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Too many missteps by the coalition—Roget

Published: 
Friday, June 20, 2014
OWTU president general Ancel Roget quotes from a T&T Guardian article, while responding to his predecessor Labour Minister Errol Mc Leod, during Labour Day celebrations in Fyzabad yesterday. Photo: KRISTIAN DE SILVA

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar may have claimed to be on good footing with the labour force, but in one week, the trade union movement is set to converge at her St Clair office to show their disappointment with her Government. In a fiery Labour Day message at Charlie King Junction yesterday, OWTU president general Ancel Roget said thousands will assemble at the King George V Park and head to the Office of the Prime Minister, where he will announce the union’s next showing of rejection against the People’s Partnership. “Exactly one week from today, next Friday, June 27, at 5 pm, we will assemble in our thousands at King George V Park in Port-of-Spain. From there we will be going straight to the head of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, the one who has ultimate responsibility for our government. “We will go directly to the office of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. We must not give away our strategies, we must maintain the element of surprise so when we reach there, we will announce our next move,” Roget said.

 

Contempt for the Government was high during the rally, as Roget said there were too many missteps by the coalition. These included the creation of the New Flying Squad Investigative Unit, the Section 34 fiasco, E-mailgate, Prisongate, Petrogate (Petrotrin’s oil spill), a growing murder rate and police killings, but most of all, disrespect to the labour movement. Accusing the Government of nepotism and corruption, he said they were putting UNC supporters in key positions in state agencies to steal money, while they are also planning to steal next year’s election. Predicting a landslide defeat of the PP, he called on Persad-Bissessar to call the general election now. He told workers that when the election is called, they should vote against the PP, making yesterday the last Labour Day celebrations they would ever witness as a government. 

 

As he listed the government ministers that were removed by Persad-Bissessar, he said there were some ministers that were untouchable in the Cabinet. Naming Attorney General Anand Ramlogan as one of them, he asked about “the two-pull English boy.” “If not for any other reason than for the sake of our young people and for the future of our country, fire Anil Roberts now,” Roget said, as he recalled that a student of Chaguanas North Secondary asked Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith why Roberts was not fired. Despite repeated calls for Roberts’ dismissal, Roget said, he holds no hope that the PM will do the right thing.