(Trinidad Guardian) Operations at the Point Lisas port came to a halt on Wednesday after workers refused to show. The workers are rejecting the Government’s offer of a five per cent wage increase. This was confirmed by president of the Seamen and Waterfront Workers’ Trade Union (SWWTU) Michael Annisette at a news conference on Wednesday.
He said the union would continue to take a principled stand to reject the Government’s five per cent wage cap imposed on its bargaining units. He said workers at the Point Lisas port had expressed their dissatisfaction and loss of enthusiasm “by not accepting work today (Wednesday).” Speaking at the SWWTU Hall, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, Annisette said “nothing is happening and nothing is moving” at the port.
Wednesday’s shutdown came after similar action at the Port of Port-of-Spain, when workers downed tools last Saturday and also the weekend before to demonstrate against the five per cent offer. Wage negotiations are ongoing between the SWWTU and management of the Port Authority of T&T. A statement from the Point Lisas Port Development Corporation Ltd’s marketing and business development unit stated operations were negatively affected when workers assigned to the 7 am to 3 pm shift did not report for work.
It said the areas most affected were vessel and yard operations facilitating receipt and delivery of cargo. “Management is working diligently to have normal operations resume in time for the 3 pm to 11 pm shift as the stoppage is negatively impacting several of the port’s customers, including shipping lines,” the statement said.