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Trinidad Union accuses CCN of flouting labour laws

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Nov 8, CMC – The Banking, Insurance and General Workers’ Union (BIGWU) is accusing the Caribbean Communications Network (CCN) of failing to follow proper procedures when it sent retrenchment letters to 33 employers of the Trinidad Express and TV6 last weekend.

BIGWU deputy president Mario Als said under the Retrenchment and Severance Benefits (RSB) Act, when an employer proposes or has an intention to retrench more than five workers and there is a recognised majority union in that enterprise, the employer was obliged to serve notice of that intention to the workers, the recognised majority union and the Minister of Labour.

ccn1“Under that piece of legislation certain particulars that they must provide include the names of the workers, length of service, and the actual process used in selecting workers.

“All that we have received from the company is a generic item of correspondence which we received last week Thursday indicating no names; just classifications, departments and numbers. We understand that they have effected the notices of retrenchment to the 33 workers so that our position really at this point in time is that we are awaiting the information from the company,” Als told reporters, adding “this is why we have indicated that they are in breach of the procedure that they were supposed to follow”.

Als said that 25 employees from the Express newspaper and eight from TV6 were sent home, including staff from editorial, advertising, pressroom, news and programming.

He said that on December 4, 2015, the union received notice of the intention to send home about 60 workers.
“They just told us there were redundancies throughout the company and it was unfortunate that they had to let some people go.

“They said it was a necessary step. I don’t think there were as many redundancies as the company said and a lot of people were shocked by the quick notice,” said Kendelle Crepin, a sub-editor for the past nine years.

CCN is a major partner of the One Caribbean Media Ltd (OCM) that in June announced healthy profit margins despite an economic slowdown, with the group realising a profit before tax of TT$111 million (One TT dollar =US$0.16 cents)  in 2015. This represents an increase of 6.6 per cent over 2014.

  • Countries: Trinidad_Tobago