Petrotrin/OWTU Interim Settlement

The Employers Consultative Association of Trinidad and Tobago (ECA) wishes to recognise the efforts made to avert the proposed strike action by the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU).

However, while the announcement of this preliminary agreement between the Union and state-owned PETROTRIN has brought about some level of peace in the minds of the public, the relative impact to the financial health of the organisation and, by extension, the socio-economic situation unfortunately remain unchanged.   What remains clear is that the company will now be further burdened with an increased wage bill, and since this is an interim settlement, there will be on-going negotiations to arrive at a final settlement for the two (2) negotiation periods in question.

While the proposal for funding this increase by reducing waste and improving efficiencies is a welcomed initiative, these benefits will not be immediately realised based on Petrotrin President, Mr Fitzroy Harewood’s admission that the company continues to take “the strategic decisions to restructure”. There is therefore an immediate need to fund the next payroll, which will reflect this 5% increase at the cost of approximately TT$80 million dollars and the ECA questions from where will this money be sourced?

The ECA will continue to monitor these developments and remain optimistic for a speedy resolution as negotiations continue between Petrotrin and the OWTU.

We encourage good sense to prevail in the national interest as we collectively endeavour to overcome our current challenges and achieve a better quality of life for all.

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