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Friday 17 August 2018
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TCL and OWTU meet, union not optimistic

Ahmad Mohammed, TCL’s OWTU branch president speaking with reporters yesterday in front the company’s Claxton Bay plant yesterday.

RICHARDSON DHALAI

DISHEARTENED Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) workers once again held a prayer demonstration outside the company’s Claxton Bay plant yesterday morning as they expressed concern about the slow pace of negotiations.

The workers, who are represented by the Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU) said there had been two meetings with the company last week – one which “did not go well” while the company’s management did not attend the other.

Both parties were expected to meet at the OWTU’s Paramount Building headquarters, Circular Road, San Fernando yesterday evening.

Speaking with reporters yesterday, TCL branch president Ahmad Mohammed confessed he was not optimistic about the meeting as the company had virtually restarted negotiations regarding the 2014 Memorandum of Agreement which had been the focus of discussions for approximately a year and a half.

“Based on the events that would have transpired last week, it leaves us in an ambiguous position as to where we are going and as to what the company is going to be coming to us with this afternoon in regard to such memorandum,” Mohammed said.

“The company came last Wednesday and indicated to us that the work we would have done over the last year and a half would have been pulled from the table, so therefore it’s almost as though we are starting back from scratch.

“It remains to be seen what the company is going to be coming with and how we will proceed.”

Mohammed said a key sticking point was the wage increase for Readymix Ltd senior staff despite the payment of back pay and the union giving them a “bligh” regarding individual contracts given to workers and which was a breach of the collective bargaining agreement.

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