The granting of an injunction by the Industrial Court in favour of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) on behalf of employees of Petrotrin is a historic victory for the workers and for the rule of law in Trinidad and Tobago. This, according to Leader of the Opposition Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP, in a statement issued on Monday 8th October, 2018.
The Court’s ruling further exposes the repressive, exploitative and anti-worker stance of the Rowley regime and its disdain for proper industrial relations practice, including appropriate grievance procedures.
I applaud the victorious Petrotrin workers and their representative trade union, OWTU, on their courage and determination to challenge this oppressive PNM Government.
The Industrial Court’s judgment also corroborates statements I made in my response to the 2018-19 national Budget last Friday. I stressed then that the issuance of termination letters to employees of Petrotrin while the injunction matter was being heard before the court was contemptuous.
The Rowley regime’s flagrant breach of the standing Memorandum of Agreement with the OWTU is typical of its arrogance and high-handedness.
The Opposition calls on the Government to honour the MOA and to engage in discussions with OWTU in good faith and in the best interest of all stakeholders.
Further, the Opposition calls on the Government to immediately stop any private negotiations with workers in an attempt to undermine the court’s ruling.
The Opposition trusts that this victory for workers of Petrotrin will lead to fruitful stakeholder dialogue, aimed at ensuring that the energy company is kept functioning and made viable and sustainable in the interests of all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition
8th October 2018