Strike action causes Tobago shortage

Strike action causes Tobago shortage
Published: 23 March 2012

Tagged Under: Trinidad Cement Company 

Building contractors in Tobago have been affected by strike action at Trinidad Cement’s plant in Claxton Bay, the Trinidad and Tobago Express reports.

Local companies told the daily that sales had only just started to improve since a slowdown over the Christmas period but the dispute between TCL and the Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU) have placed business owners back to “square one.”

The month-old strike is due to members of the OWTU refusing to accept anything less than a 12 per cent wage increase, having rejected TCL’s offer of 6.5 per cent.

One hardware store owner said: "We have contractors sending home all their staff, because they can't get cement. So everything is on a standstill right now.”  While another noted: "The dry season is fluctuating. It seems we have so much rain, and when you have a week of good sunshine and people want to work, there is no cement. So then it is affecting everyone across the board."

President of the Contractors Association in Tobago Trevor James said the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) should negotiate with the government to ensure cement is stockpiled on the island.

"All efforts should be made to have the negotiation process started between the THA and the government, to ensure cement is imported directly to Tobago.  At this time in Tobago one bag of cement is US$80, and it is envisioned all concrete products will see significant increases," James told the Express yesterday.