Labour: No Thanks Keith Rowley

Dr Keith RowleyTHE EDITOR: Some people really bold face in truth oui! Keith Rowley fits that description to a Tee. This PNM hustler is cited in the newspapers as saying to the labour movement “…hold the fort for I am coming, you have a friend in the People’s National Movement. You have tried the rest, now try the best.”

Does Rowley take trade unionists and those who understand the history of this country for fools? PNM? A friend? PNM? The best? If it wasn’t so disgusting it may have been funny! For the edification of younger trade unionists the record must be set straight.

PNM formed the government of this country for forty two of the fifty five years since 1956. How can Rowley say you have tried the rest now try the best? He behaving as if PNM is some fresh, new party that has never been in office. Mas! Mas! We know you!

PNM did not win a majority in the 1956 election as many of us believe. Although they did win 13 out of the 24 elected seats, there were 5 seats nominated by the British Governor Edward Beetham and there were two ex-officio seats, making a total of 31. To win a majority, 16 seats would have had to be gained. For Eric Williams to become Chief Minister he had to form a coalition.

Bhadase Maharaj’s People’s Democratic Party won 5 seats., the Trinidad Labour Party won 2, there were 2 independents and the Butler Party won two. Did PNM seek a coalition with any of these? No he did not. He made a deal with the colonial government. Beetham allowed Williams to appoint 2 nominated seats and he pledged the ex-officio seats to vote with PNM.

PNM, from the very beginning, exposed itself as being an anti-worker party which was more comfortable with the colonialists they claimed to be fighting than with the working class. What a friend to the working class, this PNM, which launched a witch hunt in the early 1960’s through the Mbanefo Commission, looking for communists in every union hall.

What a friend, this PNM, which declared a state of emergency in Central in 1965 and passed the oppressive Industrial Stabilisation Act. What a friend, this PNM, against which the youth and the workers revolted in 1970 and which declared 2 states of emergency in 1970-1971 and which detained without charge tens of trade unionists on Nelson Island.

What a friend, this PNM, which enacted the hateful Industrial Relations Act during a state of emergency in 1972; which attacked and savagely assaulted workers on Bloody Tuesday 1975, which privatised dozens of companies that the workers had struggled to nationalise, which pursued economic policies which entrenched imperialist domination of our country.

What a friend, this PNM, that unleashed Manning on the country to preside over an orgy of corruption, squandermania and repression; which dismembered the public service, continually subverted and interfered with the trade unions; which attempted to decertify CWU and TIWU, which imposed martial law on Port of Spain during the Summit of the Americas.

Look Rowley…do not take the workers for fools. We held the fort for generations against the likes of you and your party. Don’t make the mistake of believing that because the labour movement is gearing for a great social struggle against the People’s Partnership, we are going to take your snake out of the balisier and place it in our bosom. PNM’s time has passed and not a second too soon.

Gerry Kangalee
La Romaine

4 Responses to “Labour: No Thanks Keith Rowley”


  • Au contre the Industrial Stabalization Act(ISA)was introduced around 1960-1961 to contol “wildcat” strikes which affected the economy.The 1960 strike by the OWTU against Texaco Trinidad Inc completely “crippled” the country.For one month “nothing moved”this was my second year of a five year Engineering Apprenticeship with the oil giant.There was an Industrial court established,and Justice Hyatali presided.The intent of the court was not to deny “strike” action by dis gruntled workers;but to act as an arbiter as both parties engaged in a dispute can present cogent arguments to the President of the court.The decision of the court determined whether a strike was justified.Britian and France for many years gave consideration to implement the ISA.

    COALITION GOVERNMENT:I have argued that in the twenty-first century most democracies will adopt,and be governed by coalition governments.However,permit me to make a correction on an article (June 5th)written by Selwyn Ryan in the Express.He wrote:”We note that after many years of coalition government,Canadian voters have seemingly abandoned it.Some did it consciously while yet others did it out of frustration with coalition politics.”

    The country of Canada came into existence on July 1st’1867.The first Prime Minister of Canada Sir John.A.Mc Donald was the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party (aka Tories/blue).Since then Canada has always been governed by either the “Tories” or The Liberal Party (the red machine)In 1993 the Liberals led by The Hon Jean Chretien defeated the Progressives.It was a Trinidadian (Dr.Hedy Fry..Liberal)who defeated the Tory Prime Minister Kim Campbell.Canada’s oldest political party was decimated.During Jean Chretien’s administration (three or four majorities)there were “five” different political parties in the House of Commons.The Liberals (gov’t)Progressive (remnants)The Reform Party,The NDP,and the Bloc Quebecois.Around 2004 the Reform Party,and what was left of the Conservatives merged,and formed the Conservative Party.They reasoned that this was the only way to defeat the Liberals.This merger(Conservative) is not to be confused with the 1867 Conservatives.On May 2nd 2011 the Conservative Party led by Stephen Harper(of the old Reform Party) won their first majority government.Previously,they had three minority governments.The Bloc Quebecois were destroyed in the 2011.The NDP for the first time in their 50 years is now her Majesty’s Opposition……merci

  • Well at least the PNM never bribe Union leaders then force a hustler wage on them

  • Claudine Mc fall

    In the US the Democrats is the same Party but changes leadership when a new candidate is elected… When that Democrat is elected he brings his agenda with new ideas to the Party even though he has been a Senator or Governor in the same party. So who is to say Dr Rowley would not be bringing new ideas and leadership to the Party

  • Dr. Rowley and the rest of the PNM leadership has no ideas for the 21st century nation like Trinbago. The PNM is still holding on to race and dependency politics. Trinbago passed that stage on May 24, 2010 and is heading to forge a modern relationship between the government and the people where accountability, transparency and consultation is the norm today, three words that are foreign to the PNM.

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