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?”