RADHICA DE SILVA
Former workers of Lennox Petroleum faced off with police outside the home of the company’s Chief Executive Officer—Wayne Lennox Persad—during a protest demonstration, this morning.
The officers were forced to call for backup as the workers refused to move, saying they are owed millions of dollars in backpay.
“The police protecting the rich and mighty,” one man shouted while others clapped and marched in a circle.
Having won two court cases at the Industrial Court and the Court of Appeal, the workers accused the company’s directors of defying the court order to pay their retroactive pay owed for the period January 2016 to December 2018.
The workers had gone to Persad’s home after the company’s directors failed to meet with them to discuss when the monies will be paid.
They had staged two successive protests outside the company’s headquarters at Princess Margaret’s Street in San Fernando.
When they failed to achieve a meeting, the workers decided to go to Persad’s house at Sumadh Gardens to meet with him.
Lennox Petroleum which issued a statement to Guardian Media last week, says it does not owe any backpay to workers. The company acknowledged that there is an Order dated the 8th July 2020, which orders the Company to pay retroactive monies to workers.
“We appealed the said Order and filed for a Stay of Execution. When the Stay of Execution first came up for hearing on the 30th September 2020, the Union gave an undertaking not to enforce the said Order pending the determination of the Stay of Execution Application. On the 23rd November 2020, the Stay of Execution was refused. However, the Appeal was expedited and is carded to be heard on the 28th June 2021,” the company said.
Guardian Media will bring you more as this story unfolds.