KELVIN CHARLES, Chief Secretary and Secretary for the Division of Education, Innovation and Energy, is calling on all Tobagonians to remember their "responsibility" to the island on Friday and go to work as normal.
Charles comments came after a call was made by a number of unions for Tobagonians to stand in solidarity with their counterparts in Trinidad for a day of "rest and reflect" at home. Charles stressed that all must remember they are charged with critical duties to keep the island's economy alive.
Several union throughout the twin-island have issued a rally cry to stand with Ancel Roget, head of the Oilfield Workers Trade Union, and his members who are facing uncertainty with the closure of the Petrotrin refinery.
The announcement by the Government last week to restructure state-owned Petrotrin and shut down its refinery has not been well received by OWTU a the decision will affect 1,700 workers within the Trinmar, Land Exploration and Production and Refining and Marketing units.
A number of union leaders in Tobago have called on their members to use Friday to show their displeasure in the way government has handled the country’s affairs.
In response on Tuesday, Charles said, "those persons who are not directly affected by the Petrotrin issue should recognise they have a responsibility to ensure that they produce the required goods and services necessary to sustain the lives of residents of Tobago and their own lives."
Charles, who is Secretary of Education, also specifically addressed the call made by Orlando Kerr, Tobago Officer of the TT Unified Teachers Association for all teachers to remain at home.
Charles said, "the Division (of Education) remains committed to provide the best teaching and learning environment for the island's students. In this regard, the Division of Innovation, Education and Energy is determined to deliver high quality education. It is the expectation that teachers, as a set of critical practitioners within the system, will endeavour at all times to strive to deliver the best educational services to their students whose interest must be paramount, especially in circumstances where issues affecting teachers are given priority attention."