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Monday 19 August 2019
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[UPDATED] Petrotrin retirees protest over pensions

Petrotrin retirees protest at Petrotrin’s Pointe-a-Pierre main administration building yesterday. PHOTO BY VASHTI SINGH
Petrotrin retirees protest at Petrotrin’s Pointe-a-Pierre main administration building yesterday. PHOTO BY VASHTI SINGH

Saying they are facing a “serious deficit” in their pensions, retirees from the defunct state-owned oil company Petrotrin have threatened to increase their protests to the heat used to “boil” crude oil, should the company fail to address their issues.

OWTU senior labour relations officer Gregory Marchan said so as he addressed a small gathering of retirees from behind a wire fence at Petrotrin’s Pointe-a-Pierre main administration building yesterday.

Earlier, the retirees had all tried to enter the company’s premises, but security guards closed the main gates after Marchan and a handful of retirees had gone in. This led to a brief verbal confrontation with the retirees, who accused the guards of blocking them from querying the non-payment of their pensions.

Petrotrin retirees protest at Petrotrin’s Pointe-a-Pierre main administration building yesterday. PHOTO BY VASHTI SINGH

Later Marchan said the company’s pension plan was also reportedly in deficit and this had affected the pension payments.

“Money is missing from our monthly pensions that is due since June; there is back pay; and there (are) new pension rates that ought to be paid – that is also missing.

“We understand our pension plan too is in deficit, and that is the reason why we are not being paid what is due to us given the last collective agreement.”

He said the group had meetings with company officials in May and June with an expected payment on July 1, but up to yesterday no payments had been received.

“We have also had statements for August and there is no show in terms of the statement that there will be new payments come August.”

He said while the company had agreed to meet the group yesterday to discuss the issue, they may have to increase their protests if they are not paid their outstanding pensions.

“We are here to talk and bring some attention to what is our situation. Now we may have to go further than this, comrades. We have to get this thing boiling hot – you know what boiling hot is, all of us would have worked in the refinery, so you know what I am talking about – and we have to get this boiling.”

Marchan did not elaborate.

Retiree Michael Jack 66, said almost 1,500 retirees are affected by the non-payment of retroactive pensions for the 2011- 2014 and 2014-2017 periods.

This story was originally published with the title "Petrotrin retirees protest" and has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.


Saying they are facing a “serious deficit” in their pensions, retirees from the defunct state-owned oil company Petrotrin have threatened to increase their protests to the heat used to “boil” crude oil, should the company fail to address their issues.

OWTU senior labour relations officer Gregory Marchan said so as he addressed a small gathering of retirees from behind a wire fence at Petrotrin’s Pointe-a-Pierre main administration building today.

Earlier, the retirees had all tried to enter the company’s premises, but security guards closed the main gates after Marchan and a handful of retirees had gone in. This led to a brief verbal confrontation with the retirees, who accused the guards of blocking them from querying the non-payment of their pensions.

Later Marchan said the company’s pension plan was also reportedly in deficit and this had affected the pension payments. “Money is missing from our monthly pensions that is due since June; there is back pay; and there (are) new pension rates that ought to be paid – that is also missing. We understand our pension plan too is in deficit, and that is the reason why we are not being paid what is due to us given the last collective agreement.”

He said the group had meetings with company officials in May and June with an expected payment on July 1, but up to yesterday, no payments had been received.

“We have also had statements for August and there is no show in terms of the statement that there will be new payments come August.”He said while the company had agreed to meet the group today to discuss the issue, they may have to increase their protests if they are not paid their outstanding pensions.

“We are here to talk and bring some attention to what is our situation. Now we may have to go further than this, comrades. We have to get this thing boiling hot – you know what boiling hot is, all of us would have worked in the refinery, so you know what I am talking about – and we have to get this boiling.”

Marchan did not elaborate. Retiree Michael Jack 66, said almost 1,500 retirees are affected by the non-payment of retroactive pensions for the 2011- 2014 and 2014-2017 periods.

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