Although Petrotrin’s operations were wound up on November 30, the Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU) is proceeding with its proposal to take over the defunct oil company, and is scheduled to meet with the company’s board next week to discuss its proposal to manage and run its assets at the sprawling Pointe-a-Pierre refinery.
In a telephone interview, OWTU president general Ancel Roget said the union’s proposal includes managing the refinery, its bungalows, hospital, medical centre, sports club and port facility.
He said, “There is a mad rush right now for Petrotrin’s assets – the bungalows, the sports club – and our position is clear. In the Pointe-a-Pierre situation all of the assets – the buildings, the refinery, the hospital, the medical centre, the sports club, all of those assets that are connected to the Pointe-a-Pierre operations, the port facility – those are the assets that we have made a bid for, while operating and controlling the refinery, to have those assets at the disposal of the entity that is going to run the refinery.
So when our foreign partners come in, they should be offered the bungalows. So, therefore, we are asking that they apportion that to the union inclusive of the package that is offered to them.”
Roget also said the offer of land to former Petrotrin workers did not originate with the Prime Minister but with the union and was contained in its proposal for the separation of workers.
At a political meeting in early September, Rowley said severance packages included enhanced early-retirement packages for people over 50, land for houses, and stockholding in the new, restructured Petrotrin.
However, Roget said: “We should be treated no less than the Caroni workers, and Petrotrin has over 76,000 acres of land, and if you are displacing some 5,000 employees, you can very well apportion a plot of land to each employee who is so entitled.”