SEVERAL Trinidad Cement Ltd (TCL) workers once again engaged in a prayer and protest demonstration outside the company’s Claxton Bay headquarters yesterday to express their dissatisfaction over plans to retrench approximately 100 workers. The workers began assembling at the main entrance from 6 am.
They were led by OWTU branch president Ahmad Mohammed, who said the prayer session was not only intended to seek God’s guidance for the workers, but also for the company’s executive management, as they were allegedly in breach of the Retrenchment and Severance Benefits Act.
“We have no reason to doubt that they are misguided, because it appears as though the management is convinced that they are doing the right thing and they are in compliance with the law. They are in fact in breach of that law,” he said.
“What they have deemed to be final notice to the union is lacking by more than two-thirds of what is the requirement of the act.”
Asked about worker morale, he said chaos and confusion seemed to have overtaken the company, especially among those who had been identified for retrenchment.
“These workers know that their futures and their jobs are in limbo and it is a very insensitive and inhumane manner this had been done.”
He said 16 workers had been identified as earmarked for retrenchment and another eight targeted for redeployment.
“And this is frivolous, the company can’t be serious, to have people from the level of engineer come down to work as a labourer or a fitter after being in that position for years,’ he said.
He said the union is scheduled to meet with company officials at the union’s Paramount Building, Circular Road, San Fernando headquarters on Monday.