Workers marched in protest at the massive inequality in the country, which affects 99 per cent of the population.
Workers in Trinidad and Tobago marched through Port of Spain on 4 August to demand a more equal society, measures to combat unemployment and justice to reduce crime.
Thousands of workers in Trinidad and Tobago have lost their jobs because of the country’s economic situation. More than 30 trade unions and social movements marched to demand that the government take measures to stimulate the economy, reduce unemployment and stop the increase in crime.
The oil workers’ union, the OWTU (affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union) also called for an increase in the minimum wage, better health and safety at work and more sustainable and decent jobs. It also wants to establish deadlines for pending rounds of collective bargaining talks.
The union held its annual delegate conference on 28 July to commemorate its 80th anniversary and explain the reasons for the demonstration on 4 August.
It said the march would be held to denounce the massive inequality in the country. While a large proportion of the population finds it difficult to make a living, a minority grows rich from its business dealings.
Marino Vani, IndustriALL’s Assistant Regional Secretary attended the conference and joined the debate about alternatives to the government’s austerity policies and the inequalities and injustices in the country and in the rest of the world.
He said there has been a reduction in the capacity of societies to formulate policies aimed at redistributing wealth and obtaining fairer results. Meanwhile, free market policies have weakened workers’ bargaining power.
Vani said that the alternative to the government’s austerity policies is for the unions to take political and social action and fight for a global economic and social model that prioritizes citizens and workers.
Finally, IndustriALL’s Assistant Regional Secretary expressed his total support for the march on 4 August and said:
“We congratulate our affiliate on the 80th anniversary of its foundation. It continues firm and stronger in the struggle for greater social justice and a more developed and inclusive country”.