More than 50 workers from the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) gathered at the company’s offices at Airways Road, Chaguaramas yesterday morning to protest that they had received no salary increases for the past six years.
Christopher Streete, first deputy president general and acting president-general of Government and Federated Workers (NUGFW), said the CDA’s management is not meeting with the union for any discussions on serious matters affecting workers.
“The CDA has a legal responsibility to meet and treat with the union on terms and conditions of employment for these workers and they have failed thus far to engage the union in any meaningful way to address this vexing issues," he said.
“Workers have decided enough is enough and they have decided to come out to highlight to the nation down at CDA. Also, these workers, from December 2018, have not been receiving wages on time. A week, sometimes two to three fortnights meet each other and the workers are not being paid their wages.”
Streete said when workers are paid on time it causes late payment at banks and damages their credit ratings.
He said no one at CDA is taking responsibility for the situations employees are left to deal with.
Streete said approximately 93 workers are affected and they felt the situation was untenable and unacceptable.
“Therefore they had to come out to let their voices be heard regarding this particular issue.
"The workers also complained about the lack of review of their medical plan. It has not been reviewed since 2001, 18 years ago.
"Again, the employer has refused to engage the union in treating with the issues despite numerous requests in treating with these vexing issues again.”
Streete said although staff are entitled to a pension plan, to date, nothing has been done about that either and they are going home without pensions.
He also said when they retire, they are not getting their terminal benefits.
“I was just told that workers who would have had approximately $100,000 or $200,000 to receive as terminal benefits are being called and given $5,000 on a monthly basis, without any discussion with the union.
“As we dig deeper, I know we will find other issues that are affecting workers at CDA. We have been advised that CDA contacted our president general, Mr James Lambert, advising him they are willing to meet on Monday morning to highlight these issues in hope that they will be resolved.”
Streete said the union understands what is going on in TT and is certain that whatever is put before the union will not be something to bring the company to dissolution.