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OWTU, Powergen reach agreement to save jobs
PowerGen and the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) have reached an agreement to preserve jobs at the company following the mandatory shutdown of its Port-of-Spain plant on January 15.
In a statement over the weekend, the company said it was mindful of the call by Government to preserve jobs during this difficult period for the country and the economy, and despite the challenges presented by the plant closure, it engaged in a collaborative process with the OWTU to avoid retrenchment of any employee affected by the closure.
Acting General Manager of PowerGen, Surin Ramsingh said: “This means that all employees displaced by the Port-of-Spain plant shutdown will either be accommodated at the two remaining plants or will leave the company voluntarily under the agreed terms of the Early Retirement and Separation programme.
“The company and union reached agreement after a series of intense discussions that were conducted in a spirit of cooperation aimed at preserving jobs and ensuring the continued success of the company.
President General of the OWTU Ancel Roget said: “We are pleased with the outcome of our discussions, we are also satisfied that the necessary steps were jointly taken to preserve jobs at these challenging times.”
Key elements of the agreements include:
• Relocation of the Port-of-Spain Power plant employees to the Penal and Pt Lisas plants
• Agreed terms of the Early Retirement and Separation programme offered to the OWTU workers
• Settlement of the Collective Agreement for the period 2012-2014 and an interim settlement for 2015, the first year of the current Collective Agreement period.
PowerGen had earlier agreed with its Senior Staff Association (SSA) to redeploy employees represented by the SSA to positions at its other remaining locations. The Port-of-Spain plant is currently supported by a decommissioning team, the members of which will later transition into new roles at the Penal and Pt Lisas plants.
PowerGen is jointly owned by the T&T Electricity Commission (T&TEC), MaruEnergy Trinidad LLC (a subsidiary of Marubeni Corporation of Japan) and National Enterprises Ltd (NEL) Power Holdings Ltd.