Al-Rawi: Unions yet to provide alternative to Government’s vaxx policy

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Faris Al-Rawi –

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi is again calling on the trade union movement to provide recommendations or alternatives to its impending vaccination policy for public servants.

Asked for an update on Sunday, Al-Rawi said he did not receive the letter the Joint Trade Union Movement’s (JTUM) general secretary Ozzi Warwick sent to him last Thursday. The trade union and Al-Rawi met last month to discuss the policy.

In December, the Prime Minister announced that all public servants and employees at state agencies, come mid-January, will be required to be vaccinated to go to work or choose to stay home without pay.

Al-Rawi said, however, he read the letter in the newspaper with “great interest.”

“I intend on replying to that position and in asking for further engagement by the trade union sector.”

He said he was still awaiting pointed recommendations from the unions.

“That is what the unions propose as an alternative solution that will treat with the pandemic.

“I expect to be able to write to them. Tomorrow I will dispatch the letter that I settled already to them. Hopefully I will see that letter they wrote to me. I have not seen it yet, I have been looking for it.

“But in any event, I will call and ask for a proper copy of it. I intend to continue the discussion that is afoot, very importantly to get the information that they think is recommended in this regard.”

Al-Rawi said what the Government was told by the unions is, “’Don’t do X’ But we are not told what to do instead.

“In a pandemic, in a situation where in Tobago, we are begging for people to bury their dead quickly and in Trinidad, where we are looking for more mortuary space and we are looking at the occupancy and the omicron variant going where it is.

“It is important that people do speak with particulars and I respectfully do request, from the unions, a statement as to what it is they do propose. Not how they propose it to be done but what they propose to be done,” he said.

Asked when the union’s recommendations are received, how those would weigh on the Government’s decision, Al-Rawi said the union’s recommendations would weigh heavily as he was interested in having as broad a perspective and recommendation pot as he could have.