PM: Caridoc not for sale

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. –

THE Prime Minister said Government has no plans to sell or lease Caribbean Dockyard and Engineering Services Ltd (Caridoc).

Dr Rowley made this comment in response to questions from UNC MPs David Lee and Rudranath Indarsingh in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

Government views Caridoc as important to its economic diversification efforts in the area of marine technology.

Rowley said Government appointed a qualified group of citizens to the company’s board of directors.

“They are currently assessing the needs of this company and that in the context of the national economy.”

Government has authorised the National Infrastructure Development Company (Nidco) to procure an appropriate floating dry dock facility.

Rowley said this facility will allow Caridoc to service “all of our national marine assets.”

These include the fast ferries used on the domestic seabridge and Coast Guard vessels.

He said procuring this facility is important because some time ago, the existing dry dock sank where it was.

Indarsingh claimed that Rowley’s statement could be a prelude to workers at Caridoc being retrenched.

Rowley told Indarsingh, “Nothing that I have said has anything to do with retrenchment or the workers per se.”

He reiterated he was referring to Caridoc’s existence and future role in the economy.

Rowley hinted that Caridoc could also provide ship repair services to vessels from other parts of the Caricom region.

He said the company would need workers to perform those services.’

On Monday, a group of Caridoc workers expressed concern about being furloughed by the company for 90 days.

A letter sent to the furloughed staff dated May 16, signed by Chief Operations Officer Wayne Beharry, said the reason for the furlough was because the company was in a bad financial position.

A total of 137 workers were furloughed,