17 March, 2020The Oilfields Workers of Trinidad and Tobago is calling on the multinational BP to renegotiate a new pricing formula agreed with state-owned energy company which is damaging the fragile island economy. Companies in the petrochemical and manufacturing sector are struggling to cope with the sharp increase in price, and this has led to plant closures and job losses.
The union has said that the new arrangement, will cause prices to rise by 100 per cent. Many companies that use natural gas will have to close down plants, as they won’t be able to afford the higher prices. The shutdowns will result in mass layoffs and wreak economic and social havoc on thousands of workers and their families.
"This will generate a series of plant closures. YARA International has already closed one of its plants and will have to close another two, which will affect hundreds of workers. The entire Point Lisas Industrial Estate, the heart of the country’s petrochemical sector, is also facing imminent closure,"
says Ancel Roget, president of OWTU and the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM).
"The natural gas is a resource that belongs to the people of Trinidad and Tobago, who are clearly not benefitting from their country's wealth. We can safely say that the total shutdown of this key sector will only bring more unbearable pain and suffering to our people."
IndustriALL sees energy as one of the major issues on the political agenda and advocates for a model that both protects the environment and recognizes energy as a prerequisite for the modern economy, as a source of decent work and as an essential component of a fair and equitable society.
In a letter to he CEO of BP Global Group, Bernard Looney, IndustriALL's secretary general Valter Sanches, calls for a new pricing arrangement in Trinidad and Tobago:
"In light of the unintended social and economic effect the new pricing formula has had on workers, industrial sectors, and the economy of the country as a whole, IndustriALL Global Union urges BP to reconsider and renegotiate its new pricing formula with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago."