TSTT chastises CWU's lack of commitmen

Trinidad - t TSTT is becoming increasingly concerned about the sincerity of the commitment by the CWU to ensure the best interests of the Junior and Senior staff they represent. According to Edghill Messiah, Vice President Human Resources and Administration, the present atmosphere set by the CWU is not good for customers, for employees, for the company or the country. “Managers in almost every company in T&T enjoy the basic right to determine its optimal staffing level and a ratio of permanent staff to contracted support. This has been a reality in this country for decades and it has not adversely affected employment anywhere, from the corner shop to the conglomerate.” Messiah lamented that the CWU would let this be a sticking point in mediation talks initiated since last year and persisting up to this day. “The CWU stubbornly resists this business reality and would keep TSTT in the dark ages.” Messiah said when the parties met last year, TSTT placed salary increases, Employee stock ownership and other financial benefits on the negotiation table in exchange for greater control to manage staff levels and the retaining of contractors among other things. “Almost 12 months ago the CWU turned their back on the offer. They walked away from the chance to conclude an agreement so it is amusing to now hear Mr. Julien and others twist the truth to escape a very harsh judgement from the employees that elected them.” As to the CWU’s claim that TSTT is to be sold to Cable and Wireless, Messiah said the management of the company was unaware of any such intention and at any event, such decisions would only be made by the owners of the company - the government and Cable and Wireless, not the management. Messiah was also concerned about the CWU’s persistent calls to make employees illegally abandon their place of work to participate in mid-day marches. He said this did nothing to advance negotiations or resolve the other several outstanding Industrial relations matters directly impacting on staff. “ TSTT is doing its part as a responsible employer by pursuing negotiations with the CWU and simultaneously offering employees as much relief as can be legally permitted. People would be alarmed to know that while TSTT has offered employees the option to get almost immediate cash advances on outstanding salaries pending the final determination of a collective agreement through negotiations or through the industrial court. However, the CWU has been attempting to dissuade employees from making the most of this opportunity”. Messiah regretted that the CWU appeared to be losing touch with reality.


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