Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 20th 2013 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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Tuesday, August 20, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Probe of work stoppage continues
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for AUGUST 19th 2013
National Petroleum (NP) yesterday sus-
pended more workers it deemed to be
involved in an illegal withholding of serv-
ices last week.
However, the State-owned company con-
tinues to assure the public that fuel delivery
will continue uninterrupted.
"NP wishes to advise the public that
additional employees received letters of
suspension with pay today August 19 2013,"
a release from the company said.
The action, the company added, was
taken because the Oilfields Workers Trade
Union (OWTU) had "engaged its members
in an illegal work stoppage at NP s gantries"
on August 13, 14 and 15.
"As a result, on Friday August 16 2013,
based on initial reports, the company sus-
pended over forty staff members with pay.
"However, as our investigations continue,
additional employees have now been sus-
pended with pay, all pending further inves-
The first batch of employees, numbering
over 40, were suspended on Friday after
three days of work stoppages.
The union representatives for the workers
had claimed they walked out of NP s Sea
Lots head office in Port-of-Spain because
they were outraged over an alleged attempt
by management to privatise the company.
The workers claimed they were being
asked to train people whom they believed
would eventually replace them on the job.
They claimed as a result of their protest
over 60 workers were suspended.
The company subsequently denied these
claims, saying there was no intention to
privatise the company and that training the
workers referred to was part of a normal
exercise meant to train existing employ-
Yesterday, the company said it remained
focussed on ensuring the timely delivery
of fuel to its service station network, which
includes airports in T&T, industrial cus-
tomers, like the Port Authority and Pow-
ergen, all hospitals and all the protective
"We have been able to maintain a non-
disrupted operation in spite of the unlawful
work stoppage initiated by the OWTU last
week and continue to put things in place
to ensure its continuity."
Efforts to reach OWTU president Ancel
Roget were unsuccessful yesterday as calls
to his cell phone went unanswered.
From Page A1
In the letter to police, which was
obtained by the T&T Guardian, Williams
stated: "I have advised my client that his
continued detention in excess of 72 hours
is a breach of his constitutional rights con-
trary to Section 4(a), 4(b) and 5 (2) (h) of
the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago,
as well as the provisions of the Anti Gang
Williams refered to section 13 of the
legislation, which permits police to detain
a suspect under the legislation for 72 hours
without charges being laid.
"To date my client has not been charged
and has not been informed of any steps
that have been taken by the State to law-
fully continue his detention," Williams
He also stated if his client was not
released he would be pursuing a habeas
corpus writ in the Port-of-Spain High
Court yesterday. If pursued, the writ would
have forced the police to attend court to
justify his client s continued detainment
to a High Court Judge.
He was eventually released around 6.30
am yesterday and the lawsuit was with-
Meanwhile, two women and a man
arrested during Sunday s police exercise
appeared in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates
Court yesterday charged with marijuana
Merlin Roberts, of Nelson Street, was
put on a two-year bond to keep the peace
after he pleaded guilty to being in pos-
session of 5.8 grammes of marijuana.
Ria Durity, of Belleview, Long Circular,
St James, was ordered to pay a $500 fine
or serve 30 days in prison.
Durity s sentence would be suspended
on the completion of 80 hours of com-
munity service. Durity was arrested while
driving through Laventille on Sunday
morning. She was found in possession of
one gramme of marijuana.
Beetham Gardens resident, Alana Vil-
lafana, 31, was also given a suspended sen-
tence on the completion of 100 hours of
community service after she pleaded guilty
to possession of 17 grammes of marijuana.
In default, Villafana will pay a $700 fine
or serve six months in prison. The trio
appeared before Magistrate Debbie-Ann
Bassaw in the Tenth Court.
Releases come after letter from lawyer Simon Sookdeo shops for school bags with his
three sons, from left, Cristien, three, Anthony,
nine, and Nicholas, 11, at Rajendra's on High
Street, San Fernando, yesterday, as they prepare
for the resumption of school after the long
July/August vacation. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
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