Petrotrin workers call for action from Roget

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Workers of Petrotrin are calling on Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) leader Ancel Roget to convert criticisms of job losses into effective representation.

And distressed workers have taken to circulating a 39-page report into an industrial accident on Platform 22 of Trinmar on Sunday September 19, 1999.

Roget was reportedly linked to that incident.

He responded angrily on previous occasions when there were public disclosures on the findings of an investigation into the near-death accident.

Then-casual employee Irvin Toolsie had his right ankle and foot injured in the accident and barely escaped with his life, according to an enquiry.

Some workers of State-owned Petrotrin say their only interest is more hands-on representation from OWTU on the loss of jobs, employment of certain executives and other alleged irregularities.

“We badly need action from the union,” said one worker at the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery.

OWTU has generally remained mum on a number of labour issues at the petroleum giant, and this has led to restlessness among anxious employees.

A number of workers have recently been sent home or suspended.

Five human resources managers were suspended for alleged breach of hiring procedures, even though they reportedly do not have final say in employment.

Roget called for the dismissals of the workers.

A successful refinery vice president was shunted in favour of an executive without requisite experience.

Former government minister Neil Parsanlal was brought in a chief executive of a Petrotrin subsidiary.

There were also disclosures that President Fitzroy Harewood had not been shortlisted for the post during the hiring process.

And that a request from Clarise Jupiter may have been entertained following her husband Andrew Jupiter’s appointment as company chairman.

Clarise Jupiter had clamoured for a salary increase before her 2013 retirement, in order to bump up her pension package.

Several other unattended issues have also left workers upset.

At OWTU’s annual conference last Friday, Roget delivered a broadside against the government on job losses and spending.

But Petrotrin workers are arguing that the union leader is not coupling that tough talk with his previous focus on the company’s industrial relations.

At the union event, Roget hit out at workers across the country being sent home and of small businesses having to close down.

He also slammed the government on construction costs at the Brian Lara Stadium while there is a shortage of medical personnel.

He hit out, too, at the crime scourge, which, he said, has led to “self-imposed curfews.”

Workers want Roget to also focus on urgent labour issues at Petrotrin.

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