Roget: Patriotic promises 4,500 jobs

OWTU president general Ancel Roget pays his respects to Tubal Uriah
OWTU president general Ancel Roget pays his respects to Tubal Uriah "Buzz" Butler before a bust of the pioneer of the trade union movement during Labour Day celebrations in Fyzabad on Friday. - Lincoln Holder

Patriotic Energies and Technologies Company Ltd is very close to acquiring the defunct Petrotrin refinery, almost two years after the Government closed it down.

Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) president general Ancel Roget, on Friday, said the company had satisfied all of Government’s requirements.

"We have won the bid, beating off some 76 other international competitors in this complex international bidding process. As we get into the refurbishment and turnaround phase to prepare the refinery for restart, this will immediately involve approximately 4,500 jobs," he said.

Roget made the comments at Fyzabad when he delivered the featured address for the annual Labour Day celebrations. OWTU is the principal shareholder of Patriotic.

The union leader estimated that hundreds of millions of US dollars will be spent in the refurbishment of the refinery which will generate critical economic activity in TT, noting businesses from hardware stores to caterers would benefit.

Patriotic would provide, he promised, a reliable supply of fuel for local consumption and for export, and restore the regular gasoline supply for fishermen. He further promised that Patriotic will contribute to arts, culture, the sports and to youth development.

He bashed the Dr Keith Rowley-led Government for closing the refinery as well as the Opposition and the business community for failing to assist the OWTU to prevent it from closing.

"No energy chamber or business organisation, none of our local banks or no local entity, none of them came forward to put in a bid to save the company for the people. They were just not prepared to invest in our country," Roget said.

"So committed we were, we invested tens of millions of dollars into this very costly acquisition process, putting together a world-class team of experienced international lawyers, refiners, accountants, engineers, market experts, researchers and financiers."

On the pending general election, Roget reiterated that the PNM can be identified as the problem, but the UNC is definitely not the solution. The Movement for Social Justice (MSJ), which is labour-based, is the only option for a better TT, he said.

Since workers could not march for the Labour Day celebrations due to the pandemic, Roget said a national motorcade from Port of Spain to Fyzabad is being planned, but added a national march will take place in the future.

"As soon as all the covid19 restrictions are lifted, and it is safe to gather, we will mount a march and demonstration, the likes of which the country has not seen in recent times."


"Roget: Patriotic promises 4,500 jobs"

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