IN WHAT is fast becoming the norm, Trinidad Cement Ltd (TCL) workers once again staged an early morning prayer and protest outside the company’s Claxton Bay plant yesterday. The workers, most of them in the Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union’s (OWTU) trademark navy blue T-shirts, formed a semicircle and joined hands as they sought divine intervention to bring a speedy resolution to their negotiations with the company.
Speaking to reporters, branch president Ahmad Mohammed accused the company of reneging on an agreement to implement a memorandum of agreement (MOA) about a new rate of pay for workers.
He said the MOA, which was signed on February 19, had stipulated new rates for hourly rated workers by March 15 and for monthly-rated staff on March 25.
“However, today is the 19th of March, the 15th has already elapsed and the hourly-rated people would have gotten their payslips and realised there was a reneging in terms of that agreement,” Mohammed said.
“The company made a commitment, they gave an undertaking and now we are seeing a blatant disregard to the agreement, so we are demonstrating our dissatisfaction.” Mohammed said the parties are expected to meet on Thursday, when a new collective agreement would be signed, but the union was now being told management had to speak to the CEMEX headquarters before the agreement could be signed.