Leader of the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) Ancel Roget on Monday threw his weight behind the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and the job cuts at Telecommunication Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT).
The CWU also hosted a candlelight vigil outside of the TSTT head office in Port-of- Spain to highlight their unhappiness with the imminent job losses.
At an earlier press conference at the CWU head office on Henry Street, Roget said TSTT continues to be profitable inspite of the fact that the Government has their “political hands” in the organisation.
He said that there was political interference at the management level and the board.
He said despite the “mismanagement” of the national entities “it was the consistent energy, will-power and direction of the workers that inspite of all of that, those entities are still profitable,” he said.
“But they are not stopping there, theirs is the belief that they should he beholden to their financiers and before they leave office, everything should be handed over,” he said.
Roget said there was a previous restructuring at TSTT in 2018.
“And it was said then that that restructuring would result in better performance of the entity and the country believed that it would benefit from a better performing TSTT.
“But here you are two years later coming to restructure again,” he said.
Roget said there was no data compiled to show whether the 2018 restructuring helped the organisation.
Roget whenever the Government talks about restructuring the most important stakeholders which is the union and the worker’s representatives are not “genuinely engaged.”
“Why is that not happening?” he asked.
The CWU had noted that it sent correspondence to the Ministry of Public Utilities back in December but, to date, there has been no response.
“Because they are not genuine. Their so-called restructuring is about sending workers home,” he said.
He said that this PNM Government was “different” from all the previous Governments. Roget said this Government was interested in quashing the unions by sending their members home.
In a media release earlier in the month, TSTT said it was forced to restructure citing issues with the fixed voice calling. TSTT said that service has declined some 50 per cent over the past ten years and mobile voice calling has declined by 20 per cent in the same period. The company also said that the legacy costs associated with redundant technology in its existing operating structure, continue to have a crippling impact on TSTT’s business and its results.
“The formal restructuring of these organisations is not restructuring, it is an attempt by this government to reduce to the national workforce,” he said.