The Oilfields Workers' Trade Union on Monday secured a victory in the Industrial Court but the closure of Petrotrin will proceed as planned.
The court ruled that Petrotrin had breached the Industrial Relations Act by failing to consult the union before making the decision to close the refinery.
Member of the Industrial Court Albert Aberdeen said the Industrial Court cannot grant the order to cease the termination of workers.
Petrotrin and OWTU, however, have been ordered to meet from Tuesday.
Secretary-General of the Communication Workers' Union (CWU), Clyde Elder is among 503 workers who are to be sent home from TSTT and he is being sent home immediately, with the company offering to pay him off for the 45 days' notice that it has given him.
Elder was served a retrenchment letter today along with the other workers, giving 45 days notice, which takes them to the end of December.
State-owned TSTT has confirmed that over 500 workers have been given retrenchment notices today.
The company says this will involve both junior and senior staff.
The following is a statement by TSTT today.
"Today, Thursday 15 November, 2018, TSTT executed on a critical phase in its organizational transformation.
This phase involves 503 Junior and Senior staff employees receiving retrenchment notices along with payment in lieu of the 45 days’ notice.
Over 100 workers are expected to be sent home as the Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) begins the implementation of its “new structure.”
Confirmation of the move came via a letter from the company to the Communications Workers’ Union (CWU) on Monday.
In the letter addressed to CWU secretary general Clyde Elder, dated November 12, a senior TSTT industrial relations manager outlined the changes to the CWU, which were reportedly discussed at a meeting on October 26.
The submission of evidence in the Oilfield’s Workers Trade Union’s industrial relations offence complaint against Petrotrin came to a close this morning.
The cross-examination of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Vishnu Dhanpaul concluded with senior counsel Douglas Mendes, who is representing the OWTU, attempting to ascertain just when a government guarantee for an outstanding loan of USD $850m was granted to Petrotrin.
The second hearing of the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU)'s industrial relations offence over the scheduled closure of Petrotrin has been postponed as an Industrial Court judge fell ill.
OWTU president general Ancil Roget was expected to return to the witness stand when the case resumed at the Industrial Court's headquarters in Port-of-Spain, this morning.
Lawyers representing the parties, a large group of union members and members of the media were only informed of the issue after waiting in court for almost an half an hour.
Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union president general Ancel Roget says he does not accept being retrenched by state-owned Petrotrin and as far as he is concerned he remains an employee of the company.
In an interview with the Guardian Media moments ago, Roget confirmed receiving his retrenchment letter last week but said it was hand-delivered to his office at the OWTU’s Paramount Building and never given to him personally.
President General of the Oilfields Workers Trade Union Ancel Roget has been retrenched by State Owned Company Petrotrin.
Roget last week quietly received his termination letter from the company, which includes a significant benefit package.
The Trade Union leader has been working at Petrotrin for over thirty years and has kept his job at the company although he has been on secondment to the OWTU.
Roget was employed at Petrotrin’s Trinmar operations as a technician and rose up the ranks to become OWTU Branch President of the Pont Fortin based Trinmar.