Government

NATUC: Stop delaying settlement of outstanding wage negotiations

The National Trade Union Centre (NATUC) is renewing its calls for government to address all outstanding negotiations without further delay.

In an official statement issued today, NATUC argues that government’s excuses—that the “country has no money, so wages and salaries increases cannot be paid at this time” or the other narrative “if we pay the increase  of wages and salaries, government workers will have to be retrenched”—are misleading  and calculated to put fear in the  hearts of workers.

Maraj: “Allegations against UNC very serious…”

Former government minister, Ralph Maraj, says it is critical that the United National Congress clear the air—very quickly—on allegations of its seeming relationship with Cambridge Analytica and the possibly illegal use of citizens’ private information for political purposes.

He believes the probe, which the national security minister signalled yesterday that government intends to launch, will answer several crucial questions.

Point Fortin Hospital to be completed in 2020

The Point Fortin hospital is set to be completed and opened within the next four months.

The announcement was made by Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh during the Urgent Questions session in the Senate, today. 

“My information is it will be opened by March 2020,” Deyalsingh said.

This, as two subcontractors took legal action against a company linked to the main contractor, over funding for work on the Point Fortin Hospital, Austrian firm Vamed. 

PNM calls Watson Duke’s statements “offensive”

The People's National Movement (PNM) has responded to what it says were the “offensive remarks” made by president of the Public Service Association, Watson Duke.

At a news conference yesterday, Mr Duke urged all public servants who have not received a pay increase since 2013—particularly those who support the ruling People’s National Movement—not to vote in the upcoming Local Government Elections.

FUAD KHAN: “We did not hide any H1N1 data…”

Former health minister, Dr Fuad Khan, is demanding that the current health minister retract his allegation that the People’s Partnership Government hid critical information on the H1N1 virus and related deaths in the country.

The call comes in the wake of statements Terrence Deyalsingh made at a PNM political meeting in Tunapuna, this week.

According to Minister Deyalsingh, former Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar allegedly instructed public officials to hide swine flu mortality statistics, during the period 2013 to 2015.

JSC on Energy Affairs met today

The Joint Select Committee on Energy Affairs had their 13th meeting today at the office of the Parliament.

The meeting was held in camera (private). This is the first meeting of the energy JSC in roughly two years.

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Unipet shutdown affects thousands

Thou­sands of dri­vers were af­fect­ed yes­ter­day as Unipet’s 21 ser­vice sta­tions across the coun­try re­mained closed when deal­ers sought to send a mes­sage to the Gov­ern­ment that the prof­its they were mak­ing were way too low for them to con­sid­er stay­ing in busi­ness.

The clo­sure of the sta­tions led to pres­sure on the 100-plus NP ser­vice sta­tions that re­mained open as work­ers at those sta­tions found them­selves flood­ed with more ve­hi­cles than they usu­al­ly catered for daily.

Cedros Councillor: “Fix the floodgates…”

Local government representative for the Cedros community, Shankar Teelucksingh, says they are bracing for the sea to invade more of the area, as weather patterns continue to change, and sea levels rise.

Recent viral videos in social media show sea water entering people’s homes.

Councillor Shankar Teelucksingh told us the Bonasse Housing Scheme was affected the most by the recent invading sea waters. He notes in addition, fisherfolk were hard hit as their camps were flooded, their nets damaged and their boats swamped. Some 200 fishermen were affected, overall.

NP: No fuel shutdown

The Na­tion­al Pe­tro­le­um Mar­ket­ing Com­pa­ny (NP) has sought to dis­pel claims that of a pro­posed shut­down of fu­el op­er­a­tions due to oc­cur to­day.

How­ev­er, the Pe­tro­le­um Deal­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (PDA) is not say­ing for cer­tain if it sanc­tioned a shut­down.

INTERNATIONAL: Mexican president - police 'did right' to free El Chapo's son

Mexico's president has defended freeing drug kingpin Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán's son soon after his arrest.

When Ovidio Guzmán López was seized at a house on a judge's warrant in the city of Culiacán, cartel gunmen fought street battles with security forces.

At least eight people were reportedly killed and 21 wounded, with vehicles left burning in the streets.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the decision to cancel the arrest had saved lives.

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