The Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) will visit vulnerable communities, looking for “soldiers,” as it seeks support for Petrotrin workers ahead of government’s planned restructuring of the state-owned company.
So said OWTU president general Ancel Roget as he addressed Petrotrin workers at the Pointe-a-Pierre Roundabout yesterday.
The union has been mobilising after an announcement by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley during an address to the nation on Sunday that Petrotrin will be restructured.
On Wednesday Roget mobilised workers at Petrotrin’s Trinmar operations in Point Fortin. On Thursday, he went to Sixth Company in New Grant to support residents who have been protesting over deplorable roads in their area. He is expected to return to Sixth Company tomorrow, accompanied by Movement for Social Justice leader David Abdulah, in a show of solidarity.
“The OWTU will be coming to your communities. We want to join forces with you because your struggle is our struggle, a struggle against unfairness and inequity,” Roget said. “It is disrespect for people just as they disrespect workers in this country.”
Roget cautioned those in the union who support the PNM not to let their party loyalties affect their livelihoods.
“I don’t know if there is anyone here who will put Rowley above themselves, anyone who so loyal to the PNM that they would sacrifice themselves. If you love Rowley more than yourself, put your hands up,” he said.
When no hands were raised from among the crowd of over 100 workers, Roget continued, “Because we are watching to see who loves Rowley more, we will take down your name and you will be the first on the list to go home! You will have to be the sacrifice.”
Roget said the union had ensured the PNM got into office and would ensure the party is removed from office.
“This government has misplaced and upside-down priorities. All communities will know that they should not support this government.
Rowley will suffer the same fate as Kamla. We have declared war against poverty, injustice, incompetence and bad governance, we are enlisting soldiers and people’s eyes are opening.”
Roget said the union will visit the company’s Santa Flora and Penal compounds next as they prepare for action.
“I cannot say now what that action is, but all the months of this year will be: one, in January we will march, in February we will march, in March we will march and we will not stop until we get results.
“We have been the ones pushing for them to restructure this company for years. They cannot come now, with people who don’t know what they are doing, to send home workers.”