The Keith Rowley-led PNM Administration have unleashed an onslaught on the working class of Trinidad and Tobago, according to Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh.
It seems the only policy decision of this Administration towards the working class, in both the private and public sectors, is one of retrenchment, restructuring and downsizing.
Every week, workers are loosing their jobs without any thought by the Government on how these individuals and their families will survive.
Those who can still consider themselves “fortunate” to have a job have loss their security of tenure and have to endure not being paid on time, having their wages cut, loss of hard earned benefits and no motivation from their employers.
Today, the Guardian highlighted the plight of the retirees and pensioners of Trinidad Cement Limited who are complaining about the Company’s failure to review their pension investment strategies for 2017 and had denied them pension increases at a time when the cost of living was high.
Further, the Guardian reported that TCL was proposing to restructure the company and offer retrenchment to 24 workers out of a targeted 100 workers.
Where is the conscience of the State in dealing with matters of active employees and those who are now retired?
The Guardian also reported that pilots attached to the Air Division of the Strategic Services Agency (SSA), a division of the National Security Ministry, have taken industrial action because of the non-payment of wages since December 2017.
Their action have effectively grounded the helicopters that provide support to the T&T Police Service and other areas of national security. The pilots, who are being seconded from State-owned National Helicopter Services, fly the helicopters in border patrols, surveillance, natural disasters and search and rescue efforts.
Indarsingh expressed grave concern with this state of affairs, calling it a national scandal.
With the Prime Minister alluding to the presence of an ISIS cell in Trinidad and some citizens subscribing to some of its doctrines which therefore poses a threat of terrorism in the country, Indarsingh says it is reckless and irresponsible for the Government to have allowed these developments to have taken place with the SSA’s Air Division.
He said that with the SSA’s Air Division, being the only working air support unit under the National Security Ministry (the Government has grounded the Air Guard helicopters after Cabinet decided to discontinue its maintenance contract), the country’s protective services will not be able to respond to any major national security threat in a prompt and tactical manner.
The Couva South MP is questioning just how the National Security Ministry is allocating its resources and priorities.
In the last three budgets, the National Security Ministry has received approximately $25B yet the security forces are not receiving their wages and their equipment is grounded because of an apparent lack of funds for its maintenance.
How does the Rowley-led PNM’s plan to deal with the spiraling out-of-control crime epidemic in the country when it is not providing the resources to deal with deterrence, detection and protecting the nation’s borders?
The former Trade Union Leader condemned the lack of leadership of Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus who he said is not been seen or heard from and has failed the working class and Unions since she was appointed in September 2015.
He said Baptiste-Primus has not been proactive in taking any serious action to alleviating the plight of the working class in the country.