Wednesday 15 July, 2020

Roget renews boycott call: "Focus on buying roti and pelau"

Oilfield Workers Trade Union head Ancel Roget is advising the public to "eat doubles, roti, pelau and bake and shark" instead of shopping at businesses owned by the "one percent".

Roget was speaking with reporters following a meeting with Energy Minister Franklin Khan on Tuesday.

Roget previously called for a boycott of businesses owned by the Syrian-Lebanese community as a result of comments made by businessman Mario Sabga-Aboud on CNN's Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.

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Questioned about the practicality of such a boycott, Roget said the public should support local businesses.

"It is time we focus on buying doubles and roti and pelau, bake and shark and so on," he said.

"It is about time that we begin to focus on the 99% which forms part of the local business community." 

Asked what would happen to employees of the "one per cent" if the boycott call is heeded, Roget said they would be absorbed elsewhere.

"They are being sent home in any case and we welcome them being absorbed into businesses that really will boom as a result of the 99 percent taking charge. It is time we take charge of our own destiny here in this country."

Roget said a list of 120 businesses is in the process of being compiled which would be distributed to members of the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) members. 

"But there is another list of businesses that we are going to put out. The businesses which we should support. The local hardwares, the local industries and so on, the small and medium business owners, the roti and the doubles vendors and the bake and shark...the 99 percent, all of the rest of us."

Roget was unbothered by criticism from various quarters, including several business chambers, about his calls for a boycott.

"They are entitled to their own opinions we are entitled to ours. We are entitled to raise the consciousness and awareness of our own members and to direct our members where to spend their money to get the most benefit..."

Speaking on two-hour long meeting with Khan, Roget was less enthusiastic saying it was not what was expected.

"A lot of the things he presented was a lot of things we are aware of which has to do with the current state of Petrotrin, why Petrotrin is in the state that it is in, the current challenge that Petrotrin faces with the issue with the falling price of oil and the falling price of products and so on." 

However, he said the OWTU would not support any decision relating to Petrotrin that is not in the best interest of the country.

Roget said there has been no word from Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on meeting with the OWTU. 

Last Friday the union issued an ultimatum to the PM calling for a meeting within two weeks or face intensified actions from the labour movement. 


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