OWTU warns Yara Industries of strike action if workers’ jobs and lives not protected

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OWTU warns Yara Industries of strike action if workers’ jobs and lives not protected

Head of the Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU) Ancel Roget has warned the management of Yara Trinidad Limited that if action is not taken to protect the workers’ jobs and lives, they will escalate their protest action. 

Roget issued the threat on Thursday, while members of the organisation staged a strike action.

They are up in arms over what they say is the company’s ongoing replacement of permanent employees with contract workers. 

Roget, speaking at the entrance to the company at Southern Main Road, Point Lisas, said the proliferation of contract workers could lead to fatalities on the job site.

Keiron Simmons, OWTU Yara branch assistant president, added that the contract workers are not properly trained, resulting in several accidents at the plant. 

He claimed that 60 per cent of the workforce has been replaced by contract workers. 

Roget noted also that wherever there is a proliferation of contract work, there is also corruption.  He also criticised the inefficiencies of the regulatory bodies to regulate situations like these and called on the OSH Agency and Authority and the Minister of Labour to intervene to avert a fatality and catastrophic failure at the plant. 

Roget also slammed the company’s “blatant disregard” for the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that was signed between the company and the union following the one-week strike action in March last year.