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Estate Police Association sounds warning to PP: Local govt polls around the corner
Describing Government as “evil and wicked,” Estate Police Association (EPA) president Eddison Munro, called on workers to stand up to the People’s Partnership as the local government elections draws closer. Munro slammed the Government for their failure to regulate labour conditions in the security industry saying that it has allowed private companies to exploit workers by offering them minimum wage with harsh working hours.
Speaking first at the Joint Trade Union Movement’s rally and mass demonstration at the Brian Lara Promenade in Port-of-Spain yesterday, Munro called on security officers to stand up and be counted in the struggle for social justice. “The estate police association has been clamouring for quite a while to have proper legislation that will effectively regulate the private security industry. Today we are still having our numerous share of problems so that we can’t get that justice for our workers,” Munro said.
He questioned how National Security Minister Jack Warner planned to use security officers to police the country with such poor salaries. He said that the EPA was battling wage negotiations at several state enterprises such as the Point Lisas Industrial Port Development Corporation Limited (PLIPDECO), University of the West Indies (UWI), Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT), Lake Asphalt of Trinidad and Tobago (1978) Limited (LATT), National Maintenance Training and Security Company Limited (MTS), and National Insurance Property Development Company Limited (NIPDEC). All, he said, are still offering a five per cent wage increase.
He said there were also problems at several private security firms. Munro claimed these organisations were in violation of the law: “They are violating the provisions of the Minimum Wages Order as it relates to the business hours of work. We are informed that these companies have retained their battery of lawyers to contest the provisions of the Minimum Wages Order. They continue to exploit the security officers and in terms of that eight-hour workday, officers are still struggling with their 12 hours, 24 hours and 36 hours at straight times.”
He said the association is also going to fight against the management of Petrotrin as they were informed that the company is replacing the acting Chief of Security—who had been acting in the position over the past six months—with a Government loyalist who is over 65 years old.
“I remind you that the local government election is around the corner. Remember who is not for you is against you. Let your voices be heard, let your voices work for you in a positive manner and use your conscience wisely to get the maximum benefits provided and remember you cannot secure the livelihood of anyone else if you are not secured,” he said.
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