Steel workers in the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago are standing up and fighting for their jobs and their rights in the midst of the steel crisis gripping the country.
The lastest protest organized by the Steel Workers’ Union of Trinidad and Tobago (SWUTT) took place earlier this week.
Mass-layoffs started with the closure of Arcelor Mittal and quickly spread to other companies in the sector, Central Steel Ltd (Centrin) and Tube City IMS. The workers, already devastated by the loss of their jobs, then found their employers were refusing to pay severance as required by law.
SWUTT President Christopher Henry decried the fact that only severance payment made to date was in the case of the family of David Francis, a worker who hanged himself earlier this week.
“Why could the company not have done the right thing David was pushed to this extreme? How many more workers will have to die before these companies pay what they owe?”
“The social fallout from these mass layoffs will continue and it will get worse” warned Henry.
The union is demanding that the government step in and force the companies to uphold the law.
IndustriALL has demanded that the steel companies take measures to ensure that workers are not left to bear the brunt of the crisis and to save an industry that is of vital importance not only to the country but to the whole Caribbean region.