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Saturday 23 February 2019
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Letters to the Editor

Petrotrin and OWTU must work together to save jobs

THE EDITOR: I am calling on the chairman of Petrotrin and the OWTU leader to put their heads together and trash out a workable arrangement for the company.

A lot of misinformation has been put in the public domain about the salaries of employees by the politicians. The majority of workers are paid under $20,000 and some between $20,000-$25,000. Others are paid between $25,000 and $35,000 but these are all “lead workers” who are not represented by the OWTU.

But what of the salary of the senior executive who paid himself $160,000 a month, which was defended as being in line with market rates, and who was responsible for the present predicament of this company?

It now falls on the workers to save the day by agreeing to a quantified wage cut and with even a small increase in production to keep the refinery going and to keep their jobs.

That a carpenter received $70,000 for work cannot bring down this billion-dollar empire that had such potential to be able to acquire loans from international lenders.

The loan that Petrotrin is saddled with has to be paid and the company should be mandated to find a way to do it. Taxpayers should not be called upon to pay for something that is going to be closed down.

The trade union may have its faults but by and large it has enabled citizens to work and live above slave conditions. The ability to bargain, negotiate and compromise will be severely tested and we should not belittle the goat farmer as even a shepherd can be a leader of men.

RAMESH MARAJH, Palo Seco

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