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Thursday 23 May 2019
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Ex-Petrotrin workers complain to Industrial Court

The Petrotrin refinery at Point-a-Pierre.
PHOTO BY ANIL RAMPERSAD.
The Petrotrin refinery at Point-a-Pierre. PHOTO BY ANIL RAMPERSAD.

RICHARDSON DHALAI

OVER 100 former Petrotrin workers have submitted letters to the Industrial Court in San Fernando to complain about money owed to them by the defunct oil company.

Just after 9.30am today, the former workers, who had assembled at Irving Park, walked single file to the court about 400 meters away, to deliver their letters to the Registrar.

Speaking with reporters afterwards, former Trinmar branch president Ernesto Kesar said the company had not kept its commitment to pay workers prior to its closing on November 30, 2018.

“Former workers of Petrotrin have been waiting for 80 days and the company owes people money from different categories such as basic pay, acting money, promotion allowances. Some people are even owed severance, some people have not collected their pensions.”

He said the company has 30 days to pay workers under the Retrenchment and Severance Benefits Act and cited a media release dated November 30 in which Petrotrin said it had made $2.7 billion in exit payments to workers.

“So we have written the Registrar of the court complaining, listing all the types of money and the various categories which are owed to us.”

He said similar letters from more former workers will be delivered to the court over the next few weeks.

Asked what they expected the court to do, he said: “Based on our little knowledge, the court will contact the former company, the company is trading now as TT Petroleum Holding Company Limited and there is a section called Petrotrin Legacy, and I hope the court asks them to contact their workers and fix this.

“There are people suffering, and contrary to all the hype that we get plenty money, we didn’t get a set of money. In fact the company owes us money. We want our money.”

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