In an event that the American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago (AMCHAM TT) has described as "unfortunate" and "counterproductive", OWTU President General Ancel Roget's call for a boycott of businesses owned by the nation’s "one percent" ruling class.
"In every country where a minority has been persecuted in an attempt to shift power or influence to another group, the result has been economic and social decay. We believe that statements such as these are very divisive and not in the best interest of the very workers that they are supposed to represent."
In a statement issued today, the chamber added that unions have "a very important part to play in protecting and promoting the rights and best interests of their members. This can only be done through dialogue leading to constructive solutions."
AMCHAM TT said in that regard, it too would like to see a return to multi-party dialogue in a manner that allows all stakeholders to participate in a meaningful and constructive way.
"The National Tripartite Advisory Council (NTAC) was that vehicle but it is not functioning as intended. (We) stand ready to assist and participate its reformation to facilitate meaningful dialogue and a path forward."
Saying the world is in the midst of an economic crisis, with new political and social disruptions occurring every day, AMCHAM TT argued that it is at such a time that TT needs leaders; including trade union leaders, "who are willing to look past all differences and seek solutions to the challenges we face."
"We believe that this is not the time for pointing fingers, but instead a time of increased collaboration and dialogue. Myopic viewpoints and unreasonable demands that seek to promote specific agendas rather that finding innovative solutions should not be the first course of action."
"We urge all leaders in all sectors of TT - business, labour and government to come together so we can work together with a unified purpose of ensuring that our country and all citizens enjoy a decent quality of life not just in the short term but for many years to come," AMCHAM TT stated.