Indarsingh: Trade unions departure from NTAC is ominous warning of things to come

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Indarsingh: Trade unions departure from NTAC is ominous warning of things to come

Couva South MP Rudy Indarsingh said the recent withdrawal from the National Tripartite Advisory Council by trade unions is both testimony of the battered state of relations between the Government and workers nationally, as well as, an ominous warning to the country of things to come.

In a statement to media on Saturday, Indarsingh said “The leaders and membership of the National Trade Union Centre (NATUC), the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) and the Federation of Independent Trade Unions and Non-Governmental Organisations (FITUN) have come together to make a much warranted and much overdue rebuke of the Rowley-led PNM administration and its rogue disregard for proper and trustworthy industrial relations.”

“Under the Rowley-led administration, the past five years have been fraught with thousands of job layoffs, the rising costs of living, improper industrial relations practices, the closures of many micro and medium enterprises, foreign currency shortages and an increasingly unstable economic climate.”

Indarsingh said “Now we see that the National Tripartite Advisory Committee, a committee formed by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, has collapsed. This is reminiscent of the collapse of the Economic Advisory Board, yet another committee formed by the Prime Minister. The collapse and disbanding of these two committees undoubtedly reflect the Prime Minister’s reduction of these committees to public relations value, as he obviously had no real regard for their membership or their work.”

“It is clear that in matters of labour and economics, this Government has failed woefully to contribute in any way whatsoever towards the prosperity of this country, and has cancerously eaten at our national well-being.”

Indarsingh said “In the 6 years of this administration, the Government did not deliver on promises to settle outstanding wage negotiations, the payment of outstanding back pay, and has failed to uphold the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the labour movement prior to the General Election of 2015. There has been no new labour legislation nor any passage of legislation to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.”
“The latest developments have seen the Minister of Finance blatantly lie on more than one occasion regarding the circumstances surrounding negotiations between the management of National Petroleum and the recognized majority union; the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) and negotiations between the management of the NIB and the recognized majority union; the Public Service Association (PSA).”

“The latest call by the Minister of Planning Mrs. Camille Robinson- Regis for labour unions to return to the National Tripartite Board reflects the desperation of the Government after it self-sabotaged its relationship with labour. After over 100,000 job losses, there is absolutely nothing to return to, and any act in this direction will simply be another attempt to sham the public.”

Indarsingh said “We in the Opposition stand with all workers across the country who have been displaced by this misplaced Government, and condemn the Prime Minister for his constant bullying of the nation’s workers.”