?The National Workers' Union (NWU) has called for the National Trade Union Centre (NATUC) to dismiss senator Michael Annisette from his post as president of the umbrella union body.
"The NWU is not a member of NATUC, but as a component part of the labour movement, we view with great anger and deep disgust the position adopted by senator Annisette against the campaign launched by the Public Services Association (PSA) to defend its members at the Board of Inland Revenue and the Customs and Excise Department," NWU said in a release yesterday. NWU said the move by Government to establish the T&T Revenue Authority Management Company Ltd will result in the retrenchment of nearly 2,000 workers at the Board of Inland Revenue and the Customs and Excise Department, and will effectively de-recognise the PSA and the National Union of Government and Federated Workers (NUGFW) as the recognised majority unions for these workers.
"Yet senator Annisette goes on record as defending the establishment of this so-called special purpose State enterprise, which will clear the way for the same approach to be adopted at the Licensing Department, the Highways and Drainage Divisions of the Ministry of Works, as well as local government as the government moves to emasculate the public service, with disastrous consequences for public sector workers as to their job security and loss of union representation," read the statement. In defending the TTRA, Annisette, on March 3, said: "Nobody can be against the changing and upgrading of a State institution. We need to modernise the system if we are to attain First World status."
"Not only does Annisette defend the establishment of the TTRA, but he disparages the mobilisation of PSA members by their leadership in defence of their job security. "Senator Annisette is clearly an avid supporter of the anti-working class, neo-liberal economic policies of the People's National Movement Government and can be counted upon to put the interests of the neo-colonial regime above those of the very working-class, whose interests he is supposed to defend as president of NATUC." The NWU said the labour movement in T&T can no longer afford to tolerate this charade and the first duty of the trade union movement is to defend, protect and advance the interests of its members.