President General of the Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) Ancel Roget says many citizens are silent about the bad decisions being made by Government because of loyalty to the People’s National Movement (PNM).
Speaking the OWTU’s 80th Annual Conference of Delegates at Paramount Building, San Fernando, on Friday evening, Roget warned against blindly following political parties as election season is near.
“The old approach of UNC till ah dead or PNM till ah dead must be totally and permanently discredited, eradicated and abandoned, because if not abandoned this approach will be responsible for the inevitable death of T&T,” Roget said.
“Look out for them. This is silly season you know, we have to be vigilant. Among one of the most ridiculous, illogical and racist comments you would hear from these people just to justify their racial support is hear this, ‘I rather my own flea to bite me than somebody else flea’.”
Referencing the closure of Petrotrin and the subsequent job losses, Roget said many people continue to support the PNM although the working class is suffering.
He criticised PNM loyalists who he said were quick to express outrage when allegations of criminal acts with the emailgate scandal were made against the then-ruling United National Congress (UNC) in 2013, but are silent now that the PNM is in power.
“With the company’s (Petrotrin) closure and with the sending home of all the workers and with over 45,000 persons and the economy adversely impacted, some of those same PNM party supporters actually give their support to this atrocity. Why? Only because of party loyalty and race. These are the same people who marched against the fake emailgate. Clearly this is hypocrisy at its shameless worst,” he said.
Roget said one of the most worrying issues is Government’s silence on the fake oil probe involving A&V Drilling
“With the closure of Petrotrin, they bluntly refused to tell the country what exactly will happen to the fake oil matter against A&V Drilling,” he said.
No matter which party’s “fleas” are biting, the OWTU is not willing to take any bites, he added
“In fact we are prepared to eradicate every single flea from the political landscape of Trinidad and Tobago.”
He said: “Today, we here in Trinidad and Tobago also have a choice. We can continue to bury our heads in the sand whilst those who we vote into government use the power of the state to benefit the elites and the one per cent. We can choose to be silent while the entire country continues to sink into the crisis after crisis, with crime and violence, poor health care, corruption, a failing economy, or on the other hand we can exercise freedom of expression and take the necessary action in our own interest.”