Tuesday 7 July, 2020

NATUC cries discrimination, seafarers "replaced" by foreigners

The National Trade Union Centre (NATUC) has slammed the two owners of the MV Cabo Star – the Bridgeman Services Group and their foreign recruitment agent Tschudi Ship Management (TSM) – over reports of discrimination against T&T’s local seafarers.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, NATUC claimed that two of this country’s seafarers were ordered off the Cabo Star and replaced by two foreigners.

The union said it found it “disturbing” that no consultation or discussion was held with the seafarers’ representatives, the Seamen and Waterfront Workers Trade Union (SWWTU) especially since the Cabo Star is covered by the Collective Agreement of the International Transport Federation (ITF) of which the SWWTU is a member.

As such, the union said the Bridgeman Services Group and the agents are duty bound to engage the SWWTU in keeping with the ITF policy.

In light of the allegations, the union called on National Security Minister Edmund Dillon to revoke the work permits of the foreign seafarers to allow for locals to be employed on the vessel.

“NATUC condemns the behaviour of Bridgeman Services Group and the foreign recruitment agency (TSM). The employment of local seafarers in our territorial waters must be jealously guarded and we therefore call on the Minister of National Security to revoke the work permits issued to the Filipinos.”

The group said any delay by the Government to act on the matter, will be an indictment against them and a betrayal of the people of Trinidad and Tobago as it goes against the government’s stated policy of giving nationals first preference in jobs where they are qualified to fill the position.

 

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