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Wednesday 18 July 2018
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Crichlow to Duke: Call PSA elections now

Lone protestor at Labour Day celebrations calls for “fair play”

Solidarity: Trade union leaders raise clasped hands in a show of solidarity at Tuesday’s Labour Day rally at James park, Scarborough. From left are Horace Amede, President of the Inter-isle Truckers and Traders Association; Michael Annisette, President of the Seamen and Waterfront Workers Trade Union (SWWTU); Watson Duke, President of Public Services Association (PSA) and the National Trade Union centre (NATUC) Watson Duke; James Lambert, President General of the National Union of Government and Federated Workers (NUGFW) and Nirvan Maharaj, President General of All Trinidad General Workers Trade Union (ATGWTU.

Erha Crichlow, of Glen Road, Scarborough, stood out and apart from the trade unionists and workers gathered for Labour Day celebrations in Scarborough on Tuesday.

Dressed in a plain orange t-shirt, she carried a placard on which was written:

“Why Labour Day celebration in Tobago? Is it because Trinidad respect you? Why 2020? Is it to secure you $20,000 pension. PSA+Duke = Tobago Politricks.”

In an interview with Newsday Tobago, Crichlow explained her placard, and why she was not joining in the celebrations.

“I am not satisfied with how things are going in the PSA. We are supposed to have an election and Mr Duke is not calling an election. A team made an injunction and the court gave its ruling for the workers to compile the electoral list for the election to take place but Duke fired 13 staff members of the PSA going against the ruling of the court.

“Now he has to reinstate them, pay them back their salaries from the date they were fired along with $10,000 to each employee that was fired, this is $130 000 which is not coming from Mr Duke’s pocket, it is coming from the PSA funds and that is disturbing.”

Crichlow said she wants Duke to call PSA elections, “to have a fair play.” She also wants him to give up the position o PSA president.

“There are many issues that public officers are being faced with in the offices at their job places that needs to be attended to. Mr Duke has plenty on his plate and we are being rejected, our concerns are being laid aside,” she said.

Held on the banner of the National Trade Union centre (NATUS) for the first time in Tobago, the Labour Day march and rally was attended by members of several unions including PSA, Truckers and Traders Association, All Trinidad General Workers Trade Union, the Oil Workers Trade Union, the Seamen and Waterfront Workers Trade Union, the national Union of Government and Federated Workers and students from the Cipriani Labour College.


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