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Clico workers protest over severance
Employees of Clico and British American staged a protest demonstration outside the Eric Williams Finance Complex in Port-of-Spain yesterday demanding answers from Finance Minister Larry Howai about the status of Atrius, the new corporate entity that will replace the two companies, as well as a time frame for payment of their severance benefits.
Clico and British American have been under the direct control of the Government and Central Bank since the collapse of the Clico business empire in early 2009. In a statement released ahead of yesterday’s protest, representatives of the workers, the Banking Insurance and General Workers Union (Bigwu), said since that time the workers have been exposed to abuse by disgruntled clients of the failed insurance entity.
The union said there had been attempts to get guarantees that the workers’ severance payments are honoured since there are plans to cease the operations of Clico and British American to make way for Atrius. In May, following protest action by the workers, Howai promised to expedite the matter.
Bigwu said although Atrius has been legally constituted and a board of directors is in place, inquiries about severance payments to the workers have been met with the response that the matter is in the hands of the minister. Up to press time there was no word from Howai on the matter.
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