Monday, August 21, 2017

'Oil strike would have crippled economy'*

NOT BUSINESS AS USUAL: Liaquat Ali


san fernando
 
IF the Oilfields Workers' Trade Union (OWTU) had undertaken strike action and maintained it for the full 90-day period, the entire country would have been crippled.
And it is also time for restructuring of State-owned Petrotrin, even if there has to be privatisation.
This is according to heads of three business chambers who all agreed that both the union and company had to come to an agreement quickly concerning wage negotiations.
On Monday, Petrotrin was still in last-minute talks with the union pending strike action. Eventually, the union accepted an increase of five per cent for the second negotiation period. While the business community is grateful no strike action has taken place, they now question where the State will get the money to pay the workers.
President of the Couva/Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce Liaquat Ali said: “I understand that they don't have to get the back-pay right away but eventually they will have to find it. The bigger question is whether Petrotrin will be able to continue running business as usual.

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