Trinidad Central Steel Mill (Centrin) workers have not accepted letters of temporary dismissal and are demanding that management find a way to rehire them.
The company shut down operations yesterday for one month because of what it said were unfavourable market conditions and high inventory of finished products.
The last shift ended at 3 p.m. yesterday. The workers insisted that there was work on the mill to sustain them during the month.
Steel Workers Union of Trinidad and Tobago (SWUTT) representative Teemul Khan said yesterday, "There is maintenance work on the mill to be done, which can last up to a month. I believe the company can sustain these workers so they can get paid for the month."
Khan said some 100 workers were temporarily laid off, with no definite date of return.
The company's letter stated that it had no alternative but to shut down operations for an initial period of one month, effective June 18 to July 17.
"Some workers are being forced to take vacation leave during that time, so they can get payment. But what about the workers who don't have vacation leave, or don't want vacation at that time," Khan said.
The workers were addressed by SWUTT president general Lex Lovell yesterday.
Centrin's human resources officer, Wayne Wong, previously stated that during the one-month period of temporary closure management will continue to vigorously seek markets for its products.
"The workers will continue their protest, by coming here on Monday morning, to again ask management to find an alternative solution to this problem," Khan said.