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posted 10 Jan 2012, 16:58 by Unknown user

by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 18 Dec 2010 18:25 ]

There was much talk by president of the National Trade Union Centre (NATUC), Michael Anisette, of a sleeping giant (NATUC) having awakened as the labour federation’s hastily-organised demonstration wended its way through the streets of Port of Spain from its Memorial Park starting point on Friday 17th  December. 

Anisette harangued the workers for the duration of the demonstration from atop a music truck and in turn threatened and pleaded with the government to pay decent wages to public sector workers. In between the threats and pleas, he expressed disappointment and scorn for the leaders of unions that did not take part in the demonstration and proclaimed that NATUC was the labour movement.

The four hundred or so workers who answered the call to demonstrate against the government’s five percent offer to public sector workers, including daily paid workers employed with Central and local government sported jerseys of several unions affiliated to NATUC. 

Prominent among them were Contractors and General Workers’ Union, Amalgamated Workers’ Union, Transport and Industrial Workers’ Union (TIWU), Postal Workers’ Union, Seamen and Waterfront Workers’ Union, National Union of Government and Federated Workers’ Union NUGFW).

President of the Public Services Association, Watson Duke marched alongside President of the Steel Workers Union, Lex Lovell. Participating in the march were Comrades Gerry Kangalee and Dave Smith of the National Workers Union.

The march ended at the Brian Lara Promenade. Leaders addressed the workers and urged them to keep up the struggle. Watson Duke informed the crowd that the Public Services Association would hold a demonstration on January 4th 2011 and urged them to participate. President of NUGFW, James Lambert, mystifyingly dubbed the demo one for efficiency and productivity and Comrade Roland Sutherland of TIWU reminded the workers that capitalists all over the world were trying to force the workers to pay for the crisis that the capitalists themselves had created...