Category Archives: Labour

Anti-colonial Father of the Nation

Book review by Dr. Kwame Nantambu
Professor Emeritus, Kent State University, USA
June 24, 2022

Dr. Kwame NantambuThe history of the trade union movement in Trinidad and Tobago would be incomplete and unfinished if the life and times of the man called Tubal Uriah “Buzz” Butler are not the DNA of such a history. Butler was accredited as being the “Chief Servant of the Lord.” That was indeed the invisible “Buzz” in his revered personality. Butler believed that man’s purpose in life was the fulfillment of God’s purpose and as such, his inherent belief system informed him that he owed no obligation to anybody but to God.
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Benefits, not increases

By Raffique Shah
June 20, 2022

Raffique ShahIt’s not so much that in a complex new world forged and driven by technology that comprises lightening-speed communications and incredible capacities for generating, processing, storing and distributing information that trade unions have been blindsided by microchips that could signal their demise.

Indeed, as my comrades make their way to Fyzabad today for the march and rally, they should feel proud to be part of an organisation that, during its 85-year history in Trinidad and Tobago, has, pound-for-pound, contributed more than any other toward the upliftment of the society. For people who have never participated in or attended the annual event, shame on you. I mean no insult when I say that you will brave storms and travel to Wah-he-oh-ho where alcohol and “wining” to sweet soca music are the only items that are on the agenda.
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Origin of Indian indentureship in Trinidad

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 06, 2022

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn the celebration of Indian Arrival Day, May 31, an Express editorial recounted: “On this day 177 years ago the Fatel Razack entered the Gulf of Paria with over 200 Indians aboard, the first of 143,939 citizens of India to be brought here under a British scheme to deal with a shortage of labour following the emancipation of enslaved Africans in 1834–38.”
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Fear of Stupidity

By Raffique Shah
November 15, 2021

Raffique ShahIf Nazi leader Adolf Hitler were around today, he would be simmering in glory and bursting with pride as he watched the modern world finally come to embrace his lunatic rants that passed for an ideology, namely Nazism, which extolled the supremacy of the Aryan race, namely pure-bred white Germans, first and foremast, then others at their designated stations in life, starting with the Europeans of 100 percent pure Aryan blood at the top—the masters—with others—classless whites, contaminated whites, Asians, Africans and finally Jews, those being the survivors of the calamitous conflicts that culminated in him finally being recognised as the Fuhrer, the Emperor, the Maximum Leader of this all-conquering new world.
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A Labour Day story

By Raffique Shah
June 21, 2021

Raffique ShahWith this country’s history largely unwritten, and in many instances unrecorded, I shan’t be surprised if my column today reads like Greek hieroglyphics to most people.

Many of us have an interest in knowing where we came from, this potpourri of races that confuses us more than foreigners. Our only identification mark, I cite Meer and Fuchs, examining our language from a phonetic perspective, is the sing-song prosody linguists insist we expose when we speak.
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Digging Out We Eye in Broad Daylight

By Dr Selwyn R, Cudjoe
June 15, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeA few days ago the Attorney General asked the Parliament to approve a supplementary vote of $118.9 million for his ministry. Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein asked (perhaps pleaded is a better word) how much money the lawyers (120 local and nine foreign) were being paid and the matters for which they were retained.

From the AG’s angle of vision, such a question was preposterous. He responded: “I would like to place on record that the request for the supplementation is driven by the fact that we are still in the course of settling $141.3 million in arrears from the period 2010 to 2015, during which $444.4 million was expended and arrears of $141.3 million left.”
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Shamelessness

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 09, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeSometimes we, as commentators, use our columns to pontificate about the correct moral and ethical thing to do, but I wonder if we were placed in positions of power would we not have done the same things that we condemn public officials for doing. I am thinking of Winston Duke, his wife, Kim de Silva, and all the other spouses of powerful men and women in government and trade unions who use their official connections to set up their better halves in business in which they are connected.
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Budget by everyone, for everyone

By Raffique Shah
September 15, 2020

Raffique ShahI imagine that every citizen who is conscious of the state of the country’s economy must wonder what magic Finance Minister Colm Imbert will weave when he presents his sixth consecutive Budget in a few weeks. The economy was already battered and bruised by plummeting oil and gas prices and struggling production levels when Covid-19 entered the picture and added to its grimness. The deadly virus savaged economies around the world, bringing many countries to their knees, leaving behind scenes that seemed to be apparitions of Armageddon.
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Sorry, Not Sorry: The Business of Racism in T&T

By A. Hotep
August 15, 2020

No RacismThe Supermarket Association of Trinidad and Tobago (SATT), and by extension the business community, was never interested in addressing racism. Poor working conditions and poor remuneration packages are all part of class and racial discrimination which, at the very least, renders many members of the business community complicit. Now that people are prepared to take action to deal with racism, the business community should not be allowed to set the standard for redress. This was made clear by SATT’s quick backpedalling of its boycott of Ramsaran-branded products after calling on the company to “[seek] the appropriate remedial action in a consistent and satisfactory manner.” Aside from the Ramsaran’s text-book apology and “firing” of the owner’s daughter, how has the company demonstrated appropriate remedial action?
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Resurrecting the dead

By Raffique Shah
July 20, 2020

Raffique ShahI had no intention of intervening in the campaigning for the general election, which is due to be held in three weeks. It is well established that politicians say the darndest things in normal times, and they become outrageous when they are soliciting votes from the electorate. They not only lie, they make promises that they and the voters know they can never keep. . But there is a tacit understanding between the combatants that allows the candidates to peddle lies, to promote the impossible and not be held accountable for it.
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