Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 29th 2014 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, March 29, 2014
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AT BENETION / SISLEY
The 50% off sale continues
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The public is hereby notified that
Kurt Ramtahal is no longer
employed at Ell Que's Marketing and
therefore is not authorized to carry out
any transactions on its behalf.
Petrotrin says contrac-
tors and sub-contrac-
tors are responsible for
their workers safety.
The company was
responding to accusa-
tions by the Oilfields
Workers Trade Union
(OWTU) that its unsafe
work practice is to be
blamed for the death of
contract worker Avitar
The father of two
died during an work-
related accident at
Petrotrin Forest Reserve
in Fyzabad on Tuesday.
Petrotrin workers in
that area downed tools
for about two hours on
Thursday morning in
protest against Ramkha-
lawan s death.
In an interview with
the T&T Guardian,
Errol A McLeod,
OWTU s senior labour
relations officer, said,
"The workers at Forest
Reserve Exploration and
and fields have decided
they had enough in
terms of the way in
which this management
of Petrotrin is treating
with health and safety
matters in our compa-
"They are definitely
delinquent as far as
safety is concerned.
They are telling the
country one thing and
doing something else
when coming to safety
in our company."
He said the blood of
Ramkhalawan was on
the hands of Petrotrin s
Even while his mother and other relatives cried
over his father s body at their Fyzabad home yes-
terday, three-year-old Alex Ramkhalawan thought
his father was just asleep.
Little Alex was heard asking his mother Lolita
Maharaj, 19, as she wept: "Mammy, let me touch
Daddy and he will wake up."
Maharaj and other relatives were inconsolable
during the funeral of contract worker Avitar
Ramkhalawan, 23, who died in an accident at
Petrotrin Forest Reserve on Tuesday.
He was the sole breadwinner of his family:
Maharaj, his wife of five years and two sons, Alex
and one month-old Adyan.
During the service Maharaj gently kissed Ramkha-
lawan s face.
At one point she became so emotional that she
dropped to her knees and cried.
Ramkhalawan s mother Asha Kanhai seemed to
be in a daze, just staring at her son s body, while
one of his sisters fainted.
"You leave meh and gone, son," sobbed Ramkha-
lawan s father, Ivan, as he stood over the casket.
Pundit Ramdeo Maharaj said people are not fol-
lowing in the footsteps of their ancestors, which
is why "crime and killing will never finish."
He asked mourners to pray for Ramkhalawan s
to soul rest in peace. Pundit Maharaj also asked
mourners to forgive Ramkhalawan if he had done
anything to offend or disrespect them.
Baby Aydan was passed over his father s body
several times as part of an old tradition. It is believed
that when that is done the spirit of the deceased
will not harass the baby.
Mourners threw rice grains as the hearse pulled
off. The final rites were held at the Shore of Peace,
Mosquito Creek, where the cremation took place.
Tears as worker
laid to rest
He accused manage-
ment of leasing out and
farming out Petrotrin.
"They selling it out
piece by piece and con-
tracting it out piece by
piece. That is why that
young man died, the
field right now is a
He said the union had
information that safety
procedures were not
adhered to on the day
He said when such
jobs are being done by
contractors a Petrotrin
crew was required to
supervise the workers,
but there was no crew
on that day.
He also complained
about poor security,
saying calls for a
Petrotrin police post in
the fields had fallen on
Union blames Petrotrin
for worker's death
Petrotrin has denied that the company is
undertaking unsafe work practices.
"We continue to follow our integrated Health
Safety and Environment (HSE) management
systems. We hold our contractors and sub-
contractors to these standards when executing
projects in our operations on behalf of the
Asked if Petrotrin failed to follow procedure by
providing a Petrotrin crew on the day
Ramkhalawan's died, the company stated: "No.
Petrotrin provides routine supervision for all
projects conducted by registered independent
The company said its president Khalid Hassanali
met with the bereaved family on Thursday and
investigations into the incident are continuing.
Asked if Petrotrin will be financially assisting
Ramkhalawan's family, the company stated: "We
understand that his employer has agreed to bear
such expenses. However, counselling services from
Petrotrin Employee Assistance Programme has
been extended to the Ramkhalawan family." When
contacted contractor Premchan Lalchan confirmed
that he will be financially assisting Ramkhalawan's
Lolita Maharaj, 19, centre, is comforted by relatives during the funeral service for
her husband Avitar Ramkhelawan at Sudama Village, Fyzabad yesterday.
Ramkhelawan was killed on Tuesday while working at Petrotrin oil well.
PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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