State-owned oil company Petrotrin will retrench all its workers and not just those in the refinery as was previously announced. It means that all its 3,500 permanent staff will lose their jobs.
A report in yesterday’s Sunday Guardian Newspaper, quotes Chairman Wilfred Espinet as disclosing this. It says Mr Espinet admitted that the retrenchment was double the 1,700 that was previously announced.
Mr. Espinet also raised the possibility that the new Exploration and Production Company could have a strategic partner as it tries to go after the existing oil and make profits.
He also said the decision was taken to “wipe the slate clean” and ensure that the new Exploration and Production Company was not “saddled with the baggage of the old Petrotrin”.
In a quick response to this, Chief Education and Research Officer at the Oilfields Workers Trade Union, Ozzie Warwick said it was confirmation about what the union has been saying, since the decision in late August, to shut down the refinery.
He said this latest disclosure was an unmistakable move to destroy the union, and that it would have ripple effects on the economy, and on workers in other parts of the oil and gas industry.