Senator Hassel Bacchus, Minister of Digital Transformation.

National telecoms company, Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) is refuting claims by the Communications Workers Union that Minister of Digital Transformation, Senator Hassel Bacchus, was given special payments upon his retirement from the company.

In an official statement issued last night, TSTT accused the Communications Workers Union of making “some patently false allegations against the Board and management of TSTT” which are “simply unfounded”.

In its statement on the matter, the company asserts that no preferential treatment was given to Minister Bacchus, and any payments made to him were in accordance with standard HR practise.

TSTT said:

“TSTT treats all employee and HR-related matters in the strictest confidence and therefore will not disclose any details of a former employee’s contractual arrangements inclusive of pension benefits, irrespective of the individual’s position or tenure.

However, TSTT wishes to state categorically that save for the transfer of a vehicle, no ex-gratia payment was made to Senator Hassel Bacchus on his departure from the organization.

TSTT can also confirm that the process used to determine Senator Bacchus’ pension benefits, after 31 years of service, was in full compliance with the provisions of the Trust Deed and Rules of the requisite pension plan.

The calculation and payment of pension benefits were administered by the independent Trustees of the Pension Plan and as such no payments were made directly by the Company, nor was the Company involved in the computation.

Any speculation questioning the integrity of the process is simply unfounded.”

In a Facebook live broadcast on Friday, CWU Secretary General Clyde Elder alleged that there was a payment of more than $2 million and a monthly pension of $56,000 to now Minister of Digital Transformation Senator Hassel Bacchus, after his resignation from TSTT.

Elder called for a full investigation into what he says was preferential treatment afforded to Minister Bacchus by the company, prior to his becoming a Government Senator and Minister.