Wednesday 28 October, 2020

Petrotrin: Mixed levels of absenteeism, operations not disrupted

Petrotrin said there was no disruption to operations after trade unions called for a day of 'rest and reflection' on Friday although there were 'mixed levels of absenteeism'.

In a statement issued Friday, the company said there were no disruptions to Petrotrin’s supply and that "operations continued uninterrupted, notwithstanding mixed levels of absenteeism across the organisation".

"Reports from the Company confirmed that its operations were not affected by the Labour movement’s call for workers throughout the country to stay away from work."

"While administrative checks indicated some level of absenteeism, the Company’s Tank Farms were manned and operating; the Production Fields, while not fully manned were fully operational; and its Custody Transfer, HSE, and Fire Sections were manned and operational."

The company said there was a higher level of absenteeism at Trinmar.

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"There was a higher level of absenteeism at Trinmar, but the fields continued operating with the morning tower crews and senior staff. All contractor vessel crews reported for work."

“Generally, we are operating thus far with no disruptions in production. Many senior and professional staff members are at work,” a Company spokesperson said.

The company did not give concrete figures on the number of staff who were recorded as absent. 

The Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers' Association (TTUTA), Oilfield Workers' Trade Union (OWTU), Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM), National Trade Union Centre of Trinidad and Tobago (NATUC), Public Services Association (PSA) and other trade unions urged their members to 'rest and reflect' on September 7 to bring attention to various issues. 

Trade unions said the event had been scheduled since Labour Day but gained momentum after Petrotrin's announcement to shut down its refinery, leading to 1,700 in job losses and affecting 800 more workers. 

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said there was 100 percent, and in some cases over 100 percent turnout of health care workers, while Education Minister Anthony Garcia said there was a 5percent turnout of teachers on Friday, which he said was considered 'acceptable'.

The Ministry of National Security reported attendance levels of over 90 percent. 

Minister of Works and Transport, Rohan Sinanan, tweeted that all transportation systems under his Ministry's purview were up and running.

Minister of Public Administration, Marlene McDonald, said there was 98 percent attendance at the Ministries of Public Administration and Communications and said similar numbers were recorded across the public service. 

She congratulated public officers for showing 'commitment and dedication to service'.

Under the Industrial Relations Act workers employed in 'essential services' can be fined or imprisoned for taking part in industrial action.

The Act lists essential services such as electricity services, water and sewerage services, fire service, health services, hospital services, sanitation services (including scavenging), oil, gas and petrochemicals, port operations, sugar cultivation, communications, public transport, civil aviation, and the iron and steel industry.


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