NATUC to attend Labour Day celebrations in Tobago

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Hayden Duke, PSA industrial relations officer, Tobago region. –

The National Trade Union Centre (NATUC) will attend Labour Day celebrations in Tobago on June 19.

Hayden Duke, Public Services Association’s (PSA’s) industrial relations officer, Tobago region, said so in a Newsday interview on Friday.

“There are several unions that are a part of NATUC and members of those unions will be here to lend solidarity with our workers in Tobago. There will also be a strong PSA contingent from Trinidad coming up for Labour Day,” he said.

Members of NATUC include the National Union of Government and Federated Workers; All Trinidad Sugar and General Workers Trade Union; Banking, Insurance & General Workers Trade Union; Trinidad & Tobago Unified Teachers Association; Oilfields Workers Trade Union; and Seamen and Waterfront Workers Trade Union.

Duke, who was engaged in back-to-back meetings on Friday, declined to give further details about the activities that are being planned. He said that the plans should be finalised by Monday.

Duke said the government’s two per cent wage offer to public servants, which has been rejected by the trade union movement, will dominate this year’s event.

“We want the government to understand where we sit as a working class on the issue of negotiations. There is no pretty way of saying that they are joking.”

On May 27, hundreds of public servants, led by the leaders of their respective trade unions, marched through the streets of Port of Spain to protest Chief Personnel Officer Dr Daryl Dindial’s two per cent wage offer for the period 2014-2021.

Tobago’s public servants did not attend the march but showed their solidarity by wearing black to their respective places of work.

The Prime Minister has called on public servants to exercise patience. He said despite the frustration they feel, they should remember that no public-sector jobs were cut throughout the two years of the covid19 pandemic.

On Friday, Duke urged Tobago’s working class to attend the Labour Day celebration on the island.

“This is not just for public servants but workers in general. There can be no representation without participation.”

Tobago has roughly 4,000 public servants employed with the Tobago House of Assembly.