Archive for the 'Labour' Category

Let casino workers plant peas in Cumuto

By Raffique Shah
October 26, 2017

Raffique ShahIt says so much about this country, about the national psyche, when, in the wake of a budget that will impact the cost of living almost across the board, reducing people’s purchasing power, the most vociferous protests are coming from gambling establishments that add nothing productive to the economy, but enrich a handful of casino owners, pauperise thousands of families, reduce many female gamblers to prostitutes, and provide the biggest avenue for laundering the ill-gotten gains of criminal enterprises, in particular money from the illicit drugs and firearms trades.
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Labour Day blues

By Raffique Shah
June 28, 2017

Raffique ShahI awoke on Labour Day morning to Public Services Association (PSA) president Watson Duke saying in a television interview: Maternity leave? I’m not talking about maternity leave. I am talking about parental leave…two years each for both mother and father…

I groaned, my features turning sour, my Labour Day mood dampened, not by the approaching storm, but by the “gobar” being spewed from the mouth of one of the senior trade unionists in the country. I had gone to sleep the previous night thinking of the glory days at Fyzabad, between 1973 and 2009, when, without fail, I marched with pride alongside giants like George Weekes and Joe Young, and later Clive Nunez, Errol McLeod, Lyle Townsend and others, leading thousands of enthusiastic workers and farmers and unemployed persons, lustily singing our union battle-hymns.
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Spreading Planter Propaganda

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 21, 2017

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI am sorry I am only now getting back to Kamal Persad’s response to my article, “Getting It Right” (March 26). I noted: “While Indians were treated in a horrible, inhumane manner…, there is no doubt the Indians were brought to Trinidad to undercut the progress that Africans were making at the economic front.”
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Sugar industry was doomed to fail

By Raffique Shah
Submitted: July 26, 2016
Published: August 01, 2016

Raffique ShahTrinidad & Tobago, as a very inefficient producer of sugar, relying heavily on preferential, prices for the commodity from Britain, and later the European Union, should have scaled back sugar production from the 1970s when the industry’s losses mounted year after year, soon to reach uncontrollable levels.
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Butler and Rienzi

By Raffique Shah
June 26, 2016

Raffique ShahWithin recent years, annual Labour Day celebrations trigger accusations that the trade unions that mark the occasion with marches and speeches at Fyzabad pay homage only to Tubal Uriah Butler, never Adrian Cola Rienzi.

Such sentiments imply that Rienzi, whose original name was Krishna Deonarine, is ignored by labour because of his race. They suggest that his contribution to trade unions in the country through registration and leadership of both the oil workers’ OWTU and the sugar workers’ ATSEFWTU in 1937 was as critical to the recognition and development of labour as Butler’s charismatic appeal to the masses.
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Don’t take Mittal’s mill even for free

By Raffique Shah
March 16, 2016

Raffique ShahTrinidadians are hell, I tell you.

Take their almost instantaneous sympathy with the 600-odd steel workers who found themselves jobless last week when ArcelorMittal shut down its plant in this country.

Sure, that means at least 5,000 family members facing very uncertain times if not utter devastation. Those who have mortgages or rentals could lose the roofs over their heads. Vehicles may be repossessed. Children’s education will be at risk, in particular those who attend university. And ultimately, putting food on the table might be a challenge.
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More CEPEP, URP ‘lochos’

By Raffique Shah
Jun 13, 2015

Raffique ShahAs she enters uncharted territory seeking a second term in office, the Prime Minister exudes a measure of confidence that is at odds with a widely-held perception that her People’s Partnership coalition will lose the general election.

She and her ministers have made it clear that they plan to campaign on performance, which they hope will mute charges of corruption, waste and scandal that were deafening during the past five years.
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How is applying for an A2 Visa Breaking US Law?

By Stephen Kangal
January 24, 2014

Stephen KangalForeign Minister, the Honourable Winston Dookeran posits that were the T&T Consulate in New York to continue to apply to the State Department for the granting of an A2 US Visa on behalf of a member of its locally recruited staff (LRS), that would “breaking US law…” Well the Consulate under different regimes in POS has been applying and the State Department has been granting these A2 visas or variations of stays to it and many other foreign consulate accredited to the State of New York.
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The Indian Experience in Trinidad, or The Triumph of Ideology Over Scholarship

By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
November 24, 2013

No one, again with the exception of the extinct Carib people, and perhaps the Spanish people can claim to be ‘natives’ of the island. All peoples were newcomers to Trinidad, and all were immigrants. The immigrant nature of the society of Trinidad needs to be recognized for what it was and what it is. (537)

GeradTikasingh, Trinidad During the 19th Century

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeGerad Tikasingh has written an interesting book, Trinidad During the 19th Century: The Indian Experience, an extension of his doctoral thesis, “The Establishment of Indians in Trinidad, 1870,” that he completed at UWI, St Augustine, Trinidad in 1973. Although his book is filled with facts, it is marred by an ideological orientation (one may say Indo-centric perspective) and a negative rendering of the African experience in the country. This book continues an argument made by other Indo-Caribbean scholars that suggests that the dominance of an Afro-centric ethos (which Tikasingh calls a “black bias”) has “tended to downplay, if not obscure the parallel Indo-Caribbean experience of indentureship and its contributions to Guyanese and Trinidadian culture in particular” (see Frank Birbalsingh, Indo Caribbean Resistance, 1993).

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Comic cops

By Raffique Shah
August 24, 2013

Raffique ShahNot since late Commissioner of Police Jules Bernard publicly declared, “I’m a toothless bulldog!” have I heard so many outlandish statements coming from the mouths of senior officers of the Police Service.

“Criticism hurts,” screams Acting CoP Stephen Williams. Yet, Williams and his most senior officers say and do the most ludicrous things, inviting not just criticism, but oftentimes, bellyfuls of laughter.
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