PORT-OF-SPAIN: The Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) said it is planning a massive protest demonstration to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the coalition People’s Partnership government of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
The JTUM said that it had invited political parties as well as civic and non-government organizations to participate in the demonstration scheduled for May 23, one day before the coalition celebrates its fourth year in power.
President General of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU), Ancel Roget, who was among JTUM members distributing fliers to members of the public, said the response to the unions’ invitation has been encouraging.
The governing coalition, which is led by the United National Congress (UNC), includes the Congress of the People (COP) party, the Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) and the National Joint Action Committee (NJAC); came to power on May 24, 2010 after then prime minister Patrick Manning called a general election almost two years ahead of the constitutional deadline.
The unions have accused the four-year-old government of corruption and being anti-labour.
“Every interest group including political parties, the churches and so on…have been invited as we go forward in this campaign,” said Roget.
He said the JTUM had agreed to stage the protests on May 23, because it was aimed at negating plans by the government to tell the country “what a good job they have done for four years.
“It is one day before they mamaguy the country and celebrate a success, which they alone can celebrate because the people of Trinidad & Tobago have moved backward if anything else at all since this People Partnership government came to office,” said Roget.
Members of the JTUM have joined opposition supporters who have assembled outside the Parliament building in support of a call by Opposition leader Dr. Keith Rowley as part of a campaign against alleged corruption within the government.