PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Mar 15, CMC – The Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) Friday accused the government of seeking to undermine workers’ rights by delaying in the appointment of judges to the Industrial Court and also holding back on much needed financial and other resources.
JTUM president, Ancel Roget said that the body was expressing its concern “simply because of the impact that will have on the administration of justice for workers in this country.
He said the situation could also affect employers “because we are of the view that once the government continues to under resources the court, the court will be hamstrung to deliver justice on time.
‘Already we have seen matters postponed for years to come and what that means is that justice delayed is justice denied”.
Roget said while workers are continuing to be suffer from ‘worthless employers, working long hours, short pay and in some cases … (and) working in some of the most unhealthy and unsafe conditions”.
Roget told reporters that the umbrella union body had become aware of a secret meeting between the government and a handful of employers to do away with the Industrial Court.
“We got wind of that was said in that secret meeting. We knew all who were present at that meeting…and their plans for the industrial court to strip it off its independence and resources and so on.
“Because they are of the view that the court is dispensing justice for workers,” he said, adding that the government is “also appealing all of the judge that ruled in favour of employees once the workers and trade unions win those matters.
“It’s a constant thread and trend coming from both the powerful elites and of course the government,” said Roget.
The government has not yet responded to the allegation.