THE Communication Workers Union (CWU) says the state-owned Telecommunication Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) is preparing to send home hundreds of workers through what it claims to be a “union busting tactic”.
CWU secretary general Clyde Elder said the union held talks with the TSTT vice president for human resources, industrial relations and corporate support services, Carol David, regarding new structures for the telecommunications company.
He told reporters that the company, has within a one month period, sent three proposals, suggesting on each occasion a reduction in staff from 1,500 to between 700 and 900.
He said in its latest communicated, November 12, the company attached a list of over 50 positions to be made redundant.
“We see it as nothing but a union busting tactic because while the unionised workforce is being decreased and depleted, the company has increased the non-unionised workforce.
“It is clear to us what they are looking to do is to decimate the CWU, bust the union and the government is intent on busting the unions,” he added.
Elder said while the company has indicated that there are people who are of ‘surplus requirement,’ it has nonetheless refused “to give us a number and names until we have completed discussions on the structure”.
He said he believes the action by the company is a government initiative that started off at the state-owned oil company PETROTRIN where thousands of workers were recently placed on the breadline.
“We expect it to continue at places like T&TEC (Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Company), the Port and it is all in an effort by the government to silence loud, large, right thinking, up standing progressive unions”.
There has so far been no response from TSTT to the allegations made by the CWU.