Trinidad: Lock ins, protests, barricades: Messy end to Petrotrin

(Trinidad Express) Petrotrin workers in Santa Flora, Pointe-a-Pierre and Point Fortin have formed human barricades, and are refusing the leave the compound.Workers at the three facilities remained within the premises late Friday and according to Oilfield Workers Trade Union Chief Education and Research Officer Ozzy Warwick, will remain there until management gives better assurances.

Workers have not been paid their monthly salaries for November, pensions or severance, says Warwick.

To protest this non-payment, some workers at Santa Flora blocked the roads and gates to the compound, some workers at the refinery locked themselves into the canteen area and workers at the Trinmar facility are inside the gates.

Warwick said: “workers are very angry. They cannot take any press release about money to the bank or grocery. They will stay there as long as it takes. Where is that money they claim they made to workers?”

Warwick also questioned the involvement of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.

At the various facilities, there was a police presence.

Warwick said: “why is the TTPS getting involved in clearly what is an industrial relations matter? In fact, the TTPS should investigate the robbery of workers by Petrotrin.”

Workers at the entrance to Trinmar’s port facility on Fridays afternoon.

In a statement from the Company, it stated some $2.7 billion in exit payments to workers was made.

The payments comprised $1.8 billion in termination packages; $201 million for outstanding vacation; $150 million for medical and other benefits; and $55 million in payments for outstanding promotions. All 3,400 permanent employees received exit payments and 1,229 or 55% of the company’s temporary workers received ex gratia payments.

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