TCL, Union wage dispute update, Trinidad

TCL, Union wage dispute update, Trinidad
Published: 13 March 2012


The Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) and Trinidad Cement Ltd (TCL) are ready to restart negotiations in an attempt to resolve the wage dispute that has resulted in strike action and a cement shortage.

On 5 March the union served a strike notice on the company after rejecting a 6.5 per cent wage offer. The union’s president general, Ancel Roget, has given instructions that the letter be sent to the Ministry of Labour requesting intervention.  Last week, the Ministry stated that both parties needed to request the Ministry’s intervention towards resolving the wage dispute.

TCL general manager Satnarine Bachew yesterday said that returning to the bargaining table was now in the hands of the Ministry of Labour.

Speaking to the Trinidad Express, Bachew said: "It is out of our hands. We have already indicated to them since last week Tuesday that we are ready to come to the table. Anytime we get that call, we are prepared," he said.

Asked about whether the company is prepared to raise its 6.5 per cent offer.

Bachew said: "When we get to the negotiating table we will talk about it, that is what negotiations are about."

He said TCL sold about 1500t of cement from its silos at the weekend when 53 tankers came to the plant and were successfully loaded.

Two shipments of bagged cement came into the country between Thursday and Sunday, said Bachew.  The company, he said, expects more shipments this week. Bachew said the plan is to get the market "back to as normal as possible" by this weekend.