In the cover of darkness at 2 am on Friday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has appealed for citizens to ignore the calls for a shutdown of the country.
The Leader of the Opposition and the unions have called for a day of rest and reflect on the third anniversary of the Government coming into office.
The following is Rowley’s message:
“I appeal to all those who have been entrusted with the responsibility and blessing of employment to honour and respect this obligation.
As public servants, our work is not just a means by which we earn a wage but the very foundation required for the nation’s sustainable growth and development.
We are the stewards of the people’s business.
“I understand and accept the concerns expressed for the workers at Petrotrin who will be impacted by the company’s ongoing restructuring exercise. It is a heartening indicator that our ability to empathize with each other is active and strong.
“The Government remains committed to ensuring that all affected employees, families and communities are treated with due care, dignity and respect. These changes, while absolutely necessary, will be implemented with compassion. The restructuring process will include measures to support all stakeholders as Petrotrin transitions to profitability.
“In the coming weeks the union and the company will work out the details regarding separation packages for employees and this may help alleviate some of the current anxieties. The Government is also working on the implementation of industrial projects that will rejuvenate the South-Western peninsula.
“If we are to chart a course forward for Trinidad and Tobago we will need to be proactive, progressive and productive. It will require us to work harder and smarter for our own benefit. And sometimes it will call for the enforcement of unpleasant decisions today so that we can secure a better tomorrow.
We cannot keep repeating the same mistakes and uphold the status quo if we want change.
“To those of you who are committed to building a better Trinidad and Tobago I urge you to adopt a nation-first approach.
Today, our fellow citizens are depending on us to show up and give our best demonstration of patriotism.”
DR KEITH ROWLEY