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Kamla blanks OWTU meeting

By Joel Julien joel.julien@trinidadexpress.com

PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday turned down a request by the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) for an urgent meeting to discuss the series of oil spills which recently affected this country’s South Western peninsula, saying it would be “inappropriate” to do so at this time.

On Wednesday OWTU president general Ancel Roget led a contingent to the Office of the Prime Minister in St Clair to deliver a letter calling for an urgent meeting with Persad-Bissessar to provide all of the records and documentary evidence it has relating to the recent series of oil spills.

Speaking at  yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference, however, Persad-Bissessar denied the OWTU’s request.

Persad-Bissessar said the Cabinet yesterday agreed to the establishment of a National Environmental Assessment Task Force to address among other things the environmental impacts of the recent series of oil spills.

“I say with due respect that it may not be appropriate at this time for me to hold this meeting and I have advised my permanent secretary to so inform Mr Roget, Persad-Bissessar said yesterday.

“The fact that this matter is under investigation, the fact that the task force, an independent task force, has been set up, I think it will be inappropriate for me to make pronouncements without an investigation being complete and without an assessment being done of what took place,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar yesterday reaffirmed her government’s commitment to assist people affected by the series of oil spill.

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