An hour before Government's limited state of emergency kicked in, president general of the Oilfields Workers' Trade Union Ancel Roget accused Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar of attempting to undermine the labour movement by enforcing a limited curfew in hot spot crime areas. Speaking at his office at Paramount Building, San Fernando, on Sunday night, Roget said he knew days before the Government was plotting to call a limited state of emergency without caring that such a move would undermine investor confidence in T&T. Saying the Government was "two-tongue and contradictory," Roget pointed out it was just a few weeks ago that National Security Minister John Sandy made public statements that his Government had a proper handle on crime, based on a statistical decrease in murders and criminal activities.
"Now they are calling a limited state of emergency, based on high crime, and we have to first question why. We do not trust them. "This Government is a bit shady and we do not believe this limited state of emergency has anything to do with crime. They are trying to suppress the labour movement." Roget said.
Saying he did not believe there was any criminal plot to undermine the Government despite reports that two Opposition MPs were issued death threats last Friday, Roget added: "We have been hearing of this state of emergency for quite a while, so we are definitely not surprised. "It is about iron fist rule, marshall law rule and they will have their way at any cost but time longer than twine." Roget also said Government was afraid of the repercussions of a national shutdown.
He said despite the enforcement of a curfew, the labour movement would continue to mobilise the national public. He added: "We will continue our campaign, state of emergency or not. I am not fearful for this state of emergency or of being arrested."It is part of my job description. This state of emergency came a couple days late, based on our calculations. We know every step they will be taking. "They are not able to govern properly. It's one year, three months after taking office and they have squandered the opportunity to take the country forward. They want to use the court to suppress us and now this." Roget said his union planned to continue its mobilisation on the ground in some of the areas which the Government deemed as hot spots, including Arima and Point Lisas.
He said next Tuesday, a mobilisation meeting would be held in Point Lisas. During a news conference on Sunday, Persad-Bissessar denied that the decision for a limited state of emergency was a plot to suppress the labour movement. She said: "This is a crime-fighting measure. It is nothing else, but a crime-fighting measure. The areas identified by protective services will not affect people gathering or unions if they want to take legal industrial action. It will not stop them from so doing."