About a hundred Petrotrin retirees protested in front of Whitehall, Queens' Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Thursday, demanding the Prime Minister reactivate the company's medical plan.
Members of the Oilfields Workers' Trade Union (OWTU) arrived singing and carrying posters listing benefits enjoyed by Dr Rowley. A mannequin meant to represent the Prime Minister with a white heart was also used as a prop.
The posters said, “The heart of the Prime Minister is one per cent," "Rowley has a white heart," and "Rowley is heartless.”
Ancel Roget, president of OWTU, told the media two months had passed since the union delivered a letter to the Prime Minister requesting the reactivation of the medical and pension plan for Petrotrin retirees.
It delivered a letter to the Office of the Prime Minister on March 25.
“We cannot forget what retirees bring to this country. It's some justice for us,” said Roget.
He said since the union delivered the letter, it had not received a response to its concerns regarding the medical plan while retirees continued to get sick.
Roget said, while Petrotrin's more than 5,000 retirees did not have a medical plan, "the Prime Minister has one of the best in the world."
He said since the closure of Petrotrin on November 30, 2018, retirees have been "up in the air," compromising their quality of life and health.
“That the Prime Minister does not respond to a letter we sent him two months ago speaks of his indifference as a Prime Minister to the needs of the population.”
Roget said, from now on, the retirees will protest every week until the Prime Minister responds to their concerns.
Victor Joseph, who worked for 37 and a half years at Petrotrin and has been retired for 15 years, said he is now sick and urgently needs his medical plan.
“I am not feeling a piece of paper in my hands. Doing an exam costs me $700 and apart from the operation.
"No one can work with chemicals or gasoline without getting sick afterwards. It is elements that we touch, that we smell and that remain in our bodies for the rest of our lives. We need optical, dental coverage.”