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McLeod: I’ll always be fair to all parties
Labour Minister Errol McLeod says he will continue to discharge his obligations to workers, unions and employers in a fair and objective manner. He was responding to claims by James Lambert, head of the National Union of Government and Federated Workers (NUGFW), that he was favouring matters involving his former union, the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union, and forsaking other unions.
Lambert called on Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to remove McLeod from the ministry. The minister, however, hit back, calling Lambert a “complete and irrevocable fool,” on Monday. A release from the ministry’s communication unit yesterday said of the 22 reports before the ministry of disputes involving the breakdown of negotiations on collective agreements, the minister had directly intervened in three.
It said: “The Minister of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development will continue to honour his obligations to the workers, the unions and the employers of T&T in a fair and objective manner.” The release said from January 1 to date, formal conciliation had been concluded in five major negotiations. These included:
• Petrotrin and OWTU;
• National Petroleum Company (NP) and OWTU;
• Telecommunications Services of T&T (TSTT) and Communications Workers Union on behalf of senior staffers;
• Trinidad Cement Ltd and OWTU; and
• Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) and NUGFW.
In all those disputes, according to the release, conciliators operated under the delegated authority of the minister, who was apprised of the status of each matter “and when appropriate he elected to directly lead the conciliation proceedings.”
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