NP workers during their protest over the planned sale of the gas stations yesterday their Sea Lots job site

Otto Carrington

National Petroleum Company Limited staff staged a protest at their Sea Lots head office yesterday calling on the Government to let them know their fate.

The worker’s concerns are during the Finance Minister Budget presentation it is proposed that the Government has decided to remove fixed price margins on liquid petroleum products except for LPG, allowing distributors to decide their own prices.

Also allowing for all gas stations owned by National Petroleum to be offered up for sale to the private sector, with first preference is given to existing dealers and concessionaires.

The workers were gathered at the front gate of the Sea Lots office.

Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union is the representing union for the workers.

“We fear, yes we fear and all workers do have that fear we have seen Arcelor Mittal close down, we have seen Petrotrin close down and we are seeing something similar happening to NP am not saying that is what we want to happen”, the NP OWTU Branch president Walter Jules told the Trinidad Guardian.

The national executive of the union claims they have written to the management and so far, the water allege that the management seemed unaware of the plans of the Finance Minister in the budget.

Jules said workers want to know if there would be job losses, if there will be job cuts, how would the liberalising of NP and the sale of the stations would affect them because :we know it will affect us in one way or the other whether it is positive or negative we know it will have some kind of effect so we just want a sense of comfort.”

NP at present hires over 4,000 workers.

“We believe we should be part of the discussion apart of the changes taking place it is only fair some of the workers here would have spent their entire life some workers here are on thirty years of service, “ Jules said.