Protesters chant ‘no, no CPO’
Saturday, September 8 2012
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CALL TO PROTEST: A member of the OWTU blows his horn during a protest march along the streets of Port-of-Spain yesterday which saw several unions marc...
YESTERDAY’S march by the Joint Trade Union Movement along the streets of Port-of-Spain, culminated in the protesters marching from the Brian Lara Promenade to outside the office of the Chief Personnel Officer (Stephanie Lewis) where they chanted, “No, no, no CPO!”
Using loudspeakers, some of the union leaders told the protesters not to place their faith in politicians and political parties. “We must bury them and put flowers on their graves,” a union leader shouted.
Roland Sutherland of the Transport and Industrial Workers Union (TIWU) spoke of “stumbling blocks” in negotiations with the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) over increasing bus drivers’ salaries from $34 an hour to $45 an hour.
PTSC drivers engaged in sick-out action on Wednesday and Thursday. The bus service was back to normal yesterday, confirmed Carl Ramdeo, PTSC’s Marketing and Communications Manager. He thanked those drivers who ignored the call to protest and worked on Wednesday and Thursday.
Eddison Munro President of the Estate Police Association said “remuneration exploitation” was taking place and workers must get a fair share. He mentioned seven negotiations yet to be settled, among them Pt Lisas Industrial Estate, University of the West Indies, Lake Asphalt, National Maintenance Training and Security Ltd. Munro said security companies (he did not name any) were violating the minimum wages order.
OWTU president general Ancel Roget yesterday warned Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar that there would be no more “secret” meetings and the time for sitting and talking was done. He said the next round of demonstration would be outside the PM’s office, her official residence in St Ann’s and her private residence in Philippine, San Fernando.
He also said that Finance Minister Larry Howai had no moral authority to speak of austerity measures after he was the recipient of a multi-million dollar payout when he left First Citizens Bank to become a Cabinet member.