Centrin workers continue protest

The workers are demanding that management rehire them to do maintenance work on the steel mill.

The company shut down operations last Friday for one month, citing unfavourable market conditions and a high inventory of finished products.

Steel Workers Union of Trinidad and Tobago (SWUTT) representative Teemul Khan said the union met management last Friday to discuss workers’ concerns.

“The workers are looking for a way to sustain their employment.

We asked the company if they can rehire the workers to do maintenance work, but they refused. The company said workers would be called out to do maintenance work before the mill is restarted.”

Khan said some 100 permanent and casual workers were laid off, with no definite date to return to work.

The company letter stated that it has no alternative but to shut down operations for an initial period of one month, effective June 18 to July 17.

“Some workers are being forced to take vacation leave during that time, so they can get payment. But what about the workers who don’t have vacation leave, or don’t want vacation at that time,” Khan said.

The workers were addressed by SWUTT president-general Lex Lovell on Monday.

Khan said workers were prepared to protest outside the company’s gates until management agrees to a meeting.

Centrin’s human resources officer Wayne Wong stated that during the one-month period of temporary closure management will continue to seek markets for its products.

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