Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 9th 2014 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Protest action at the Port of
Port-of-Spain has grounded
goods entering and leaving the
country for a second consecutive
Tat Maharaj, representative of
the secretariat of the Hauliers
Association of T&T, said importers,
exporters and businesses were
being affected by the action at the
port that began Monday.
"According to a notice sent out
by the port s management to all
the stakeholders, workers did not
start work this morning. This has
affected businesses, exporters,
importers and manufacturers. I
have been getting calls all day
about people complaining their
goods cannot be moved," she told
the T&T Guardian yesterday.
She said according to the notice
sent out by the port s management
to stakeholders, the management
said it had an emergency meeting
with the Seamen and Waterfront
Workers Trade Union (SWWTU)
to find a solution.
Betty Gibbons, manager of pub-
lic relations at the port, sent the
T&T Guardian a copy of the work
stoppage notice sent out by the
port operations consultant Narine
Singh to all stakeholders.
The notice read: "The port
wishes to advise that its employees
have not accepted work as at Mon-
day April 7, 0700 hours. This
action is negatively affecting vessel,
yard, delivery and shed operations
through the Port of Port-of-Spain.
Management is currently holding
discussions with the union to
address the matter. Every effort is
being made to resolve it in the
shortest possible time."
Sayeed Mohammed, president
of the Hauliers Association of
T&T, said the first truck movement
they saw was not until mid-after-
noon on Monday and that they
He added: "Truckers who went
to the Port-of-Spain port this
morning to do legitimate business
could not go in to do their busi-
"In the Point Lisas port, trucks
are trying to enter the Container
Examination Centre (CEC) and the
port workers are denying them
from getting into there because
the CEC is blocked and trucks can-
"Since 8 am the truckers have
not been able to move to the CEC
and people have not been able to
make a dollar for the day yet and
cannot make a day s work."
Michael Annisette, president-
general of the SWWTU, told the
T&T Guardian the current three-
year collective agreement would
end next month and there had
been no word from the Chief Per-
sonnel Officer (CPO) to begin
He said workers had now
reached a point of "frustration."
"After 29 months workers are
frustrated. They are in a state of
mind where they are unproductive
and cannot focus and do any
work," he added.
He said if there was any pro-
longed work stoppage on the port
it would affect the national com-
"This has implications for the
national community. If people can-
not deliver goods then the country
will be affected. The port is impor-
tant to the economy," he said.
Annisette said although he was
not present at the meeting yes-
terday, the secretary general of the
SWWTU was present at the meet-
ing with management.
"They are meeting and I hope
that they begin to take us seriously.
Workers are humans and not inan-
imate objects," he added.
The Integrity Commission, which
last year sought approval and fund-
ing from Government to establish a
corruption index for T&T, is still
awaiting word from the Cabinet on
it, according to the commission s
The report was circulated in Par-
The report said the commission
agreed last July to establish a scien-
tifically-based corruption index in
collaboration with the University of
the West Indies (UWI) involving a
baseline sample of 5,000.
This index was intended to target
the private sector, civil society, NGOs,
police and armed forces, public offi-
cials, local government bodies and
investors. The report said a note was
sent to Cabinet last August for
approval as well as funding for the
index. Further information was
requested by Cabinet last November
However, the report said despite
several inquiries "no response has
been received from the Cabinet to
date, save that it is before the Finance
and General Purposes Committee."
The commission s report said it had
referred five matters to the Office of
the Director of Public Prosecutions
and was still probing 35 complaints,
including some against government
ministers and senators, a former prime
minister and former minister, an MP
and the Tobago House of Assembly.
The commission completed inves-
tigation of 52 cases in which there
was no evidence to suggest breach of
the Integrity Act.
Matters referred to the DPP include
a complaint alleging breach of the act
by a former Udecott chairman in the
award of a contract to construct the
Legal Affairs Ministry Tower.
Others concern complaints against
the Culture Ministry in the award of
scholarship grants and against mem-
bers of the T&T Boxing Board on hir-
Investigations are continuing into
complaints against a former prime
minister, including allegations of cor-
ruption in respect of an agreement
entered into with the Jamaat al Mus-
limeen and alleged breaches of the
act in the award of land and con-
struction of the Church of the Light-
house of Our Lord Jesus Christ, at
the Heights of Aripo.
Port work at
Goods not leaving or entering
Integrity body awaits
word on corruption index
Alleged breaches of the act by:
• Possible misbehaviour in public
office/abuse of power by the
Cabinet in the financing of the
Point Fortin Highway.
• A government minister in the
award of a contract.
• Corruption by a minister.
• Collusion, bid-rigging and
corruption by the Government
concerning services rendered by a
• Irregularities in the importation of
vehicles by a government minister.
• A senior Fire Services officer in the
award of contracts for the supply
of goods and services.
• A senator abusing his
power/misbehaving in public office
in a request to the T&T Racing
• A senator in making payments to
Aranguez/Bamboo farmers and by
Housing Development Corporation
in the purchase of lands.
• Unnamed public officials in
starting St Joseph projects.
• Unlawful use of intellectual
property by the Office of the Prime
• THA in a Build Own Lease Transfer
(BOLT) arrangement with Milshirv
• Irregularities in Public Transport
Service Corporation hiring
OTHER COMPLAINTS UNDER PROBE
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