Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union president general Ancel Roget is urging Petrotrin workers not to accept any termination packages from the company until an appeal of the matter is heard in the Appeal Court.
In an early morning text exchange with Guardian Media hours after Justice Appeal Charmaine Pemberton blocked the injunction awarded to the OWTU by the Industrial Court, Roget said he planned to advise the workers to not accept any package from the company "while the injunction appeal is being heard."
Petrotrin can resume termination of workers this morning after a High Court judge halted the injunction granted to the Oilfields’ Workers Trade Union hours ago.
Justice of Appeal Charmaine Pemberton blocked the injunction awarded by the Industrial Court around 11.32 last night and fixed the hearing to resume before a three-member panel of the Appeal Court for October 18.
Lawyers for Petrotrin immediately muzzled its chairman Wilfred Espinet after he criticised the Industrial Court during a radio programme on Tuesday.
Espinet was a call-in guest on i95. 5 FM and was questioned on the relevance of both an industrial court and a union.
In a telephone interview with Guardian Media after that radio interview, Espinet said that he can no longer speak on the issue of the Industrial Court or its decision as it could be seen as contempt of the court.
As many as 2,000 workers could be facing the axe as the Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) rebrands itself into the TSTT Group of Companies by November 1.
The company, according to the representing union, the Communication Workers' Union (CWU), said that number included the 1,600 to 1,700 permanent workers and an additional 200 or so casual and temporary workers.