TCL workers’ homes fire-bombed and stoned
Union denies any involvement in attacks on TCL workers.
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Wednesday March 21, 2012 – Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) workers who returned to work continue to be attacked even at their homes.
In addition to last Thursday’s bus attack on workers leaving the plant, employees are today reporting that their homes are also being fire-bombed and stoned. In addition an alternative route leading to the TCL was covered with an oil slick preventing vehicles from passing.
There is now a divide between the TCL and the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) after some workers accepted the company’s offer to work out individual packages if they returned to work.
The union is waging what is expected to be a 90-day strike against the TCL following a breakdown in wage talks last month.
However, while the TCL has charged that the attacks are deliberately being made against those workers who returned to work, the OWTU has denied all knowledge of the incidents, stating it was involved in a peaceful protest.
But, according to reports police investigations are continuing into a case where a TCL chemist has charged that two Molotov cocktails were thrown at his home on Sunday night.
This incident came just days after rocks were thrown at the home of another lab employee, and a week following a similar attack on another worker. Last Thursday a 24-seat bus transporting workers from TCL was struck by boulders. No one was injured during the incidents.
However, employees are also charging that their names are being blacklisted on the social networking site Facebook, where they are being branded as “strike breakers”.
The TCL human resources manager, Keith Johnson has expressed concern over the events, and accused the union of trying to intimidate workers who have opted to return to work.