Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 28th 2013 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, September 28, 2013
The Communication Workers
Union (CWU) has given Government
an ultimatum: ensure that Telecom-
munications Services of T&T (TSTT)
settle outstanding issues with workers
or prepare for a great loss at the local
The union is also warning the public
to prepare for service disruptions if
TSTT fails to resume negotiations by
next week or address the issue of pay-
ing workers their correct Cost of Living
Secretary general of the CWU John
Julien yesterday told the media that
workers were prepared to intensify
protests if management failed to
address issues, including salary nego-
tiations outstanding since 2008.
Julien was leading workers in a
protest outside TSTT House on Edward
"We are probably the only large
organisation that has a collective agree-
ment not settled since 2008," Julien
He appealed to the newly appointed
executive vice president of human
resources at TSTT, Harrygobin Jhinkoo,
to work with the union.
"We are placing everything at the
foot of the new EVP HR (Jhinkoo). We
know that he was placed here by the
Government and we are appealing to
the Government. It is better you settle
with the union, because TSTT is valu-
able to the economy of this country."
Julien said the union would do what
it could to have negotiations settled
before the end of 2013.
"We are going to step up our actions
in order to get the negotiations
resolved," he said.
Julien said yesterday s protest was a
signal to the management that the
union was prepared to intensify
"We are considering a work to rule.
There are a number of health and safety
"We are giving the company until
Wednesday to respond and meet with
the union," Julien said.
Julien said within a few weeks the
public could see a deterioration of serv-
ices at the state-owned company.
Julien questioned the company
spending "extravagant amounts of
money" on lawyers as opposed to set-
tling with workers.
Last Thursday the union won a court
matter relating to payment of Cost of
Living Allowance (COLA) for junior
staff members. The court ruled that
the formula used to calculate COLA
by the company was incorrect.
Julien said the company owed work-
ers over $100 million.
President General of the Oilfields
Workers Trade Union (OWTU) Ancel
Roget yesterday called on shareholders
of Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) to
initiate a financial audit into the oper-
ations of the Claxton Bay company.
His statement followed Thursday s
ruling of the Industrial Court to fine
TCL $10,000 for a procedural breach
against workers who were not reinstated
after an OWTU led 90-day strike in
At a news conference held at Para-
mount Building, San Fernando, yes-
terday, Roget said, "shareholders of
TCL must do an extensive financial
audit into the operation of TCL, during
the strike and subsequently."
"We also call for the immediate dis-
missal of Satnarine Bachew (general
manager), Keith Johnson (human
resources manager) and Dr Rollin
Bertrand (Group chief executive offi-
Roget said the union felt vindicated
by the ruling of Industrial Court which
upheld the workers right to strike.
However, the matter regarding their
reinstatement is yet to be determined.
In light of the favourable outcome,
Roget demanded the full re-instatement
and compensation of all the workers
who were locked out and suspended
by the company.
He referred to the judgment which
stated, "The Company s decision to
suspend the workers is a violation of
their right to strike and is in breach of
the principles of practices of good
TCL was found guilty of an industrial
relations offence and was ordered to
pay the maximum fine of $10,000 on
or before September 30.
Roget said while the sum may be
small, "it is the maximum fine and that
is to say, if the Act (Industrial Relations
Act) had been overhauled, as the Min-
ister of Labour had committed to do,
this fine would not have been $10,000."
"This ruling not only serves for the
TCL workers, but it stands in defence
of all workers in this country who wish
to exercise his or her right to take strike
action should that become necessary,"
A statement from the company, in
response to the court s ruling stated
that it had extended itself to the rein-
statement of terminated workers and/or
other workers who exited the organ-
isation for various reasons.
want their $100
Roget demands audit into TCL
OWTU: Sack TCL bosses
Members of the
Union protest outside TSTT's
building on St Vincent Street,
PHOTO: MARYANN AUGUSTE
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