Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 16th 2013 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, November 16, 2013
Workers at state-owned Telecommu-
nications Services of T&T (TSTT) have
threatened to take their protest for better
wages straight to the doors of the home
and office of Prime Minister Kamla Per-
So said Communication Workers Union
(CWU) president Joseph Remy yesterday.
Remy, who led workers in a noisy protest
outside TSTT s San Fernando headquarters
on St James Street, said workers want the
Prime Minister s intervention in the union s
ongoing wage negotiations.
"We are saying to the Prime Minister
that TSTT is a state entity working for the
economic interest of T&T and you have an
obligation to step in and have these nego-
tiations resolved, otherwise we will continue
this protest action and the next call is at
your office. We had enough of TSTT," Remy
Remy, speaking with reporters, said work-
ers would continue to "pressure" manage-
ment for a favourable settlement to nego-
He said TSTT has offered workers three
per cent which Remy described as "dis-
graceful, disrespectful and contemptuous."
"You cannot look at workers who have
contributed significantly to the profitability
of this company and tell them that all they
deserve is three per cent wage increase.
We are totally against that," he said.
Remy said workers were being paid 2007
salaries in 2013 and that was unaccept-
He said the Industrial Court has resolved
the issue of Cost of Living Allowance for
senior and junior staff.
Remy said the workers do not want to
protest, but management has forced them
to do so by their lack of action.
"We want to be at our job sites and at
our desks doing our jobs so TSTT would
remain the number one telecom provider
in T&T and in the region," he said.
Employees staged protest action outside TSTT's office, St James Street, San Fernando yesterday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
The Opposition s investigative team s report
on the alleged slapping incident at the party s
headquarters, Balisier House, in April has been
completed, People s National Movement general
secretary Ashton Ford said yesterday.
He said the report would come to him and
before it was taken to the party s general coun-
cil.Ford could not say if it would be tabled at
today s council meeting nor could he give the
direction or outcome of the probe.
The investigative team was mandated to probe
the situation after then San Juan councillor Kwesi
Antoine filed an official complaint regarding the
alleged incident. This was alleged to have occurred
after a late-night screening session of local gov-
ernment nominees. Opposition MP Donna Cox
subsequently denied slapping Antoine.
Other party officials explained the report of
the investigative team has to be presented to the
general council which will then decide if to send
the issue to PNM s disciplinary team for action,
or if the issue ends there based on the report.
They expected the issue would be finalised and
decided upon, well before year-end.
Meanwhile, Ford said today s meeting will review
PNM s performance in the recent local government
elections and the St Joseph by-election elections.
He could not say who would be appointed to
the Senate sitting on Tuesday---to replace Terrence
Deyalsingh who formerly served in the Senate.
Ford could not comment on names which have
been tipped. He said the leader would make a
choice and would not necessarily have to announce
it to today s meeting.
Names tipped within PNM include former San
Juan Regional Corporation chairman Nafeesa
Mohammed, former PNM senators Christine
Sahadeo and Mariano Browne and attorneys Justin
Phelps and David West among others.
For Tuesday s Senate session, PNM vice-chair-
man Camille Robinson-Regis will serve as a tem-
porary senator replacing PNM Senate leader Pen-
nelope Beckles who is on a Commonwealth
Parliamentary Association conference in Asia, it
Meanwhile, PNM deputy leader Marlene
McDonald was unable to give the status of the
party s plan to pursue legal action against the
Government concerning alleged discrimination
against workers who voted for PNM in recent
elections. PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley last month
indicated the party would pursue such action.
Meanwhile, Jack Warner s Independent Liberal
Party (ILP) was still working out the logistics of
a similar move to file legal action against the Gov-
ernment regarding alleged discrimination of work-
ers who voted for the his party, the defeated can-
didate for St Joseph by-election Oma Lalla said
Lalla is on a legal team assisting the process
in the party. The ILP is eyeing several tests cases
concerning Cepep and URP workers.
ILP is working on bringing in an English Queen s
Counsel to deal with the matter. Lalla said the
framework is still being formulated and will take
a little time since it is a novel move.
Lalla said political analyst Selwyn Ryan s view
that the ILP was withering away may be a logical
assessment after the party suffered two defeats.
But Lalla added, "You cannot, however, discount
a third party. When compared to the Congress
of the People, ILP is still relevant and very much
alive and demonstrates the discontent in T&T
regarding the PP and PNM."
Cabinet has not taken any decision to
appoint former Sangre Grande Regional
Corporation chairman Keshwar Maharaj
as chairman of National Quarries, Works
Minister Suruj Rambachan said yester-
Several names have been in the offing
since Finance Minister Larry Howai fired
Mitra Ramkhelawan last month, amid an
internal audit of the company.
Rambachan, in a telephone interview,
said the issue of a replacement would
likely to sent to Cabinet s state board
committee headed by Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, perhaps by next
The minister denied media reports that
there have been disputes on the matter
of the chairmanship.
Other government officials said a deci-
sion on the issue has been deferred since
the line Minister---Kevin Ramnarine--- is
in Japan, and due back soon. They hinted
that Cepep chairman Adesh Deonarine
was also among names tipped for the
post of National Quarries chairman.
Enviromental Management Authority
chairman Dr Joth Singh is among those
tipped to serve on the new board, insiders
State-owned Petrotrin is challenging
the Oilfields Workers Trade Union s claim
that it is planning to sell off the lucrative
offshore fields under the Trinmar umbrel-
la.The company s statement came just 30
minutes before the union and concerned
residents staged protest action to denounce
the proposed move at Victor Chin Kit
bandstand, Point Fortin Main Road.
The company, in a statement yesterday,
said the initiative was nothing more than
a rejuvenation initiative of the two pro-
ducing fields. The fields, Penal-Barrack-
pore-Wilson Field onshore and the Soldado
East Field offshore are a part of the com-
pany s Mature Field Rejuvenation Project.
Corporate Communications Manager
Gillian Friday yesterday said public adver-
tisement for Expressions of Interest was
issued in June 2013 and several companies
were pre-qualified to participate in the
subsequent Request for Proposal (RFP)
stage of this initiative.
"Pre-submission clarification meetings
and field visits for these pre-qualified
companies were conducted on November
14 and 15 for the onshore and offshore
fields respectively," she said.
Friday said this process was one of sev-
eral concurrent initiatives that Petrotrin
was undertaking in a bid to increase its
crude oil production.
"This initiative entails Petrotrin engaging
experienced and qualified contractors to
undertake an aggressive work programme.
Investment in this project will be funded
entirely by the contractors, at their own
risk, with the contractor s remuneration
to be derived solely from any incremental
crude production above an agreed baseline
level from each of the fields identified,
"The framework for the agreement with
the successful contractors contemplates
that Petrotrin will continue to operate the
fields and will also continue to own all
assets and reserves, both existing and new,"
The contractor will not acquire any pro-
prietary interest in the fields, the petroleum
produced or reserves, but will carry out
work programmes including optimisation,
drilling, workovers and infrastructure
TSTT workers to ramp up protests
Suruj: No Cabinet rift on NQ chair
No move to sell Trinmar fields---Petrotrin
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