I note with deep concern reports that close to one hundred (100) workers from Caribbean Dockyard and Engineering Services Limited (Caridoc) have been given letters of temporary dismissal by the company’s management following a meeting with the affected workers yesterday.
I also note that Caridoc is a State enterprise, once vested under the Ministry of Finance and now vested under the Ministry of Works and Transport.
This laying off or ‘furloughing’ of workers paints a picture of the economy that speaks to the State’s inability to maintain and preserve livelihoods of workers under this PNM administration. This recent layoff follows a consistent pattern of layoffs from State enterprises since Keith Rowley and Colm Imbert assumed office.
It is ironic that just as the Minister of Finance is attempting to paint a picture during the ongoing Mid-Year Review of economic recovery being achieved, the State lays off close to 100 workers.
Is this the economic recovery of which the Minister of Finance speaks?
More so, in previous budget presentations, the Minister of Finance repeatedly alluded to his Government’s intention to create a thriving ship drydocking industry here in Trinidad.
Is the layoff of these 100 marine sector workers his idea of creating a thriving drydocking industry?
It also makes the national community question whether this PNM Government has achieved any form of economic diversification in the wake of the fledging performance of the energy sector. Not a single job has been created over the past 8 years under this PNM Government.
What other State agencies are set to lay off workers, and when?
The sending home of these 100 workers will have a ripple effect on their households, the National Insurance Fund, income tax and the collection of national health surcharges, since less workers in the formal sector means less of these critical payments. The NIS fund in particular had already lost close to 112,000 contributors over recent years.
It is clear that any and all ideas of economic recovery is a cheap deception being peddled by a piper PNM Government, which has destroyed the once prosperous economy we enjoyed.
Colm Imbert and this globetrotting Keith Rowley continue to send hard-working citizens on the breadline while they lie, scheme and cheat to preserve their own jobs.