When indentured labour began entering Trinidad from India in 1845, the overwhelming majority of these people were Hindus with a small number of Muslims.
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Ancel declares war on Mc Leod
The only thing missing from yesterday’s Labour Day celebrations in Fyzabad was a bobolee of Labour Minister Errol Mc Leod, as OWTU president general Ancel Roget ripped into his former leader during yesterday’s rally. After Joint Trade Union Movement president Vincent Cabrera pledged support for Roget after a series of criticism by Mc Leod, Roget declared an all-out war against Mc Leod. “I want to say categorically for the records, that Errol K Mc Leod drew the first blood, he has crossed the line,” Roget said.
Addressing the hundreds at Charlie King Junction, a place where he once walked hand in hand with Mc Leod, Roget said, “It is one thing when a discredited Prime Minister and Government say what they have to say, that is okay. “However, it is a whole different story when one of our own—who was sent on a clear and specific mission—deserted that mission and defected to enemy territory. That is the most unprovoked attack by the PP Government. “You see, comrade, he went on a UNC platform and launched this unprovoked attack on the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union and on the labour movement. He has defected, he has turned his back on the labour movement, he has gone down in the mud. Well, if you choose to go down in UNC mud to hide, well today we are coming down there to get you.”
During the PP’s anniversary celebration last month, Mc Leod boasted that the Government had settled more than 70 collective agreements. Roget questioned Mc Leod’s figures, saying that each time he boasted, the figures changed. Roget said Mc Leod should not boast of settling agreements when it was he who recommended that T&TEC employees settle for the Government’s five per cent wage cap. “This People’s Partnership did not give workers anything, workers fought for it for themselves,” Roget said.
Roget said Mc Leod, as a former trade union leader, said nothing when teaching assistants, URP workers and government contract workers were removed because they were perceived to be PNM. Since entering Government, he said, Mc Leod has also forgotten the Worker’s Agenda and the ILO convention, while nothing was done to improve the Workmen’s Compensations Act and the Retrenchment and Severance Benefits Act. “He is no longer the Minister of Labour, but the Minister against Labour,” Roget said.