Friday, July 18, 2014

Ex-Caroni workers give PM ultimatum

Story Created: Jul 18, 2014 at 9:01 PM ECT
Story Updated: Jul 18, 2014 at 9:01 PM ECT

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 There is no greater injustice than what has been done against the former Caroni workers.
This was the unrelen­ting cry from ex-Caroni sugar workers who participated in a march through Port of Spain to the Prime Minister’s Office in St Clair yesterday.

Doularchan Chattergoon, one of the former su­gar workers, stated: “It has been almost 11 years since the closure of Caroni (1975) Ltd, and many of us are still waiting for our VSEP (vol­untary separation of employment) packages. Everyone else but the former sugar workers got what they were promised. It is time to demand what is ours.”

President general of the All Trinidad General Workers’ Trade Union (ATSGWTU) Nirvan Maharaj led the march to the Prime Minister’s Office, with the intention of presenting her with a letter entailing their grievances and demanding resolution of the situation.

He said their grievan­ces ranged from unfulfilled promises of agricultu­ral leases, granted leases with no clear land location, and cases of people being allocated lands, dislocated and yet to be reallocated.

“We are giving her ten days to respond. If there is none, there will be former Caroni workers converging in front of her office every single day with placards protesting till we get a response. If this Government cannot take care of us, then maybe the time has come to create a new machinery to take care of ourselves,” Maharaj said.

The crowd was in loud agreement it had been too long and the time had come for all former sugar workers to collectively take a stand.

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