FOR a third day yesterday, workers employed at State-owned Petrotrin remained on the picket line, despite a warning by management to return to work.
The workers gathered outside Petrotrin's administration building in Pointe-a-Pierre, protesting management's failure to pay outstanding money along with other issues.
The three-day protest triggered panic buying at some service stations, as motorists rushed to fill their tanks.
There was no fuel at the two service stations in Point Fortin yesterday. Disgruntled Petrotrin employees paid no heed to the company's "no work, no pay" policy.
The Express learned that Petrotrin's offshore production platforms were also affected by the industrial action.
Oilfields Workers' Trade Union (OWTU) representatives were invited to a meeting with management around 10 a.m. But up to late evening, both parties were still locked in discussions.
Thousands of workers attached to Petrotrin's Pointe-a-Pierre refinery and operations in Penal/Barrackpore, Forest Reserve, Point Fortin and Santa Flora, downed tools on Monday.
The company stated that several workers had reported to the jobsite.
OWTU president general Ancel Roget said the company's management was not moving to fulfil the terms of the collective agreement signed a year ago.
He said management had promised to fill vacancies, make temporary employees permanent and settle outstanding payments for the period 2009 to 2010.
Petrotrin responded, stating that activities towards the filling of vacancies continue on a daily basis.
"We will continue to expedite these recruitment activities to ensure that business objectives can be met. Since September 2012 we have filled approximately 350 additional vacancies," Petrotrin stated in a press release on Thursday.
The company issued a press release shortly after 4 p.m yesterday, stating that members of its executive management, led by company president Khalid Hassanali, "have been engaged in intense meetings with the Oilfields Workers' Trade Union executive since 10 a.m., discussing the current impasse. It is hoped that an appropriate resolution will be reached, for the benefit of the organisational and national interest".