OWTU seeks settlement for Yara workers’ wage talks

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Yara workers walk through the rain with their union representatives, led by OWTU president general Ancel Roget, as they make their way to deliver a letter to management highlighting concerns about stalled negotiations. Photo by Lincoln Holder

OILFIELD Workers Trade Union (OWTU) president general Ancel Roget said the union believes now is the time for Yara Trinidad Ltd to reach an agreement with the union on outstanding wage negotiations with its workers.

He said this before delivering a letter to the company ‘s management at Yara’s offices in Point Lisas on Thursday.

“We are in a time of very high ammonia prices. Therefore there is no time better than now to get justifiably what the workers are owed.”

For the quarter ending March, ammonia was trading in the United States at approximately US$1,117 per metric tonne (MT). Ammonia trading prices in Europe over the same period was US$1,550 per MT.

Yara produces, distributes, and sells nitrogen-based mineral fertilizers and related industrial products. Ammonia is a basic building block for ammonium nitrate fertilisers.

The letter which Roget delivered to Yara’s management contained a proposal for the 2022-2025 collective bargaining period.

Roget also said the OWTU has another proposal before the company for the 2019-2022 period which Yara has not properly responded to as yet.

“We are going to ensure that both periods are treated with the level of respect and dignity.”

Both proposals deal with wages for Yara’s hourly, weekly and monthly-paid workers.

Roget said, “We are prepared to do all that is necessary within the ambit of the law, within the ambit of industrial relations to settle these negotiations.”

He added, “We are not prepared to allow this to go to court.”