Tag Archive for 'Petrotrin'

A Magnificent Breakthrough

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 03, 2019

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn the early 1970s when Marxist economics was all the rage, several Caribbean graduate students attended to the classes of Jaroslav Vanek, an economist and professor at Cornell University. He was known worldwide for his research on labor-managed economies or what he called “participatory economies.” Yugoslavia’s President Tito (1843-1980) was in power and was following this approach to social and economic development.
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Why not the OWTU?

By Raffique Shah
October 02, 2019

Raffique ShahThe outrage that erupted when Government announced its decision to name the Oilfields Workers Trade Union’s company, Patriotic Energies and Technologies Ltd, as the preferred bidder for the oil refinery at Pointe-a-Pierre (Guaracara Refining Co), you’d swear all Cabinet ministers and the OWTU’s president Ancel Roget and his entire executive are guilty of high treason, and deserve to be hauled into Woodford Square and shot to death with goat-pills.
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Land bandits stealing State lands

By Raffique Shah
July 19, 2019

Raffique ShahI listened to Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi a few nights ago as he detailed new legislation and associated measures the Government has put in place regarding land ownership and transactions. If I got it right, he said they have revolutionised the registration of deeds such that detailed information contained in those all-important proof of ownership documents will make fraudulent transfers difficult if not impossible.
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‘We dogs dead’

By Raffique Shah
December 11, 2018

Raffique ShahIn my column last week in which I lamented the collapse of Petrotrin, I submitted that one of the tragic consequences would be the oil refinery falling into the hands of foreigners (by lease or purchase), and the workers who were terminated returning to seek employment with the new operators, prepared to work for substantially lower wages and salaries than they earned with the State-owned company.
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Day of moaning for Petrotrin

By Raffique Shah
December 05, 2018

Raffique ShahDuring last Friday’s unofficial “Day of Moaning” for the official demise of State-owned oil giant Petrotrin, I detected more than a hint of hypocrisy among the moaners. I must confess that your not-so-humble scribe was prominently positioned amidst the thousands of Trini-Pharisees who had saved their saddest faces and rehearsed their most somber vocal tones for the tragic occasion.

I admit that mine was an ego issue, one in which my wounded pride provoked extreme prejudice against my fellow-Trinis for having shamed me, for having shattered my dreams of seeing us as a people take control of the commanding heights of the economy, and successfully steer them to take their place alongside the best such enterprises in the world.
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Budget: capture every crook and dodger

By Raffique Shah
October 02, 2018

Raffique ShahI am writing this column before the Minister of Finance delivers his 2018-2019 Budget, and no, Colm Imbert and I are not friends, so I can’t call him on the phone and ask for a few tips on some of the measures he proposes to introduce to restrain the population from open rebellion, especially after his boss, the Prime Minister, declared last week that he will put the ruling People’s National Movement on a general election footing from early next year.
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We are not beggars

By Raffique Shah
September 26, 2018

Raffique ShahKamla Persad-Bissessar’s statement that a possible solution to Petrotrin’s problem might be to import crude oil from Guyana was uninformed—and here I’m being charitable to the Opposition Leader. But nothing she said warranted the barrage of insults hurled at Trinidad and Tobago in a response by one Robert Persaud, who is described as being a former Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment in Guyana.
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Missing Their Mark

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 17, 2018

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeDr. Keith Rowley and the PNM came through the Petrotrin debate looking much better than Ancil Roget and the OWTU. Moreover, Rowley’s rationality and levelheadedness triumphed over Roget’s tentativeness and impulsiveness. Initially, I thought Rowley and the PNM would have won the battle and lost the war. I am not sure this prediction still holds. It’s a pity though Roget did not outline his refinery-saving proposal before (Express, September 14).

My neighbor, a shop steward of OWTU, has another view of things. He believes the strike was “partially successful. It was supposed to demonstrate to the political leaders that we need to change how we do things and to remind them that the people are still in charge.” “The union,” he said, “used the day to protest the selling of our national assets to foreigners.”
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Day of work and rejection

By Raffique Shah
September 12, 2018

Raffique ShahI was not surprised when the trade unions’ call for the workers of the country to stay at home and observe a day of “rest and reflection” last Friday failed miserably. What was intended to be a general strike by whatever name labour leaders chose to label it, turned out to be a near-unanimous rejection of their insensitivity to the country’s economic crisis. Workers put their own job security and the national interest before the recklessness of a handful of unionists.
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The Tricky Ways of Democracy

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 11, 2018

“Democracy will never be supplanted by a republic of experts.”
—Thomas Piketty, Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI want to compliment Dr. Keith Rowley for the informative and well-argued address he made to the nation on Sunday about his government’s intention to get rid of the refinery operations of PetroTrin. One may not agree with everything he said or the conclusions he arrived at, but it was courageous of him to share his thinking with the nation.
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