TCL gives conditions under which it will meet
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Monday March 26, 2012 – Management of the Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) has laid its cards on the table – negotiations will resume when attacks against employees stop.
That is the latest position of the company’s general manager, Satnarine Bachew after the company withdrew all offers last week following increasing attacks on TCL workers including some which occurred at their homes.
According to reports, the general manager made it clear that both sides – the employees and those on strike – had rights which must be respected as Trinidad was a free and democratic society.
However, despite the offer to return to the bargaining table, Mr. Bachew has maintained that the 6.5 per cent wage increase was what the company was willing to offer, after it withdrew its seven per cent offer last week.
Wage talks between the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) and the TCL broke down three weeks ago, with the union pledging to bring 90-days of strike action against the company.
However, about 160 workers returned to work after accepting individual offers made to them by the company.
This resulted in a series of incidents, including the tyres of company officials being punctured at the TCL’s locations, attempted fire-bombing at two homes of strike breakers and buses transporting workers being attacked.
However the two sides are expected to meet with Labour Minister, Mr. Errol McLeod early this week in an attempt to resolve the issue.
Meanwhile, the company is remaining hopeful that cement sales, which were affected during the strike, will resume shortly.