November 30 is the date set for the closure of state oil company Petrotrin.
That date was given to the Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU) during a meeting with the Board of Petrotrin on Thursday.
Chairman Wilfred Espinet told union officials November 30 is the day the company will cease operations and permanent employees will receive their termination packages in accordance with the relevant collective agreements.
He said the company will meet next week with the union and associations representing staff at the energy company provide further information on the exit procedure.
Espinet said an alternative proposal presented to the board one week ago by the OWTU was “not a viable option, and the transition to the closure of the refinery will proceed as planned.
At the end of the two hour meeting, Espinet told OWTU officials their proposal failed to address “critical issues regarding financing and profitability and there was "insufficient information to give us an understanding of how the plan would work.” He said a lease proposal from the union that was different to what had been presented previously is being reviewed but there is now no turning back and they will proceed with plans for a “safe and efficient shutdown of the refinery and the preservation of the company’s assets.”
At a political meeting in Point Fortin on Thursday night, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said his administration will not back down from the decision to close the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery. He said he had offered the union the opportunity to present a business proposal but the OWTU brought nothing new to the table.
“When you look at it, everything about the proposal is about maintaining the status quo. That could not be serious,” he said
Dr Rowley said the OWTU's proposal is short in very many areas” but he did not intend to speak for the board which will speak to the government "at the appropriate time.”
"We have taken a decision to fix the problem at Pointe-a-Pierre and that decision was based on sound evaluation in the interest, not just of Petrotrin or the Petrotrin workers, but all of Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.
He admitted that closure will have a “negative impact on quite a number of people,” but said Government was taking steps “to minimise the negative effect.” He reminded the gathering that Point Fortin also had a refinery that was closed down, but subsequently other industries were set up.