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JTUM to Govt and Opposition: Stay out Labour Day platform

By \\\\\ Kimoy Leon Sing

The Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) has said it is not keen on having members of the Government or even the Opposition at this year’s Labour Day celebrations in Fyzabad.

Speaking at a news conference at the Communications Workers’ Union, Henry Street, Port of Spain, yesterday, JTUM president Ancel Roget said while members of the Opposition and the People’s Partnership are free to participate in the march on the streets, their platform would not be political.

With respect to the May 23 march in Port of Spain, Roget said, “We want to continue with that momentum; we want to take that substantial momentum we gained on May 23 and take it into the streets of Fyzabad on June 19.”

He said, “It is fitting this year that we celebrate all of the achievements that labour had gained but at the same time recognising that there is much distance for us to cover going forward in terms of governance in this country; in terms of workers getting their just due that we come out in our thousands and align ourselves to the cause of a better Trinidad and Tobago.”

Roget noted that they would be dealing with several issues such as the state of the country today and the non-implementation of the workers’ agenda.

He added that on June 19, they would reveal their initiatives for a better Trinidad and Tobago. They would also respond to recent comments made by Labour Minister Errol McLeod.

The JTUM noted that Labour Day is in fact a national holiday even though it is not given the same kind of attention as the State gives to other holidays, including religious holidays. Labour Day remains a holiday for the people, the Movement said.

President of the Public Services Association, Watson Duke, is also planning to participate at this year’s Labour Day celebrations after a recent hiatus. 

Speaking to the media after the conference, Duke said, “All labour unions and all labour leaders are brothers and sisters so we feel to ourselves that there is a need for good governance. However, what is good governance?” Duke asked.

Over the years, Duke has been at odds with the labour movement and has been absent from the platform.

When asked by the media if he has returned or just visiting, Duke said, “Solidarity is forever.”

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