OWTU, Petrotrin sign MOA on restructuring

Thursday, April 5, 2018 - 06:45

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) has been established by the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) and Petrotrin to establish a working committee to oversee the restructuring of the struggling oil company over the next 18 months.

At the OWTU’s Public Policy Breakfast Forum at Paramount Building, San Fernando, yesterday, the union’s president general Ancel Roget gave an assurance to Petrotrin workers and the public that the restructuring exercise will now be in good hands due to the union’s involvement.

The MOA paves the way for the establishment of the division of Petrotrin into four entities that would form the foundation for a hopeful return to profitability.

The four entities the union proposed were: Land: North and East (LNE), Trinmar Offshore Operations, Exploration and Production and the Augustus Long Hospital.

Following a 13-hour meeting between the OWTU and representatives of Petrotrin’s Board of Directors at Paramount Building on Tuesday, an agreement was signed by Robert Riley, advisor to Petrotrin’s Board and Roget.

In the memorandum, Petrotrin and the OWTU agreed to establish a working committee comprising representatives of both parties that will work over the next 18 months to “address, resolve and agree on the four organisational structures, work processes and skills/competencies and manpower requirements which will make the company internationally competitive, thus ensuring its survival, sustainability and profitability.

“The parties agree to a timetable for these meetings commencing in the month of April 2018 with the enhancement of operational efficiencies, reduction of waste and the promotion of the business of the company.”

Roget told the audience, comprising of trade unionists of the Joint Trade Union Movement, that the OWTU will be ensuring the viability, sustainability and profitability of the company.

“We were able to sign a Memorandum of Agreement detailing how this company is going to be divided, the work that is going to be done and the time-frame which we have to complete the reorganising of the company. Rest assured, you the public of T&T, that the Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago is in good hands and we will ensure that this company is here to stay for the benefit of all,” Roget said.

But while there were high hopes for Petrotrin, Roget criticised the Government for the state of labour relations and unemployment, saying that it had failed at regulating multinational companies. Roget said many foreign companies operating in T&T were filling positions with foreigners while there were qualified and competent citizens being overlooked.

“Our Government stands idly by and allows that to happen like everything else. We have no choice but to understand the environment which we are operating in and to prepare ourselves to call it as we see it and of course, most importantly, take action to defend those assets and to defend our labour and invaluable contributions,” Roget said.

Petrotin officials did not respond to queries on the details of the MOA.

Source: www.guardian.co.tt (Kevon Felmine)