Retired Petrotrin workers are calling on the Prime Minister as they claim the terms and conditions of their medical and pension plan is not being honoured.
Members of the Oil Workers Trade Union (OWTU), led by President Ancel Roget, gathered in front of Whitehall, Queens’ Park Savannah on Friday for the second time after a letter was delivered to the Office of the Prime Minister on March 25.
The letter, said Roget, depicted the pain and anguish of the retirees. “We said (in the letter) that the situation was urgent because the medical plan to which they benefitted from was not something given to them, but something negotiated as a term and condition of their employment.”
He said when Petrotrin shut down in 2018, the retirees lost the medical plan that was supposed to be guaranteed to them for life.
Roget said retirees who suffered illnesses as a result of their jobs suffered as they were unable to access medical proper care.
He said since the letter was delivered, the union has not received any feedback from the Prime Minister, who he described as heatless. For those who are not Petrotrin workers or retirees, when you disrespect one senior citizen, you disrespect them all.
“You are afforded the best medical care as Prime Minister. That’s ok because you form a function and as a union, we recognise you are entitled to compensation but for heaven’s sake, those who contributed and who we negotiated for, they also deserve the terms and conditions that Is guaranteed in their pension.”
Retiree Victor Joseph said he was disappointed in the Prime Minister’s silence since the letter had been delivered.
“Not even an acknowledgement and we consider that an insult to the OWTU, and a disrespect to the retirees who worked over the years in Texaco, Trinco and Petrotrin.”
He said he and his wife depend on the medical provisions negotiated by the union for their survival.
“Since Petrotrin closed down, I have lost quite a few comrades who met their demise because they were unable to access the medical attention they needed.”
He said premium medical plans can cost from $1,200 to $1,500 which they cannot afford.
He said the pension plan is now scaping the bottom of the barrel.
The letter delivered to Dr Rowley said the plan was $4.6 billion in deficit and the government, after Petrotrin’s closure, committed to funding the existing deficit of the plan to ensure the preservation of all the benefits for the plan members.