The United National Congress says the Guardian Media group must correct the erroneous and misleading headline carried on the websites of CNC3 and Guardian newspaper:
“UNC withdraws case seeking to block the sale of the refinery” published online by Derek Achong on October 24, 2019.
The United National Congress reiterates that the party did not pursue any legal action with respect to the sale of the refinery.
The fact is that some concerned citizens took court action which they have now withdrawn in light of the fact that the Government relented and convened a meeting of the Joint Select Committee on Energy Affairs next week.
A constitutional claim was filed against the failure of Finance Minister Colm Imbert in his capacity as Chairman of the JSC to convene a meeting for close to two years and in the claim they sought a stay preventing the government from making any further decisions on the sale of the Petrotrin refinery until the matter is determined.
The UNC wishes to state categorically, again, that these individuals pursued this matter in their private capacity as they are entitled to do.
We maintain our position that transparency and accountability are essential in any disposal of public property to private sector entities. Transparency is even more critical now since the Office of the Procurement Regulator is still not operational notwithstanding the law has been passed since 2015.
In her Budget response, Leader of the Opposition Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar said, “While we welcome the decision to sell the refinery to Patriotic Energies and Technologies Limited, we do not trust this government who may, in fact, be setting up the workers.”
This has been and remains the Party’s stated policy on this matter.
We wish to stress, once again, that we are not against the OWTU and workers and indeed wish them well, but we continue to call for transparency, full disclosure and accountability on this refinery deal.
We reject the blatant politicking of the narrative on this matter, which we have been forced to correct on several occasions.
It is the Keith Rowley regime which took the callous and reckless decision to send thousands of workers home when they closed Petrotrin with no coherent transition plan. The same regime haphazardly announced a sale of the refinery, again without any details, leaving the country with more questions than answers.
The Rowley regime has waged war against the workers of Petrotrin, vilifying them, so much so that to this day, many cannot find work elsewhere. The plight of the Petrotrin worker remains the fault of this failed Rowley regime.
As stated previously, the UNC filed no lawsuit seeking an injunction to block the sale of the refinery. We call on Guardian Media to immediately correct their inaccurate reporting and misleading headline.