The nation is in for a shutdown on September 7.
A group of trade unions are backing the OWTU over the planned shutdown of the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery and the proposed sacking of 2,600 workers.
But will the workers of this country stand behind the trade union movement? Will the workers, public and private, ignore Ancel Roget and his motley crew and go to work? The Maxi Taxi Association says its members will not be working that day. Will maxi drivers stay away?
Teachers are being asked to stay away from the classrooms on that day.
Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) president, Lynsley Doodhai, is showing solidarity for the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU), which was dealt a hard blow with the announcement that the Petrotrin refinery will be shut down.
The closure of the refinery is expected result in the termination of some 2,600 workers.
He added, “Next week Friday, parents please keep your children at home, teachers will not be in school on Friday 7.
“Schools would be devoid of teachers come next week Friday. Do not waste your hard-earned money to send your children to school, the teachers won’t be there.
“TTUTA would hope that good sense would prevail and that the Government and Petrotrin board would reconsider the decision that they announced yesterday.”
He said the day of rest and reflection had now assumed even greater significance in the wake of the Petrotirn decision.
Doodhai added, “Workers are no longer going to take it. There is a saying in TTUTA, if you touch one teacher, you touch all teachers, I say this morning if you touch one worker, you touch all workers,.”
Sheep and Goat Farmers Association president, Shiraz Khan, was the very vocal. He condemned Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Minister of Finance Colm Imbert.
He said just before the 2015 general elections, the two marched in solidarity with the workers and laughed when the union insulted then prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
Khan said, “September 7 is just the start. We coming for all yuh. You feel this is a game? Allyuh could just shut down and start back?
Khan said Rowley sat with the JTUM for 10 meetings before the 2015 general elections and talked to the unions about getting their support.
He added, “Today look what he doing to we. He is taking this country down a road, it may not have no return.
“Today, what he is doing to the ordinary people in this country, I want to tell Rowley that this is not Caroni (1975) Ltd, this is not BWIA, this is not TTT, this is the leader of all unions.
“We not going to take that damned stupidness from you Rowley, we not taking that and we standing with the OWTU.
“Allyuh behave allyuh self, September 7 is only the start. This man has to be dealt with and I make no bones about it.”