T&T power workers settle for 9%

(Trinidad Express) Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) president general Ancel Roget yesterday signed off on another nine per cent wage settlement, this time with the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC).

After more than three hours meeting with Industrial Court conciliators on St Vincent Street, Port of Spain yesterday, the State enterprise accepted the Court’s recommendation and settled for nine per cent.

The parties met 11 times after negotiations broke down last year in a bid to finalise the outstanding 2009-2011 negotiations.

Kelvin Ramsook, T&TEC’s acting general manager, yesterday said the acceptance will cost the State-enterprise more than TT$170 million in back pay.

“At the end of May, we have agreed with the court that the new salary would be paid,” Ramsook said yesterday.

Ramsook said the new salaries would cost the company TT$120 million in annual salaries going forward.

“So it is quite a tidy sum. Both parties, at the end of the day ended up fairly satisfied, ” Ramsook said.

Roget described the negotiations as a “long and difficult road”.

“This settlement should have been arrived at quite a while now and to the extent that it came late in the day there was still a measure of injustice to the T&TEC worker,” he said.

“Today we had the management accepting the Court’s recommendation over the three year period, spread two by two by five, which would see the T&TEC worker receiving that adjustment,” he said, referring to a two percent increase in the first year, a two percent increase in the second year and a five per cent increase in the third year.

Roget said while the T&TEC workers deserved more than that breakdown, he respected the recommendation coming from the Industrial Court.

The Court, he said, independently examined the company’s financial situation and corporate challenges over the three year period and then weighed the contribution of the human resource.


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