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CWU promises protest action against TSTT

The Communication Workers Union on Wednesday announced its intention to start weekly protest action against the Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) after negotiations fell apart and referred to the Minister of Labour.

The two parties met ten times to negotiate the outstanding 2008-2010 collective bargaining agreement but failed to come to any mutual arrangement.

"Wage negotiations have broken down. This is an all time low," Joseph Remy, CWU president said at a press conference outside the TSTT office on St Vincent Street, Port of Spain.

Remy said while the union stood at 17 per cent, TSTT went from zero to three per cent within the nine months of meetings.

"No tangible effort was by the company to make any move, not even on allowances," he said.

"It served no useful purpose to continue bilateral talks when the company takes that position," he said.

Remy said with that in mind, they referred the matter to the Ministry of Labour.

"Let us go to the Ministry of Labour and resolve this. We reserve the right to engage in intensive protest action in the meantime," he said.

Remy and the CWU took umbrage to the company's continued support of soca star Machel Montano after he was found guilty on four counts of assault.

"We want to take this opportunity to tell TSTT management we are totally disappointed with the position they have taken," Remy said.

Remy said while they had no personal issues with Montano, TSTT should have had a clause in his million dollar contract that allows then to cease endorsement upon the court findings.

"The savings derived from and coming out of the Machel contract could be utilised toward the resolution of the junior and senior staff wage negotiations," he said.

"It is not no peppercorn rates he charging," he said.\

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