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Financial News

Sep 2009 Financial News

TSTT unaware of Govt 'plan to restructure'

Sep 14, 2009

THE Communications Workers' Union (CWU) believes the Government has plans to drastically change the structure of Telecommunication Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT), but the company says it has no knowledge of this.

Lyle Townsend, secretary general of the CWU, claimed yesterday that a Cabinet note had been passed with a directive to transform TSTT in a similar way to the incorporation of the Board and Inland Revenue and the Customs and Excise Division into the Trinidad and Tobago Revenue Authority.

"If that comes to pass, many of these workers will not be working here," said Townsend, who stated the union and, by extension, the people would not take such a move very well. "If they take that step, they will have to take a step back... The people of Trinidad and Tobago will not allow the Government to do that to its public servants," said Townsend.

Graham Suite, corporate communication manager of TSTT, however, stated that he did not know of any such plan to restructure TSTT.

Townsend was speaking at a news conference held by the CWU to address the latest issues arising out of their long-standing dispute with TSTT, stemming out of wage disputes and the subsequent suspension of 75 workers involved in an incident on July 7.

Joseph Remy, president of the CWU, questioned the tactics and validity of TSTT's actions in relation to the disciplinary hearings, stating they may have stemmed from traditional guidelines of tribunals sending letters to suspended workers, requesting a written explanation of their actions.

Suite stated that the letters were sent out to speed up the disciplinary process, pointing out that despite the workers being suspended for two months, little headway had been made into the tribunal due to union tactics. The CWU and TSTT have been at loggerheads over contract negotiations since 2007.

Article by: Peter Christopher
Source: Trinidad Express
Date Published: Saturday, September 12th 2009