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Saturday 15 December 2018
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Couva chamber worried Petrotrin workers may become like ex-sugar workers

Ramchand Rajbal Maraj, president of the Couva Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce (CPLCC). PHOTO BY VASHTI SINGH.
Ramchand Rajbal Maraj, president of the Couva Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce (CPLCC). PHOTO BY VASHTI SINGH.

Couva Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce president Ramchand Rajbal Maraj has likened the closure of Petrotrin to that of Caroni (1975) Ltd 15 years ago, saying former Petrotrin workers may never fully recover from the company’s closure.

Addressing the chamber 's annual Christmas dinner and awards ceremony at its Camden Road, Couva auditorium on Wednesday night, he said the nation was living in “very challenging times” which may witness further layoffs in near future.

“We are witnessing decisions that have left us in astonishment and deep trepidation. I can remember in 2003, when the very atrocious decision was taken to close down Caroni (1975) Ltd. The deleterious decision can still be felt today, especially by the families of the former employees.

“This decision has served to severely shrink our agriculture sector, as former Caroni lands continue to lie idle and many ex-sugar workers are still awaiting their lands.

“We are living in very challenging times. It has not been business as usual. I am deeply saddened by the dramatic permanent closure of Petrotrin on November 30."

He wondered what these approximately 5,000 people were going to do, noting that another 700 people had been laid off at TSTT.

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