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Petrotrin workers on standby for shutdown

Published: 
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Roget warns:
OWTU members protest outside the Petrotrin Pointe-A-Pierre refinery last Friday.

Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) president general Ancel Roget has put Petrotrin workers on standby for a possible shutdown of the State-owned energy company and hinted yesterday that there might soon be fuel shortages in the country.

At an early morning meeting with workers from Petrotrin’s Exploration and Production Unit in Santa Flora, Roget told them their mounting resistance had finally borne fruit as the company’s director had asked for a meeting with the union

He warned the workers not to be fooled into thinking their jobs are safe and their pension plans intact.

“Time for talk done, time for questions and answer done. When the call is made we expect you to respond resoundingly,” he said.

“People will have to be inconvenienced for people to understand the contribution you make. We are prepared to do what is necessary. The OWTU will be the vanguard and we will shut this blasted place down.”

Roget did not give any details but said: “All those who feel they could ride the backs of oil workers and remain comfortable then think again because the OWTU will make you very uncomfortable going forward because when you take away my job you take away my ability to sustain my family and my community.”

He also called on the company’s directors to fire the managers but leave workers alone.

“Don’t touch one worker in the bargaining unit because we will make hell. To the government I say workers are voters and we are waiting, watching and praying,” he said.

Roget wants the Petrotrin board to fill the 800 vacancies in the company and review the lease operator programme. He urged the workers to shed their PNM clothes and acknowledge that the Keith Rowley administration is the worst that has ever existed in T&T.

“They failed more than any government that ever existed. In terms of health they failed. In terms of the economy they failed. With education, they failed. They failed with crime. They failed to govern properly and the last bastion is the OWTU,” he said.

Roget said the union will push forward with its restructuring proposal.

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