Michael Annisette, president general of the Seamen and Waterfront Workers Trade Union (SWWTU), describes as “mischievous,” the Government’s decision to invite individual unions to yesterday’s Prime Minister’s forum when it had already invited the various federations.
Annisette said this was one of the main reasons why trade union leaders boycotted the forum, titled, Spotlight on Trinidad and Tobago’s Financial Circumstances: The Road Ahead, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port-of-Spain.
Annisette said the National Trade Union Centre (NATUC), under which the SWWTU falls, will host a 10 am news conference, today, at the union’s headquarters on Wrightson Road, to elaborate on their decision to boycott the forum.
Labour leaders came under fire from various personalities at the forum, including university lecturer and economist Dr Roger Hosein, who questioned their absence from the event.
The forum was open to stakeholders from various sectors, including business, energy and civil society.
Annisette yesterday said union leaders are accusing the Government of attempting to undermine the federations.
Using NATUC President James Lambert as an example, Annisette said: “Brother Lambert is the President of NATUC. He got an invitation from NATUC to attend being the president but he also received an invitation, last night (Tuesday), inviting him in his individual capacity as the President of National Union of Government and Federated Workers.”
Annisette added: “People felt offended because you have the federations and you have unions within the federations and you extended an invitation for individual unions to attend.”
Annisette said many labour leaders also were of the view that there was no need for a forum.