Saturday 19 October, 2019

Roget hails ruling, maintains Petrotrin acted illegally

“Justice in favour of the workers”.

This was the way President General of the Oil Field Workers Trade Union (OWTU), Ancel Roget, described the court ruling against state-owned Petrotrin on Monday.

The Industrial Court granted an injunction to the OWTU, forcing Petrotrin to halt the termination of workers until the completion of the matter brought against them which is set to begin at the end of October.

Speaking with members of the media following the ruling, Roget said he felt justice was served. He is, however, once again accusing the Government, Cabinet and the Petrotrin Board of acting illegally in offering separation packages to workers despite the ongoing legal matter.

“The Government, the cabinet, the board, they are all breaking the law and there can be absolutely no justification anywhere for breaking the law. It’s clear that they want to continue to send workers home. They want to continue in the face of an Industrial Relations offence that has been filed to be determined, they want to continue to send workers home... and what is the rush, what is the rush? Up to now no one has said anything about what that rush is about.”

Attorneys for the AG hinted to bankruptcy and insolvency and if that occurs workers won’t get a penny.

Roget said, “They are trying to bully the court, they are trying scare tactics.”

He also slammed Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primums for her silence on the matter.

“You are not hearing the Minister of Labour who is well accura with all of these procedure and steps going forward and therefore, if judgement has been reserved, the Minister of Labour is the first one to be able to come out and say listen; company ought to hold your hand, regardless if its state or otherwise but the silence of this Minister rings out very loud together with the injustice that is being meted out by the entire cabinet.”

The OWTU leader explained that this stay granted by the Industrial Court nullifies termination letters already handed out. Workers will still show up for duty while the state appeals the ruling.

He also clarified rumours that employees made roughly $45,000 per month at the refinery.

“It is misinformation, it is wilful misinformation being placed in the public domain. It is trying to set workers apart,” Roget said.

According to Roget, the arrogance of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is responsible for the Government's decision to shut down Petrotrin. He once again called on the ruling regime to make public, the expert advice it received on the best way to treat with the financial issues plaguing the oil company.


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