath-
ered peacefully outside the Mini Max
Building around 9.30 am yesterday, in
what southern branch chairman Dylan
Charles described as a call for action.
He said: "It's not a protest. Workers
are making a clarion call to the company
and the public.
"We doing this today because the
workers are demanding immediate res-
olutions because they want to go back
Charles explained there was no jan-
itorial staff, a fume coming from the
carpet on the first floor was causing
workers' eyes and throats to burn and
there were fluctuating temperatures
throughout the building.
He said workers wanted to dispel the
perception that their refusal to work
was disruptive and said it was the com-
pany that had refused to deal with the
"It's not the workers. We are just
pleading with the company to bring
the reports forward so they (employees)
can go back to work," he said.
He said the situation was taking a
toll on workers and customers and the
safety committee needed to bring its
report forward for the workers' review.
Charles said the company was delib-
erately failing to address their concerns.
"We want the company to sit down
and have meaningful discussion with
the union and workers so that we could
come to a resolution because the work-
ers want to go back to work," he added.
He said the nine cashiers in particular
had refused to work due to poor con-
ditions in the cashiers' cages. That issue
has been ongoing for more than a year,
said cashier Curt Tidd.
The building underwent refur-
bishment in July 2012 but the
cashiers' cages were not remodelled
to reflect the suggested changes.
"There is only one entrance to
the cashiers' area. If God forbid it
we have a fire, we don't have any
other means of escape. We will all
be trapped inside there," Tidd said.
The building has also been with-
out a janitorial staff since the end
of July, Tidd told the T&T
"Only last week, I think, they
got two cleaners to come Wednes-
day afternoon and then again on
Thursday afternoon," Tidd said.
He explained, however, that with
the volume of staff, there needed
to be cleaners constantly on site
to keep the bathrooms sanitary.
"For the entire week before that,
there weren't any cleaners so the
place was deplorable," he said.
He said management's apathy
to their situation was disturbing.
"We have persevered for a long
time. We've always been told hold
on.' They not taking us on," he
Charles said it was the workers
who have been meeting manage-
ment on the middle ground for
the past year, putting up with the
"Now that workers have taken
action, they saying workers are
unfair and uncaring," he said,
According to Charles, the
cashiers' positions were being filled
by managers and supervisors who
told workers if they (managers)
could stand the cages, so could
The Occupational Safety and
Health Authority of T&T has not
been involved as yet, as it depend-
ed on the report from the inves-
tigating committee, Charles said.
If workers were not satisfied,
then the union would approach
the body, he said.
Tidd said there was only so
much workers could take.
"We don't want to be taking
action for anything but after a
while you have to take a stand
somewhere. We don't want to be
out here, we want to be working,"
TSTT's communications depart-
ment did not respond to questions
on the workers' complaints up to
TSTT's Sando workers protest safety issues
TSTT workers stand out side the Customer Service Centre, St James Street, San Fernando, after they were called
out by the union. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
Tell the truth or shut up.
This was the message outgo-
ing Tunapuna/Piarco Regional
Corporation chairman Kadijah
Ameen had for interim Inde-
pendent Liberal Party (ILP)
leader Jack Warner yesterday,
after Warner, who beat her in
the recent Chaguanas West by-
election, launched his Local
Government campaign in
Ameen s Tunapuna area on Sat-
Warner, who has targeted the
Tunapuna/Piarco Corporation in
his Local Government campaign,
already has the support of one
councillor from that corporation.
However, Ameen contends that
Warner's platform statements
about her have been untrue.
She said yesterday: "Mr Warner
continues to tell lies on the plat-
form so I have dubbed his cam-
paign the platform of lies'. He
and several of his speakers deliv-
ered contributions full of blatant
lies. They know their statements
to be untrue and misleading.
"Their modus operandi is to
attack people's character. Mr
Warner, in my humble opinion,
may not be in any moral position
to speak about people's character.
So I say today: Tell the truth or
Asked what might occur if
Warner did not do as she sug-
gested, Ameen remained silent.
She, however, added: "I can
speak of myself where his state-
ments are concerned, where he
continues to attack my character.
He of all people should not be
calling the kettle black.
"I was the first UNC chairman
of that (Tunapuna) corporation
and we held it after a long time
after the PNM did. A lot was
done and things still needed to
be done but I improved efficiency
and got a handle on accountability
"We halted a lot of practices
like big gifts' for councillors.
Some matters we even referred
to the Fraud Squad and Integrity
"I had several talks with Mr
Warner on it while he was a min-
ister so he knows the things he
is saying are not true.
"I have never been involved in
bobol, either in my personal or
private life and if he had any real
dirt' on me, he would not be
telling these lies. My character is
clean, so once again I say, tell the
truth or shut up."
Ameen said Warner seemed
to have taken her Chaguanas
West candidacy personally.
"He seems bent on continuing
to attack me personally. I am also
amused to hear him speak of
integrity," she said.
Ameen said she was also con-
cerned that Warner kept referring
to a councillor and "sou-sou
money". She said the situation
was putting the councillor and
her family at risk.
On another issue, Ameen, the
acting UNC chair, said no deci-
sion had been made by Govern-
ment for postponement of local
government polls. She said at last
week's UNC executive meeting,
some UNC councillors sought to
have it postponed while other
UNC councillors did not want a
"The Prime Minister had said
while she (PM) was not inclined
to postpone the polls, she said
she would listen to everyone's
views and those of others as well,"
UNC's executive meets again
Tell the truth or just shut up
Ameen to Jack:
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