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Wednesday 12 December 2018
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OWTU queries repeated claim on Petrotrin debt

At center, President General of the OWTU Ancel Roget and supported by MSJ political leader Dabvid Abdulah, ATGWU President Nirvan Maharaj, Couva South MP Rudy Indarsingh, Point-a-Pierre MP Dr David Lee, COP political leader Carolyn Seepersad Bachan, PSA President Watson Duke and members of the OWTU during the OWTU and Petrotrin workers march which started at the Point-a-Pierre roundabout.
PHOTO BY ANIL RAMPERSAD.
At center, President General of the OWTU Ancel Roget and supported by MSJ political leader Dabvid Abdulah, ATGWU President Nirvan Maharaj, Couva South MP Rudy Indarsingh, Point-a-Pierre MP Dr David Lee, COP political leader Carolyn Seepersad Bachan, PSA President Watson Duke and members of the OWTU during the OWTU and Petrotrin workers march which started at the Point-a-Pierre roundabout. PHOTO BY ANIL RAMPERSAD.

The OWTU has accused both the government and state-owned oil company Petrotrin of engaging in a “well-orchestrated campaign of misinformation and fear” after the Industrial Court granted the union an injunction preventing Petrotrin from laying off its workforce.

In a media release yesterday, the OWTU said Finance Minister Colm Imbert, at a press conference on October 8, shortly after the injunction had been granted, announced that Petrotrin required a government guarantee to “refinance its debt instruments of $1.2 billion."

The union noted that Imbert had previously announced that figure during the 2019 budget presentation.

In the 2019 budget presentation, Imbert said: “And just last week, Petrotrin approached the Ministry of Finance for more financial support to refinance debt instruments totalling a further US$180 million (TT$1.2 billion) as they become due for payment.”

OWTU asked: “Is the Minister of Finance misleading the public with his bulletin and seeming surprise that Petrotrin requires a government guarantee to allow it to ‘refinance its debt instruments’…when this was disclosed to the public during his budget statement seven days earlier?”

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