As my tour of duty as Ambassador of Mexico to Trinidad and Tobago is drawing to a close, I wish to express my gratitude to the authorities and people of this great nation.
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IOCL strike in final days
If Petrotrin workers go on strike, it will not be the only one affecting the energy sector. Employees of Inland and Offshore Contractors Limited (IOCL), a company providing marine and land transportation services for Petrotrin’s Trinmar operations, are entering the final days of their 90 day strike.
Shop steward Ronald Williams said the strike started on October 20 and was aimed at ensuring the services company complies with the minimum wage agreement laid out in its contractual agreement with Trinmar.
However, the management of IOCL claims the company has an active collective agreement with the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) which supercedes any other agreement.
The union is seeking a wage increase of 80 per cent for the period 2013-2015 to put the workers on par with Petrotrin’s minimum wage. IOCL officials maintain that the requirement to pay the Petrotrin minimum wage is null and void because a collective agreement already exists with a representative union.
“IOCL did not tender using Petrotrin’s minimum wage rate,” officials of the company said.
Asked to comment on the situation, president of the Energy Chamber Dax Driver said the strike action by IOCL employees is hampering Petrotrin’s Trinmar operations.
“In the current energy climate, the strike by IOCL workers has led to delayed development of projects by Trinmar, particularly the south-west Soldado project which involves new infrastructure including pipelines. It also involves necessary maintenance work which is being impaired as well,” he said
“This action has negatively affected oil production from Trinmar’s facilities. I am informed that though the production decline was somewhat minimal in November, December saw a particularly steep decline in production.”
At the end of the 90-day strike period, the matter will be referred to the Industrial Court.
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