Lennox Petroleum Services Limited has obtained an injunction blocking the Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) from entering its offices at Princes Margaret Street, San Fernando.
On Wednesday, Justice Frank Seepersad granted the injunction after lawyers representing the union failed to appear during a hearing in the San Fernando High Court.
The application for the injunction was filed after OWTU officials stormed the company’s premises on August 29.
The injunction is set to continue until the substantive case comes up for hearing before Justice Avason Quinlan-Williams.
In his affidavit, the company’s CEO, Wayne Persad, claimed the dispute with the OWTU arose after its business arrangement with Rowan Drilling (Trinidad) Limited ended in April. The company had been previously contracted to provide labour support and human resource services for three of Rowan’s oil rigs in south Trinidad.
On August 27, the union wrote to the company requesting severance payments and retroactive salaries for Lennox’s former employees, who were sent home after the Rowan arrangement ended.
Persad said based on legal advice the company refused to honour the payments.
Persad claimed the protest affected the company’s operations.
He added, “Many of the staff members in the office, who are mostly female, complained that they were fearful for their lives, as the members of the OWTU made advances towards the office areas and spoke and gestured aggressively,” he told the court.
“I am afraid that, unless restrained, the OWTU will continue their protest, and this will disrupt the operations of Lennox, which are already strained since the company is without a labour service contract.”
Persad also claimed the OWTU was insensitive in taking the action as it occurred one week after the company’s founder and majority shareholder Pamela Persad was buried.
THE ACTION ON AUGUST 29