Oil company granted injunction …”OWTU BLOCKED”

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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.

Pri­or to en­ter­ing Lennox’s prop­er­ty, the OW­TU in­formed the com­pa­ny it would be re­fer­ring the is­sue to the Min­is­ter of Labour as a trade dis­pute. Po­lice were then called in and as­sist­ed in re­mov­ing OW­TU mem­bers from the prop­er­ty.

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 com­pa­ny is al­so seek­ing com­pen­sa­tion for the loss­es it suf­fered as a re­sult.

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