Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 20th 2014 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
POST YOUR VIEWS ON ANY OF TODAY'S STORIES @ WWW.GUARDIAN.CO.TT
Friday, June 20, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar may have
claimed to be on good footing with the labour force,
but in one week, the trade union movement is set
to converge at her St Clair office to show their dis-
appointment with her Government.
In a fiery Labour Day message at Charlie King
Junction yesterday, OWTU president general Ancel
Roget said thousands will assemble at the King George
V Park and head to the Office of the Prime Minister,
where he will announce the union s next showing of
rejection against the People s Partnership.
"Exactly one week from today, next Friday, June
27, at 5 pm, we will assemble in our thousands at
King George V Park in Port-of-Spain. From there
we will be going straight to the head of the Govern-
ment of Trinidad and Tobago, the one who has ulti-
mate responsibility for our government.
"We will go directly to the office of Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar. We must not give away our
strategies, we must maintain the element of surprise
so when we reach there, we will announce our next
move," Roget said.
Contempt for the Government was high during
the rally, as Roget said there were too many missteps
by the coalition. These included the creation of the
New Flying Squad Investigative Unit, the Section 34
fiasco, E-mailgate, Prisongate, Petrogate (Petrotrin s
oil spill), a growing murder rate and police killings,
but most of all, disrespect to the labour movement.
Accusing the Government of nepotism and cor-
ruption, he said they were putting UNC supporters
in key positions in state agencies to steal money,
while they are also planning to steal next year s elec-
tion. Predicting a landslide defeat of the PP, he called
on Persad-Bissessar to call the general election now.
He told workers that when the election is called,
they should vote against the PP, making yesterday
the last Labour Day celebrations they would ever
witness as a government.
As he listed the government ministers that were
removed by Persad-Bissessar, he said there were
some ministers that were untouchable in the Cabinet.
Naming Attorney General Anand Ramlogan as one
of them, he asked about "the two-pull English boy."
"If not for any other reason than for the sake of
our young people and for the future of our country,
fire Anil Roberts now," Roget said, as he recalled that
a student of Chaguanas North Secondary asked
Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith why Roberts
was not fired.
Despite repeated calls for Roberts dismissal, Roget
said, he holds no hope that the PM will do the right
Too many missteps by
OWTU president general Ancel Roget quotes from a T&T Guardian article, while
responding to his predecessor Labour Minister Errol Mc Leod, during Labour Day
celebrations in Fyzabad yesterday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
The only thing missing from yesterday s Labour
Day celebrations in Fyzabad was a bobolee of
Labour Minister Errol Mc Leod, as OWTU president
general Ancel Roget ripped into his former leader
during yesterday s rally.
After Joint Trade Union Movement president Vin-
cent Cabrera pledged support for Roget after a series
of criticism by Mc Leod, Roget declared an all-out
war against Mc Leod.
"I want to say categorically for the records, that
Errol K Mc Leod drew the first blood, he has crossed
the line," Roget said.
Addressing the hundreds at Charlie King Junction,
a place where he once walked hand in hand with
Mc Leod, Roget said, "It is one thing when a dis-
credited Prime Minister and Government say what
they have to say, that is okay.
"However, it is a whole different story when one
of our own---who was sent on a clear and specific
mission---deserted that mission and defected to
enemy territory. That is the most unprovoked attack
by the PP Government.
"You see, comrade, he went on a UNC platform
and launched this unprovoked attack on the Oilfields
Workers Trade Union and on the labour movement.
He has defected, he has turned his back on the labour
movement, he has gone down in the mud. Well, if
you choose to go down in UNC mud to hide, well
today we are coming down there to get you."
During the PP s anniversary celebration last month,
Mc Leod boasted that the Government had settled
more than 70 collective agreements. Roget questioned
Mc Leod s figures, saying that each time he boasted,
the figures changed.
Roget said Mc Leod should not boast of settling
agreements when it was he who recommended that
T&TEC employees settle for the Government s five
per cent wage cap.
"This People s Partnership did not give workers
anything, workers fought for it for themselves," Roget
Roget said Mc Leod, as a former trade union leader,
said nothing when teaching assistants, URP workers
and government contract workers were removed
because they were perceived to be PNM.
Since entering Government, he said, Mc Leod has
also forgotten the Worker s Agenda and the ILO con-
vention, while nothing was done to improve the
Workmen s Compensations Act and the Retrench-
ment and Severance Benefits Act.
"He is no longer the Minister of Labour, but the
Minister against Labour," Roget said.
Links Archive June 19th 2014 June 21st 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page