DESPITE threats of legal action and termination from government, the day of rest and reflection was yesterday described as an “overwhelming success” by president general of the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) Ancel Roget.
At a press conference at the Seamen and Waterfront Workers Trade Union on Wrightson Road, he praised participating workers for their support.
Roget reported that approximately 90 per cent of Petrotrin’s staff stayed away from work, and roughly 68 per cent of the national workforce also stayed at home. He said had it not been for government’s threats, there would have been a much larger portion of workers willing to participate.
Accusing Rowley of deliberately misleading the public, Roget also promised greater action as the OWTU seeks to mobilise it’s campaign against the government.
“We also recognise that we would have achieved even more success if it were not for the brazen, frontal acts of intimidation coming from the government itself. Never before did we witness such a high level of intimidation coming from ministers, including the Prime Minister himself personally threatening to sue workers individually.
“We would have awoken the national psyche of the Trinidadian people and brought about a type of discussion that was asleep for quite some time. We will continue to provide the type of leadership and voice for workers.” Asked if he anticipated backlash for workers who participated in yesterday’s day of rest and reflection, Roget said he expected the government to become increasingly aggressive as the trade unions begin to gain more momentum in the coming weeks.
Roget also said he was being cautious when announcing the OWTU’s initiatives and upcoming events as he sought to maintain some secrecy, but confirmed that he would make the announcement next Thursday.