The Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) should not be blamed for the industrial action at State-owned Petrotrin which threatened the nation's fuel supply and will affected the entire country in the coming weeks and months.
Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) executive member, Vincent Cabrera, reminded the public that it was the Finance Minister who refused to move from the zero, zero, zero offer to oil workers.
And he called on Petrotrin management and the Government to act sensibly in the wage negotiations.
“We call on Petrotrin and the Minister of Finance not to be responsible for placing the country in an industrial relations crisis by sticking to his senseless zero per cent wage offer. Labour is painfully aware that should the Minister of Finance succeed in the imposition of a wage freeze, the same will quickly follow in the case of all other collective bargaining negotiations affecting all trade unions in Trinidad and Tobago,” he stated.
Cabrera said the JTUM was in support of the OWTU and Petrotrin workers. And condemned persons who attacked the OWTU for opposing Petrotrin around the bargaining table.
“It is in this vein that we see the charge of holding the country to ransom as vacuous and baseless. What other choice than strike action do workers have when faced with a zero per cent wage offer over the period of six years?” he said.
He advised that the Finance Minister move to bring about an early settlement of the issue.
Cabrera said persons who were falsely accusing the OWTU of having a strangle hold were ignoring proper collective bargaining principles.