Sunday 19 November, 2017

Opposition MP slams 'anti-worker' PNM

The United National Congress (UNC) has criticised the People's National Movement (PNM) government as being the "most anti-worker and anti-union Government in the history of Trinidad and Tobago."

A statement from Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh said the UNC was in full support of the labour movement which marched through the streets of Port-of-Spain on Friday in protest of retrenchment and other issues.

"The UNC will always stand on the side of those who are being oppressed and support those who are seeking their just due through a free and fair collective bargaining process..." Indarsingh said.

"At the same time, the UNC wishes to again warn the labour leaders of Trinidad and Tobago not to get trapped in the games played by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley and his Government because a leopard cannot change its spots and what has been played out since September 7, 2015 is industrial relations- PNM style."

Indarsingh said while the Government continuously asks workers to "tighten their belts", it is spending exorbitant sums of money in legal fees to fight the Communication Workers Union (CWU) at the Industrial Court over the closure of the Tourism Development Company (TDC).

"The actions of this Keith Rowley administration in 2017 is emblematic of the actions of the Government of Prime Minister Patrick Manning in 2009 which went to the Industrial Court to the decertify the very Communications Workers Union (CWU) and the Transport and Industrial Workers Union (TIWU) which were pursuing legitimate interests on behalf of their members under the labour laws of Trinidad and Tobago,” Indarsingh said.

The Couva South MP said the government appears to have no plan to grow the economy and create jobs. He said more than 25,000 workers had lost their jobs since the PNM came into government.

"Therefore, the trade union leaders and their membership must be prepared to accept that the economy will continue to contract so long as Prime Dr. Keith Rowley and the PNM remains in charge and workers will continue to lose jobs by the thousands."

He said the UNC stands in solidarity with the various unions and commends them for making their voices heard.