Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Roget: Govt selling out T&T’s assets


DEFENDING T&T: A La Brea resident blows a horn on High Street yesterday during a march hosted by the Contractors and General Workers Trade Union at Pointe d’Or, La Brea. Also present in the march were fisherfolk and members of the OWTU. –Photo: DEXTER PHILIP

Mark Fraser

OILFIELDS Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) president general Ancel Roget yesterday accused Government of “selling out” the country’s assets. 

Roget made the accusation during a demonstration by workers of Lake Asphalt of Trinidad and Tobago through the streets of La Brea. 

“Once they are voted into office, they act like these assets belong to them and they can do as they please. So that when they were soliciting your vote to get into office they would not have told you that they were going to bring Chinese here and sell out the Pitch Lake,” said Roget. “Today they are going cap-in-hand to beg the Chinese for money to spend corruptly. And they are prepared to give out our national patrimony.” 

Hundreds of people from the OWTU and Contractors and General Workers Trade Union (CGWTU) demonstrated in La Brea over questions being raised over whether or not Lake Asphalt is being privatised.  

“Petrotrin today is on an aggressive programme of leasing out, selling out and entering into joint venture arrangements to give away all the fields which were fought for and defended by our forefathers. Let us not forget (Tubal Uriah) Butler and those of the past who defended those fields and the Pitch Lake. It is our turn to defend the Pitch Lake and Trinidad and Tobago,” said the OWTU president general. 

Roget issued a call for people to join them in a mass demonstration organised by the OWTU and the Joint Trade Union Movement on May 23.  

“We must stand up and we stand in defence of Trinidad and Tobago. There are a lot of people in the country asleep and if you continue to sleep while bandits are passing, you will wake up not paupers but destitutes,” he said. 

“The Pitch Lake has the richest history of our assets in Trinidad and Tobago. All of the citizens who want a better country you are called to defend the assets of Trinidad and Tobago.” 

Commenting on Petrotrin’s handling of the oil spill in La Brea, Roget said Petrotrin sought to divide the residents of La Brea. 

“Today we still have dead fishes more than ever coming up on the shore. We warned of that. But what they did they divided the people of La Brea. They took in some groups and tried to buy them over at the expense of the community and so today we are no better off,” the OWTU leader said. 

He said on May 23—the day before the People’s Partnership celebrates four years in Government—the people of Trinidad and Tobago must join with them in their demonstration. 

“By May 24, 2015 the country would have been sold out. The time to get up is now,” he said. “There are many streams from community to community... many streams must flow into one river of discontent signalling to them that we are not prepared anymore to take all of the foolishness and corruption.”