Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Sugar union blames Govt for ex-Caroni worker’s murder


The All-Trinidad Sugar and General Workers’ Trade Union says Government must take responsibility for the brutal murder of unionist Baldath Balgobin.

Rudranath Indarsingh, president general of the ATSGWTU, called on Commissioner of Police Trevor Paul, yesterday, to spare no efforts in hunting down and bringing to justice Balgobin’s killer, or killers.

The body of Balgobin, 51, was found bound in the trunk of his taxi behind Presentation College in Chaguanas, on Saturday morning.

Indarsingh said the Felicity father of three was a man of tremendous commitment and humility.

He added that the union felt Balgobin met his death because of the failure of Government and Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Christine Sahadeo, to honour its commitments to former Caroni (1975) Ltd employees in a timely manner.

“Therefore, the union is of the opinion that the blood of Mr Balgobin is on the hands of the Government and Minister Sahadeo,” Indarsingh asserted.

He said Balgobin turned to plying his car for hire to look after the welfare of his family, after he was retrenched from his job at Caroni because of Government’s restructuring policy.

“If Government had distributed the agricultural plots of land to the ex-employees, Mr Balgobin would have been generating revenue for the well-being of his family by being involved in an agricultural enterprise,” Indarsingh argued.

He said Balgobin was denied further income because the Government had not considered the union’s proposal for lowering the entitlement age for receiving a pension from the daily-paid contributory pension plan.

With the crime rate escalating, he said he feared many more ex-sugar workers’ families may suffer the same fate as Balgobin. YW