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[Trinidad] NP workers threaten gas shortage

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[Trinidad] NP workers threaten gas shortage

Unread post by bimjim » Sat May 21, 2011

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/business ... 75969.html

[Trinidad] NP workers threaten gas shortage
By Renuka Singh
May 21, 2011

National Petroleum workers threatened yesterday there could be the possibility of gas shortages in the near future if their wage demands are not met.

The workers staged an early-morning protest outside NP's head office at Sea Lots, saying they refused the five per cent offer currently on the negotiating table.

The workers, led by Peter Ransome, secretary of the Port of Spain Marketing branch, said the current offer expires this month. "We have been negotiating the five per cent offer since 2010 and we want to company to know that the union and the workers refuse to accept that five per cent," he said.

The workers are represented by the Oilfields Workers' Trade Union (OWTU).

Ransome said the workers were prepared to spend the day off their jobs to highlight their refusal.

The Piarco International Airport was the first to feel the effects of the protest, as NP workers are said to be the only ones authorised to refuel the planes.

Ramesh Lutchmedial, director general of the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority, said airline traffic experienced about 30-minute delays before 9 a.m. yesterday "as a result of the NP protest".

"By about five to nine though, we got word that the workers were back on the job," he said.

Lutchmedial said there were no reports of further delays after 9 a.m.

Ransome accepted that their action would have a ripple effect on the public, but said they were hoping for "understanding".

"The workers have to live too and they cannot live on just five per cent," he said.

Ransome said there would be more protest action in the future, but said he could not say when and where it would happen again. The protest action took workers away from the Port of Spain, Piarco and Tobago offices.

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