OWTU to pay Roget’s fine

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Trade unionist Ancel Roget would not have to personally pay a court-imposed fine.

Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU), which he heads, will dip into its coffers to pay the sum, which could run into $400,000.

Roget has been receiving support from his union comrades since Justice Vashiest Kokaram ruled against him in a libel suit brought by Geeta Ragoonath, a former manager at National Petroleum Company Ltd.

Executive officials of the union have rallied to their leader’s side, and at least a couple are recommending an appeal against the judge’s ruling.

The executive is expected to discuss the matter early in the week. But all legal costs are to be picked up by OWTU.

The union also paid legal fees for the trial, which included the costs of a senior counsel.

One OWTU official said “it is regrettable” that the “NP struggle” is now being shrouded in “the leader’s comments.”

He added: “The bigger matter here is that we got the reinstatement of 68 workers who were unfairly dismissed by NP.”

The Appeal Court had upheld an earlier Industrial Court ruling that the workers be re-employed at the State-owned company.

NP had appealed the Industrial Court’s ruling.

The workers had been fired for allegedly taking part in illegal industrial action for three days in August 2013.

The fired workers returned to their respective jobs earlier this year.

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