Trinidad: Messy end continues: Ex-Petrotrin workers chased away

An Ex-Petrotrin employee Shankar Teelucksingh shows the proof that he filed his 2017 income tax return.

(Trinidad Express) Former Petrotrin workers showed up at the company’s administration office in Pointe-a-Pierre yesterday to submit proof of their 2017 income tax returns in order to process termination payment.

But there was no one to receive them.

The workers had been inform-ed by the company last Friday that to help facilitate on-time termination payments to all employees, Petrotrin would withhold and place all applicable taxes in an escrow account while employees confirm that their tax status is up-to-date.

On Monday morning, hundreds of workers arrived at the company’s offices on Monday with the documents to settle their termination packages.

Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) Pointe-a-Pierre branch president, Christopher Jackman, said the workers were left confused and afraid.

“Last Friday, at 12.30pm, the workers were notified that in order to get their full severance payment they need to file their 2017 tax returns. The workers then have to provide the company with proof that they did file the tax returns within a week or the money would be sent back to the account,” he said.

Jackman said workers began rushing to file their 2017 tax returns to protect their settlement.

“They have been going back and forth from the BIR office to Pointe-a-Pierre but no one is there to receive the documents. The workers gathered at the Sports Club this morning hoping to get some answers,” he said.

The former workers claimed they were chased away by Amalgamated security officers stationed at the entrance of the compound.

Amalgamated Security Services took charge of securing the company last week Friday after Petrotrin’s estate officers left.

Petrotrin ceased operations last Friday.

The now defunct oil company would be replaced by two companies – Heritage Petroleum Company and Paria Fuel Trading Company.

Heritage Petroleum is the new exploration company while Paria Fuel Trading will handle fuel logistics and the energy trading aspect of the business.

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