Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 26th 2014 Contents A12
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, July 26, 2014
A police officer stops traffic along Dock Road, Port-of-Spain, as workers return to Tower D International
Waterfront, following a planned fire drill staged by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management, ,
on Thursday. PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE
President of the All Trinidad General
Workers Union (ATGWTU) Nirvan
Maharaj is threatening there will be a
new political party by former sugar
workers if the State does not settle the
land matters in their Voluntary Sepa-
ration of Employment Package.
But that will only be a last resort,
Maharaj told the Guardian.
"If the issues are not settled in a few
months time, the National Solidarity
Assembly (new group) will be hitting the
ground in all areas in the sugar belt, say-
ing it s time to look at a new entity to
represent you," he said.
He noted that, at present, a Memo-
randum of Understanding (MoU) is being
worked out between the ex-Caroni Ltd
workers and the Ministry of Land and
Maharaj made the announcement to
a small crowd of former sugar workers,
diehard UNC supporters, at a consul-
tation at the union s headquarters at
Rienzi Complex last Wednesday night.
"Since the 1950s you have unflinch-
ingly supported the UNC.
"If the People s Partnership wins 15
seats in the next general election, most
of them will be in the sugar belt.
"Never underestimate the political
power you have.
"You must tell the Government over
and over again, if you want my vote, you
have to give me your support.
"Do not allow yourselves to be used
and discarded," Maharaj told the silent
He added, "The words come back
, Indian and Hindu can t take
you to the supermarket, pay your
mortgages and give you a better life."
After he made the announcement,
Maharaj told the audience the union s
first Wednesday night consultation
was held to ask former sugar workers
how to proceed with their matter.
"We want you to tell us the way
forward." Several of them expressed
dissatisfaction with the handling of
the land matters but did not state out-
right support for the formation of the
National Solidarity Assembly.
Maharaj later told the Guardian the
new entity would not be the political
party that would be formed as a final
"That will just be a lobby group,"
Asked if former union and UNC
leader Basdeo Panday was consulted
about this, Maharaj said no.
Panday, according to a news report
in April this year, advised disenchanted
UNC supporters to form a new party.
"We are not involving any politicians
in this thing," Maharaj said.
"We have been approached by politi-
cians within the last two months and
have politely declined.
"We are not even involving the Joint
Trade Union Movement."
Maharaj disputed a recent report
which quoted Minister in the Ministry
of Labour Rudy Indarsingh, a former
union leader, as saying 5,000 ex-sugar
workers had their land matters set-
Maharaj said only 2,404 agricultural
leases were distributed.
His announcement of the National
Solidarity Assembly came less than a
week after some 500 former sugar
workers delivered a letter to Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
requesting her intervention in the issue.
Maharaj said she acceded to their
wishes to put Land and Marine Min-
ister Jairam Seemungal to oversee all
their land matters.
Some 9,000 sugar workers were
promised land when the sugar industry
was shut down by the PNM in 2003.
Neither the PNM nor the current Gov-
ernment has fulfilled a court order to
give the former workers what was prom-
ised to them in their separation package,
'last option' for
Homicide officers say they are close
to making an arrest in the murder of
Sherrin Alleyne, nephew of Assistant
Commissioner of Police (Crime) Carl-
ton Alleyne, whose burnt body was
found in Tortuga last month.
Yesterday, homicide officers inves-
tigating the 27-year-old s murder said
their investigations have unearthed
physical information which would lead
to arrests shortly.
Alleyne s body was found under a
pile of tyres near the Forres Park Landfill
in Claxton Bay on June 10. It was
reported that police received an anony-
mous call that a body had been spotted
down a dirt track, 20 metres off the
roadway at Cedar Hill Road, Tortuga.
When they arrived on the scene
Alleyne was found under the still-
Yesterday police said after speaking
with informants they went to certain
areas and removed certain items which
have brought their investigation to a
very sensitive stage.
Homicide Bureau South is continuing
Cops close to solving
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