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Fritz
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T&T: We have weapons of mass destruction
« on: 2011-04-07 18:39:39 »
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Not breaking news; but interesting presentation of the story by the local media, not to mention a different approach to negotiating.

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Fritz


Duke on public servants’ wage impasse:


Source: Trinidad and Tobago Guardian
Author: Yvonne Baboolal
Date: 2011.01.12


fiery PSA president, Watson Duke, at the press conference at the union’s Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, headquarters yesterday. At left is Christopher Joefield, acting first vice-president of the PSA. Photo: Marcus Gonzales

Stating that the stability of the country rests, not with gangsters, but with public servants, Public Services Association (PSA) president, Watson Duke, yesterday said public officers today are going through the same thing they went through during the National Alliance for Reconstruction’s (NAR) tenure. Recalling the ten per cent cut in public servants’ salaries in the late 1980s, he said: “Throughout the term of the NAR, public servants got nothing.

“There is some similarities between the NAR and the People’s Partnership (PP),” he said. “It’s deja vu for public officers...A one per cent cut in the context of 15 per cent inflation is like a 14 per cent cut. “We know what we have to do and we know how it will end,” Duke said at a press conference at the PSA’s Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, headquarters yesterday. (The NAR’s term in office ended shortly after Jamaat al Muslimeen insurrectionists staged a bloody coup d’etat in July 1990.)

“We have weapons of mass destruction,” he said. Asked what these weapons were, Duke replied: “We can’t talk that here...That is to be felt, not seen.” He added: “We are incensed. We are mad. Every single public officer has the right to be mad and hateful towards the Government.” The PSA president likened the fight for an increase in public servants’ salaries to Mahatma Gandhi’s struggle for the freedom of Indians from British rule, Martin Luther King Jr’s fight for civil rights for black Americans and even Jesus Christ’s mission to save the world.

“This is even as current and relevant as Jesus Christ’s fight,” he said.  “We have come to preach good news to the poor and deliverance to the captives,” Duke, surrounded by sombre-looking PSA members, added. He continued to insist that the present salaries of public servants pay for only half a day’s work. Asked if he was telling them to work half day, he replied: “I have given the trumpet a certain sound...They know how to act.”

Duke’s ire came shortly after negotiations between the union and the Chief Personnel Officer Stephanie Lewis yesterday amounted what he described as “nothing” again. “It ended just as it did on the last 12 occasions...Nothing,” he said. “The CPO reminded us of the original one per cent offer and said the five per cent was only if we wanted to settle. “We asked her to put the five per cent on the table and she refused.”

Duke said the one per cent would mean that the Government had to spend $20 million on 33,000 public officers for 12 months and that was a “gross insult.” “They are spending $180-something million on lights at the airport to full contractors’ pockets,” he said. "Where is the people in the PP? Where is labour?” he asked. “The PP had pledged to go beyond the frontiers to work with trade unions.” Duke said the PSA would be joining their comrades from the National Trade Union Centre, led by Michael Annisette, in a Day of White on January 28. He said they had postponed their next meeting with the CPO for the first Tuesday in February. Efforts to reach CPO Stephanie Lewis yesterday evening proved futile.
« Last Edit: 2011-04-07 18:41:03 by Fritz » Report to moderator   Logged

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Re:T&T: We have weapons of mass destruction
« Reply #1 on: 2011-04-08 03:55:34 »
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Hah hah! Yeah, "We're not gangsters, but we're angry and we've got weapons of mass destruction!" Talk about a distinction without a difference. How interesting to invoke Jesus Christ, too. Well, I'm not sure if there ever really was a Jesus Christ, but he certainly didn't kill anyone or we would have better historical records on him. MLK Jr. and Gandhi, didn't use weapons of mass destruction either.
« Last Edit: 2011-04-08 08:39:45 by MoEnzyme » Report to moderator   Logged

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