STUART YOUNG, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, said the former People’s Partnership government had once verbally attacked Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) head Ancel Roget.
He spoke in yesterday’s House of Representatives debate on a bill to vest Petrotrin’s assets in successor companies, the Miscellaneous Provisions (Heritage Petroleum, Paria Fuel Trading and Guaracara Refining Vesting) Bill 2018.
Earlier Young said the Government has never engaged in any union-busting or any victimisation or attacks on the OWTU. He said before entering politics, he had represented unions, including the OWTU. Young said Roget had once told him of a plot by the PP to fire him. “As his advocate attorney we prevented him being fired from Trinmar.”
Young said Siparia MP Kamla Persad-Bissessar had once told the House that someone had died because of Roget. He said he asked for that parliamentary record to be corrected, although it was never done. “That is union-busting, an attack on the head of a major trade union personally.”
Young said Roget was never fired from Trinmar, and there was no veracity to the claims against him.
“Today I correct the record on his behalf.” Otherwise, Young said former Petrotrin workers enjoyed financial packages of 75 to 100 per cent above what was due by statute law. He said temporary workers at Petrotrin will also get packages, once they had been working for more than five years and 120 days per year. Petrotrin is not being shut, he said, but remains alive to deal with legacy issues: “A holding company has been set up to deal with all the issues.”