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TCL GM: Claxton Bay still making cement

'Mayo residents have water'

By Carolyn Kissoon carolyn.kissoon@trinidadexpress.com

Trinidad Cement Ltd (TCL) general manager Satnarine Bachew has again reassured customers that cement is being produced at the company's Claxton Bay facility despite a five-week strike involving most workers.

Bachew said, "The OWTU is saying that we are lying and that the plant is not in operation. It makes no sense prolonging this issue. What is the objective of denying that cement is being produced?"

Oilfields Workers' Trade Union (OWTU) president general Ancel Roget earlier this week dismissed claims that cement was being manufactured at the factory.

The union said managers were not certified in operating the plants and company officials were lying to the public.

The Express visited the plant last week and found that the plant was restarted on "mill and roller press mode".

TCL's production manager Keith Ramjitsingh said the mill and roller press mode did not require a large number of workers.

He said in six hours, 370 tonnes of bulk cement were produced in one day.

Ramjitsingh said the plant was producing cement to supply its bulk market, while bag cement continues to be imported from TCL's subsidiaries in Barbados and Jamaica.

The union has also accused TCL of disconnecting water supply to some people in fence-line communities.

Bachew said a company's community relations officer visited the areas yesterday and confirmed that there was a pipe-borne water supply.

Several residents joined in the protest on Monday, saying water supplied by TCL's water treatment facility at Mayo was disconnected since the strike began on February 27.

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