Last update: 07-Dec-2013 3:12 am
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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TSTT workers want their $100 million or else
The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) has given Government an ultimatum: ensure that Telecommunications Services of T&T (TSTT) settle outstanding issues with workers or prepare for a great loss at the local government elections. The union is also warning the public to prepare for service disruptions if TSTT fails to resume negotiations by next week or address the issue of paying workers their correct Cost of Living Allowance (Cola).
Secretary general of the CWU John Julien yesterday told the media that workers were prepared to intensify protests if management failed to address issues, including salary negotiations outstanding since 2008. Julien was leading workers in a protest outside TSTT House on Edward Street, Port-of-Spain. “We are probably the only large organisation that has a collective agreement not settled since 2008,” Julien said.
He appealed to the newly appointed executive vice president of human resources at TSTT, Harrygobin Jhinkoo, to work with the union. “We are placing everything at the foot of the new EVP HR (Jhinkoo). We know that he was placed here by the Government and we are appealing to the Government. It is better you settle with the union, because TSTT is valuable to the economy of this country.”
Julien said the union would do what it could to have negotiations settled before the end of 2013. “We are going to step up our actions in order to get the negotiations resolved,” he said. Julien said yesterday’s protest was a signal to the management that the union was prepared to intensify protests. “We are considering a work to rule. There are a number of health and safety issues.
“We are giving the company until Wednesday to respond and meet with the union,” Julien said. Julien said within a few weeks the public could see a deterioration of services at the state-owned company. Julien questioned the company spending “extravagant amounts of money” on lawyers as opposed to settling with workers.
Last Thursday the union won a court matter relating to payment of Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) for junior staff members. The court ruled that the formula used to calculate COLA by the company was incorrect. Julien said the company owed workers over $100 million.
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