File photo: Rudranath Indarsingh
MP for Couva South Rudranath Indarsingh has said the Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) has acted unlawfully in retrenching 468 workers.
Speaking during a press conference at the Office of the Opposition in Port of Spain on Wednesday, Indarsingh slammed the telecommunications company for retrenching the workers.
He said, “The notices were not in compliance with the laws of TT, the Severance and Benefits Sct and what is expected with good industrial relations practices in TT.”
Indarsingh said workers were supposed to be given 45 days’ notice but were instead retrenched with immediate effect.
“This is why I believe the Industrial Court granted a stay of the retrenchment.”
Speaking on TV6 on Tuesday, Communication Workers Union (CWU) head Clyde Elder said the union was sent a letter along with a flash drive containing retrenchment notices to the workers earlier that day.
The union secured an injunction from the Industrial Court to stop TSTT from retrenching workers represented by the CWU for 14 days.
Indarsingh accused the government of never having a plan to restructure or revamp the company.
He said this was the third mass retrenchment sinch 2018, when 512 employees, including Elder, received dismissal letters in November and 200 more in December.
“Employees and the CWU must understand this is part of the government’s agenda to (eliminate) majority unions, collective bargaining and compromise health and safety standards and laws in the workplace.”
Indarsingh also questioned the function of the Cabinet-appointed sub-committee, headed by Minister of Housing and Urban Development Camille Robinson-Regis.
He said the sub-committee has not been acting to review the government’s 51 per cent majority shareholding in TSTT.
“I am prosecuting this matter because we believe that the Prime Minister and his gang want to sell off the majority shareholding.”
He said the government wants to sell (its 53 per cent share) to friends, family and business partners, adding the government was trying to systematically reduce the workforce.