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MSJ says PNM not delivering manifesto promises

Monday, August 13, 2018

The PNM’s 2015 manifesto is “comfort to a fool”, says political leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdulah as promises to regularise migrant labour and reform existing labour laws to prevent exploitation have not been kept.

At a press conference at the MSJ’s St Joseph Village headquarters in San Fernando yesterday, Abdulah said although consultations were held on the issues, this amounted to “old talk,” as nothing has been implemented.

“We are yet to formulate a policy on migrant labour even though we have seen a dramatic increase in migrants,” he said. “In the private and public sector workers are being exploited as they are being forced to work on short-term contracts.”

Abdulah said in the energy industry labour supply contractors have been recruiting workers for offshore platforms.

“If you go back to 1972-73, a Commission of Enquiry was held on contractor labour and it was said to be akin to slavery and indentureship because of worker exploitation. Today, in 2018, labour supply contracts are rampant in the old and gas sector and this breeds exploitation and breach of rights,” he said

The PNM had promised a comprehensive review of labour legislation but again failed to deliver, he said, adding that a system is needed for migrant workers to come into T&T legally to do legitimate work.

“If they are coming to work there should be the application of work permits by the employer. These migrant workers must be protected and systems put in place to prevent exploitation,” he said.

According to Abdulah, some migrant workers come to T&T illegally and are being forced to work in slave-like conditions.


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