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Petrotrin workers want Deokiesingh removed from unit
Employees of Petrotrin’s Field Maintenance Equipment Department (FMED) staged a protest yesterday, demanding that the company remove Vidya Deokiesingh from the department.
As the T&T Guardian reported exclusively, Deokiesingh reported for work on Wednesday after a two-month vacation period and was posted in the FMED in Santa Flora.
But angry workers said Deokiesingh was given a supervisory position and started “throwing his weight around.”
“Imagine they appoint him to give us instructions. We could not deal with that and told the management we want him out,” one worker related.
Deokiesingh was the Field Custody Transfer Officer at the time when Petrotrin is reported to have overpaid some $80 million for oil which it did not receive from the Catshill Field.
Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union president general Ancel Roget confirmed yesterday that the workers were upset Deokiesingh was given a supervisory position although he was under investigation. He said the union’s position is that “he should be removed totally from that department.” He said the union did not want Deokiesingh “displacing anybody who would be entitled to a position simply because they want to find something for him.”
The FMED is in charge of all the equipment with respect to exploration and production, including heavy equipment, drill rigs, pumps and field equipment.
Roget said following the protest the workers were told “he should not interfere in the affairs of the department. The workers were told that he was only housed in an office there and he has no responsibilities.”
But workers said they are concerned he will continue to “try to throw his weight around. He feels that because of his connections with people in high office he is untouchable.” They said if it was anybody else the company would have suspended them while they investigated.
Roget said Deokiesingh is not a member of the union and had not come to them for any advice since the allegations made in the internal audit were made public.
Company officials told the T&T Guardian that they have been following industrial relations practice. Under the company’s disciplinary procedure, Deokiesingh was sent a letter indicating he was under investigation and listing the areas of the investigation. He will be given an opportunity at a date and time for hearing and on the basis of the outcome the company can then determine whether disciplinary action will be taken.
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