Former Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU), general secretary David Abdulah has observed that the 80-year old union was more than an organization but an institution which was mandated to change the economic fortunes of not only its members but also wider society.
“We are an institution and institutions are different from organisations because organisations come and go but institutions are permanent things and the Oilfields Workers Trade Union is a permanent fixture in the landscape and environment of Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.
“The OWTU is not just a “wuk”, it is a vocation,” Abdulah stated.
Addressing the union’s long service awards and recognition awards function at Paria Suites, La Romaine on Saturday night, Abdulah said the union measured success differently from conglomerates, religious organisations and even Non-governmental organisations.
“If we were an Ansa Mcal- one percent- which we are not- then we would measure success very differently- we would talk about the bottom line- how much profit we made- what was the return to shareholders in terms of the dividends they would get- sales, revenue, growth,” he said.
Abdulah, who is also the Movement for Social Justice, (MSJ) political leader, said religious bodies would often measure success as how well they were able to “get the values and the tenets of the faith across to not only to the congregation but also to the wider community which that church, temple or mosque functions.”
“For the union, we define success in terms of the achievement of our vision and our mission and our vision says -‘continuing the tradition of the mass movement towards achieving a society with the power to determine its destiny on the basis of equity, social justice and a decent standard of loving for all,” he said, adding, “I think we are still a long ways away and therefore we have a lot of work to do to achieve it.”