The Federation of Independent Trade Unions and Non-Governmental Organisations (FITUN) is calling on Government, and the senior management at the Telecommunication Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT), to sit down with the workers’ representative union—the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU)—and work out a way to save the telecoms company.
FITUN president, Joseph Remy, in a statement issued today, said FITUN was expressing “strong solidarity” with the CWU and TSTT workers, as they face another potential threat to the company’s well-being and the spectre of retrenchment looms overhead.
The FITUN leader expressed concern that TSTT executives seem bent on a path—similar to other occasions in the past—that would jeopardise the solvency of the company, and which would have the effect of threatening workers jobs, especially given the current economic climate.
The following is the full text of the statement issued by FITUN…
The Federation of Independent Trade Unions and Non-Governmental Organisations, FITUN, would like to express its Strong Solidarity with the Communication Workers’ Union, CWU, and by extension the workers at the Telecommunication Services of Trinidad and Tobago, TSTT, who are currently facing another veiled threat on their Job Security and livelihood.
We strongly condemn the Government, the Shareholders of TSTT, the Board of Directors and the Executive Management for the callous and cavalier manner that they are treating with the future livelihood of the loyal TSTT employees, who are also citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.
Over the years, we have witnessed an inept leadership at TSTT who floundered golden opportunities for the company to be the preferred Telecommunications Provider of Choice in the local market. Successive Chief Executive Officers, CEO, ably supported by the Board of Directors and the shareholders, would have pursued quite questionable and reckless strategic initiatives that would have only resulted in Job Cuts at the Company and the positioning of the Company for acquisition by predator private sector interests with political ties to the Government. We recall the failed Fiber to the Home Project, FTTH, which had the potential to position TSTT as the premier Telecommunications Solutions Provider, but which crashed due to wanton corruption and nepotism. We also recall the questionable acquisition of Amplia by the then Emile Elias led Board which brought no noticeable value add to the operations of TSTT. All that this did was to re-introduce the Cable &Wireless operative, Lisa Agard as the CEO.
These past actions and the current direction being pursued by the Company led by Lisa Agard, are clearly part of the overall plot to decimate the Workers Representative Trade Union, the CWU, devalue the value of the shareholding of the Company and set the platform for an acquisition by their party financiers.
We demand that the Government, the Shareholders and the Executive Management, withdraw this current Plan and engage the Recognised Majority Union, the CWU, in meaningful discussions with the expressed objective of developing strategies to reposition TSTT as the preferred provider of choice in Trinidad and Tobago. We vehemently condemn this action that is being pursued by TSTT and we demand that the Government changes its policy position with respect to TSTT and direct that there must be NO RETRENCHMENT at TSTT.