Angry residents affected by last week’s oil leak in Marabella yesterday staged a peaceful protest in front of State-owned company Petrotrin in Pointe-a-Pierre.
The residents who were led by the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) voiced concerns about lack of action by Petrotrin.
OWTU president general Ancel Roget, who met with residents early yesterday morning in Marabella, said the union has joined in the defence of the affected residents to demonstrate to Petrotrin how dissatisfied they are to leave their homes which was no fault of their own.
He said the management of Petrotrin was not affected by inhaling the fumes from the spill which was as a result of their incompetence and negligence.
Roget said the residents’ Member of Parliament Errol McLeod “has abandoned them in their hour of need”.
He asked, “Where is the PM who commissioned some national task force, where are the recommendations of the national task force?”
Roget said a circular he received from Petrotrin was a cover by management to protect their jobs and convey to the national community that the occurrences of oil spills were “mere discomfort” which the residents face.
He said the oil spill is wreaking havoc on the health of the residents and only an apology from Petrotrin president Khalid Hassanali was given in a release.
Roget demanded justice for the residents. He said the residents needed proper and adequate health-care attention, relocation out of the affected area and compensation for revenue loss.
Roget also questioned why Hassanali has retained his position at the company since there has been a number of major oil spills since last December.
“You don’t find it surprising that all of this thing happening and they remaining with one president. Major oil spill, major refinery leakages but one man remain here,” he said.
Roget said he has no confidence in any independent auditor for which Petrotrin commissioned.
He said, “They going to influence the outcome of that so-called independent probe” since they were hired by Petrotrin.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services Ltd has been appointed as independent auditor to investigate the cause of the July 29 oil leak at the Pointe-a-Pierre Refinery.
Last Saturday, Petrotrin announced it had suspended its vice-president of its refinery and marketing department over the oil spill.