Trinidad: Trade Unions VS The Government

| August 16, 2011

In the past few months there has been a war between the Government of the republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the various Trade Unions within the country.

The Trade Unions are demanding a ten percent increase in pay as well as additional benefits that have been owed to them for some time now. The government, who has been in office for over a year, has stated that at this time in the country’s economy, the government is unable to meet the Unions demands.

Instead they gave the trade unions what they can afford, a five percent increase as well as the additional benefits they have requested. Some of these trade unions accepted the deal place on the table by the Peoples’ Partnership government; however, many rejected it and form a major body of people that protests everyday in the country’s capital, Port of Spain.

Recently, talks were held by both sides where a stalemate was reached. The government however, made it clear that if they did not want to accept the five percent increase they should go back to the employers can begin their own negotiations. The Trade Unions refused. This series of events leads us up to today, where the Trade Unions are threatening the Government with a national strike. The Prose of this is that maybe the Trade Unions may get what they want. The Cons however, are that the risk losing their jobs, and plunging the country into economic downfall.

I agree that Trade Unions have rights; however, they do have the right to hold the country at ransom. There are some additional aspects of this story you must understand. The first, listed earlier was that the government simply does not have the funds to give to the Trade Unions.

The second is that if they manage to scrape the money together, the government cannot maintain the demands of the unions for a long period of time. It shall be short lived.

If they manage to maintain it however, it is simply because other sectors of the country have to be cut, such as the Education and the Oil and gas sectors.

Trade Union founding-fathers

The money that the trade Unions fought and bullied the government for will be used to pay taxes that have gone up, because subsidies are cut by government.

Parents will have to pay for their children’s education because the GATE program is underfunded. So in essence it was the wasted effort. As you can see Trade unions asked for more money, government gives it to time by force, government raises taxes because it has not choice, then the monies the Trade Unions got are not going into the pockets of the Workers but rather the taxes and additional expenses, to which they are to blame for their increase and creation.

In addition, the government cannot borrow money from the World Bank and IMF simply because this country cannot afford to increase in debts.; cannot allow for further economic strain from paying back that loan and finally these agencies in lending their monies dictate what the countries they lend them to, do with the monies as well as dictate policies in those respective countries.

Therefore borrowing is a bad idea. They question that all media houses and the people of the Trinidad and Tobago is that , BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE TRADE UNIONS, WHO REALY LOSES???

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Category: Trinidad News

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