Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 25th 2013 Contents A12
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Date- Saturday 28th September 2013.
Venue- ST KEVIN'S COLLEGE, SAN FERNANDO.
DURATION- 6 WEEKS
TELEPHONE- 657-2280/797-1130 0924026
President of the Communication
Workers Union (CWU), Joseph
Remy, says TSTT workers will
protest if they do not receive a
favourable response from their
employers by the end of the week
regarding the payment of Cost of
Living Allowances (Cola).
The statement comes in response
to CWU s victory last week in
which the Industrial Court ruled
that TSTT must pay workers the
correct Cola rate to which both
parties had mutually agreed.
In December 2011, TSTT reduced
the Cost of Living Allowance from
the fixed rate of $570.09 to $384.00
without consulting workers.
In a telephone interview on Mon-
day, Remy said the CWU wrote the
company last Friday demanding
that correct Cola payments be paid
to workers on or before the next
payroll for October 2013.
He also demanded that all out-
standing cola payments be made to
junior staff with their next salaries.
For senior staff, however, Remy
said "The company will be meeting
with the CWU to discuss using the
court award as the basis for resolv-
ing the existing dispute in relation
to senior staff Cola."
In 2010, the Industrial Court
awarded a 12 per cent increase to
junior staff, while TSTT proposed
a 12 per cent increase for senior
"Once the matter is resolved, the
CWU will withdraw the dispute
filed with the court regarding the
senior staff Cola," he said.
Remy warned that "If TSTT fails
to respond to our demands by Fri-
day, we will hit the streets in protest
action until the correct Cola is paid
and wage negotiations are resolved."
According to Remy, no wage
negotiations have been held since
2007, and as such, TSTT workers
"in 2013 have been getting paid a
salary dated in 2007."
He said that this was backward
No worker has got a salary
increase since then.
He said when workers tried to
hold wage negotiations after 2007,
the company declared there would
be no question of negotiations until
the Cola matter was resolved.
"Now that the Cola has been set-
tled, the company has no excuse
not to resume negotiations," Remy
The Office of Chief State Solicitor has advised
the Government that it cannot proceed with the
multi-million dollar Invaders Bay Project without
going through the Central Tenders Board. This is
according to Opposition Senator Faris Al Rawi dur-
ing the budget debate in the Senate on Monday.
Al- Rawi said two companies---Invaders Bay Marina
Development Company and Dachin Commercial
Development Company---were pre-selected.
Al Rawi said the Chief State Solicitor had advised
the Government that it "cannot circumvent the Cen-
tral Tenders Board and the entire process is wrong
from the start.
He said: "We cannot have a position where a $5
billion acreage of land is disposed of in the dark and
where there is no information.
He said the companies had an expectation that
the Government "could give this land and conse-
quently spent millions of dollars in investment plan-
ning for the project."
Also during Monday s debate National Security
Minister Gary Griffith defended former head of the
Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) Reshmi Ramnarine
saying she was the only one who effectively stopped
the illegal tapping of citizens phones.
The Opposition has repeatedly questioned the brief
employment of Ramnarine to the position based on
her qualifications. She resigned in early 2011 days
after her appointment was announced.
"It wasn t Reshmi," Griffith said repeatedly, after
naming several reporters and politicians whose phones
were tapped under the former Patrick Manning gov-
ernment in 2010.
"Mr President, in fact I believe Reshmi was the
one who actually stopped it," Griffith told legisla-
He added: "Reshmi was never the enemy of the
State, neither were the individuals who were involved
in the intercepting (of calls)," Griffith said.
The new minister said it was those who authorised
the intercepting of the calls who were "ten times
worse than Reshmi, Mr President."
He also defended the 2011 state of emergency,
which he said saved at least 100 lives.
Griffith also used the opportunity to extend con-
dolences to the relatives of T&T scholar Ravindra
Ramrattan, who was killed in a terrorist attack at
Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, over the weekend.
Former security minister Emmanuel George, left, chats with new Minister of National Security Gary Griffith during Monday's sitting of the
Senate. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
defends Reshmi as...
Respond by Friday, or else
Union warns TSTT of protests to come...
"Reshmi was never the enemy of the State,
neither were the individuals who were
involved in the intercepting (of calls)."
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