JTUM in talks with MSJ to ‘rescue Trinidad and Tobago’

JTUM president Ancel Roget -
JTUM president Ancel Roget -

With the general election due next year, the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) and the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) have held talks with a view to “rescuing TT.”

JTUM president Ancel Roget described these discussions as a continuation of the solidarity that is core to this partnership. Speaking at a media conference at the OWTU building in Port of Spain on Wednesday, Roget said the two organisations have joined forces to discuss common problems facing the country. He said these talks help with determining how both entities can move forward.

He said the only political party that “fully” supports JTUM is the MSJ and they would engage in joint activities in the future. But he chose not go into any further details.

“The synergy we find with the MSJ, we do not find with other parties and our major concern is treating with the problems facing TT, such as crime and financial hardship.”

Roget said TT was in a “deep crisis” and is in urgent need of help. He said the collaboration will be beneficial because they both share the same vision. He said the discussions will seek the interest of not only unions but all citizens and aim to give a voice to those struggling to put food on the table for their families.

“School is starting back soon. How many families cannot afford to send their children back to school?”

Roget said unions will explore their strengths, expertise and experiences to help build a stronger TT.

He said the two organisations are in “deep discussions.”

Political leader of the MSJ David Abdulah said inequality is a major concern of both his party and the JTUM. For TT to move forward, this needs to be addressed.

“Our system benefits only a few at the expense of the majority.”

Abdulah said closing this gap can only be done with the support of trade unions, which he described as the “greatest force” in history that has dealt with inequality.

“Trade unions fight for the oppression of workers.”

Abdulah said there is a need for a strong progressive political party that defends the people without hesitation, and he believes the MSJ is that party.

“These discussions are important because how do we ensure a stronger labour movement and political party so problems in TT can be confronted?” He questioned how the average citizen lives daily.

“Do people get to work safely? Do they have money for their families? Can they make it to their next pay day?” Abdulah stressed the need to challenge the status quo, saying no single union or individual can confront these issues alone. He said the discussions questioned how people can strengthen themselves and bring about a better life.

Roget said the unions will be visiting communities and workplaces throughout TT, focusing on educating the people on labour laws and listening to their concerns.

Responding to a question on JTUM’s relationship with the UNC, Roget said the union is open to discussions with any party that shares its same interests. He was clear however, that JTUM has no interest whatsoever in holding discussions with a Keith Rowley-led PNM government.

“We have no problem collaborating with any responsible group or organisation in the interest of furthering our common goals.”


"JTUM in talks with MSJ to ‘rescue Trinidad and Tobago’"

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