‘DISMAL RESPONSE’: President general of the OWTU Ancel Roget, left, looks at the effects of the oil spill at Coffee Beach, La Brea, during a tour yesterday. —Photo: DAVE PERSAD

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Roget: Oil spill crisis not over

By Carolyn Kissoon and Dave Persad

Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) president general Ancel Roget yesterday told State-owned oil company Petrotrin to respect residents affected by the oil slick in La Brea, or face action.
Roget said the tragedy along the southwestern coastline was far from over. He dismissed reports that the affected areas were almost returned to normal. “We will expose the lie they are communicating to the country that they are 90 per cent cleaned up. This chaos they created is far from over,” he said.
Roget warned that he would mobilise the affected residents against Petrotrin and the Government.
He made the statements during a tour of the affected areas yesterday.
“We are calling for residents to be treated with respect and dignity and given the type of treatment and attention they deserve, for what is going on. They didn’t spill the oil...they are not responsible for what is happening here. We are providing a voice here this morning. We will mobilise every single resident into action for rights of residents,” he said.
Roget said the OWTU was monitoring the situation closely.
He said Petrotrin was aware that there were a number of leaks coming from lease operator Trinity Oil and Gas offshore facility.
“And we are of view that what is happening (in La Brea), they are the main contributors to that. All of this is a massive cover-up to portray to rest of country and world that it is a small thing and they have it under control,” he said.
Roget said Petrotrin’s response to the oil spill was “dismal” and he blamed political interference at the oil company.
“It all has to do with the persons they put to control (Petrotrin). They are political appointees who do not know what to do,” he said.
Roget said the treatment being meted out to the residents was disrespectful. “It if were another community it would have been different,” he said.
The constituencies of La Brea and Point Fortin were reclaimed by the People’s National Movement (PNM) in the 2010 general election.
Congress of the People (COP) political leader Prakash Ramadhar also visited the area yesterday and met affected residents.
The residents complained that they were disappointed by the treatment they have been receiving from Petrotrin and the Government.
The residents staged a protest on Tuesday, blocking Petrotrin workers from accessing the oil slick at Coffee Beach.
The residents are demanding proper medical care and relocation until their homes are returned to normal.
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