Unions plan to shut down country on Friday over wage offer

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Chief Personnel Officer Commander Dr Daryl Dindial – JEFF K MAYERS

The National Union of Government and Federated Workers (NUGFW) has called on public-sector workers to stay away from work and come out in a mass protest on Friday in Port of Spain.

This move is part of NUGFW’s plan to shut the country down as a sign that it rejects the two per cent wage increase offer by the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) for the negotiating period 2014-2021.

Last Thursday CPO Dr Daryl Dindial’s counterproposal saw no increase for 2014-2017, one per cent for 2018, no increase for 2019-2020 and one per cent for 2021.

On Friday unions vowed to teach the government a lesson for what they described as total disrespect for the working class.

After meeting on Friday afternoon to plan the next move, NUGFW announced via Facebook on Monday that it would flood the streets with up to 20,000 public servants on May 27 from 9 am.

The union called on all daily-rated and monthly-paid workers, health and corporation workers, workers at the Water and Sewerage Authority, Public Transport Service Corporation workers, MTS and all others disappointed by the CPO’s offer to gather at Memorial Park.

“We need numbers, we need each of you in the most epic march to organise our strength and end wage slavery. United we stand in the fight for our freedom,” the union said.

The march will move west around the Queen’s Park Savannah, turning left onto St Clair Avenue and left onto Alexandra Street. From there protesters will turn left onto Tragarete Road, turning right by Green Corner onto St Vincent Street to Independence Square at the Cipriani statue.

The group will then move to the Brian Lara Promenade, and gather opposite the Financial Complex for a public rally.