Indarsingh asks why Labour Minister a no-show at Paria CoE

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Indarsingh asks why Labour Minister a no-show at Paria CoE

Couva South MP, Rudy Indarsingh has challenged Labour Minister Stephen McClashie to state why he opted not to testify before the commission of enquiry into the Paria/LMCS diving tragedy.

During a UNC media conference on Sunday, Indarsinh asked: “Why would Stephen McClashie, like Minister (Stuart) Young, choose to not testify before the commission? There are questions that need to be answered about the state of regulations and labour standards that must be enforced regarding the type of work conducted by the divers on that fateful day and work environment and policies that should have existed. The Occupational Health and Safety Agency (OSHA) falls directly under the Minister and Ministry of Labour.”

Indarsingh called on Mc Clashie to state whether the Occupational Safety and Health Agency was equipped and resourced. He contended that if the advisory body was not sufficiently outfitted, then it is not in any position to safeguard against future industrial incidents.

“There are also reports of numerous vacancies existing at OSHA at the time of this incident. How would these or any existing vacancies have affected the ability of OSHA to conduct investigations into this issue?”

Indarsingh said actions must be taken to prosecute Paria Trading Company Limited and argued that all attorneys, with the exception of Paria’s attorney Gilbert Peterson, have found that Paria was negligent and irresponsible in its approach to attempting to save the lives of the men.

“We in the Opposition agree and also call for criminal prosecution to be made against those persons at Paria who were negligent in their duty of care,” he said.

The Commission, chaired by KC Jerome Lynch, has been examining the circumstances which led to the tragic incident which occurred on Berth No. 6, Pointe-a-Pierre, which led to the deaths of four LMCS divers.