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Wednesday 22 January 2020
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Letters to the Editor

Where are millions in union dues?

THE EDITOR: Now that questionable accountancy has arisen on a religious leader’s financial possessions, it brings to mind the financial unaccountability of the trade union of which I was a member for 33 plus years.

Now retired from the public service, I sometimes wonder exactly what was my financial contribution to that union in all those years?

I distinctively remember whenever members requested a copy of financial reports (which they always claim they have), we were given long complicated speeches on the union’s finances. And if you insisted on obtaining a copy you were deemed a troublemaker.

And while the union’s constitution guaranteed a copy to all its branches throughout the country, we were told we needed to visit the union’s office, then located on the Eastern Main Road. Financial accountancy became even more difficult after our union became a member of a united trade union movement.

Once our union leader was informed by our managing director that since he (the union leader) was totally preoccupied with the union’s business and was not contributing to the company’s production, he would have to be paid out of the union’s financials. And this process was so initiated.

However, union members were never informed (like most other financial arrangements of the union) of such. After repeated failed requests to the union leader and our employer, requests were made to the Ombudsman and only then the union leader’s salary (out of the union’s funds) was revealed.

While our eyes may have been opened in disbelief at the alleged unaccountability of a religious leader, I am still trying to figure out where are the millions contributed by thousands of financial members of the union over the decades.

Of course, individual members think their supposedly small contribution does not make a difference and that is without considering their combined contribution.

Makes me wonder, as far as accountability goes, are trade unions and political parties any different from religious leaders?

LLOYD RAGOO

Chaguanas

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