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Trinidad oil workers’ union wins pay increase

12 January, 2017IndustriALL Global Union’s affiliate in Trinidad and Tobago, has won a hard-fought battle for a pay rise, after 5,000 oil workers threatened strike action against state oil company Petrotrin. 

On Monday 9 January, after marathon talks with the Minister of Labour and the President of Petrotrin, the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) accepted an interim offer of a 5 per cent immediate salary increase for Petrotrin workers.

They will now receive an adjustment on their salary of 5 per cent for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, and an additional percentage will be negotiated by 28 of February 2017 for the period 2014.

Petrotrin had tried to impose a six-year pay freeze for workers over two collective bargaining periods, 2011-2014 and 2014-2017, which OWTU refused to accept.

The strike action, which was scheduled to commence on 9 January, has been officially called off as a result of the positive resolution.

OWTU President General, Ancel Roget, said:

“We think this is a tremendous achievement for the start of these negotiations. We look forward to ensuring that these negotiations are closed once and for all at the end of February, by which time we should have recovered the balance of the percentages that we set out to.”

IndustriALL wrote to the Prime Minster of Trinidad and Tobago, Keith Rowley, and Petrotrin President, Fitzroy Harewood, to make a reasonable proposal in order to avert a strike. It also expressed its solidarity with the OWTU.

IndustriALL’s general secretary, Valter Sanches, said:

We congratulate the OWTU on standing firm and achieving this significant victory for oil workers at Petrotrin. Oil workers in Trinidad showed strength in unity and their determination has paid off. IndustriALL will continue to stand by the OWTU as it pushes for fair remuneration for Petrotrin workers.