State-owned Petrotrin will foot the bill for the severance of the 1,700 workers who will lose jobs when the company’s refinery section closes in October, board chairman Wilfred Espinet says.
Petrotrin had estimated 2,700 workers were involved in the matter and about 100 would be taken back into the company after the refinery was closed. That would leave 1,700 out of jobs.
Yesterday, OWTU officer Ozzie Warwick told T&T Guardian that Government was undercalculating how many workers would be affected and its estimate of 1,700 workers only encompassed permanent workers.
Warwick said the OWTU estimates a total of 9,00o workers – permanent, casual, temporary – will be affected.
“And the termination costs will be huge,” Warwick said.
Speaking to T&T Guardian, Espinet said Petrotrin will have to solve the payout settlement aspect of the situation on its own, rather than depend on the Finance Ministry or Treasury.
“It’s got to be sourced by Petrotrin, we’ve got to find the money,” Espinet added.
On whether people who may lose jobs may find opportunities in the modified company plan, he said, “In any areas, if there’s a genuine vacuum, it will be filled by people who’ll do the job.”
Acknowledging it was a volatile time, Espinet said he believes people can re-tool for jobs.
Espinet maintained that the refinery closure was necessary to remove the part of Petrotrin which wasn’t making money. Questioned on the proDRAYTONjected plan for the company minus the refinery, he said projections would not involve buying any more infrastructure apart from “a few bits and pieces.” He didn’t detail those.