News day / At a press conference yesterday at OWTUs north office, Henry Street in Port of Spain, union vice-president Peter Burke raised several issues plaguing the Commission.
He said a major issue is that TTEC is currently operating with 50 less crews than they had in 1981.
In 1981 we had 200,000 customers.
In 2017, we have approximately 500,000 customers yet we have 50 less crews. How does that manifest itself in terms of servicing the public? We have a tremendous amount of complaints from the public about the tardiness in handling street lighting, Burke said.
He said that at the moment, street lighting is handled from San Fernando which makes it difficult to get crews to areas such as Cedros, Toco, Matelot and Chaguaramas.
Traditionally we have handled street lighting from the five distribution areas and the commission stopped that practice. Burke also spoke about problems they have had with industrial relations at the Commission.
On several occasions in the recent past we have had to go to a third party to force the Commission to adhere to agreements that were signed in good faith.
We have had to go to court for job evaluation, negotiations to be settled and it is a sort of lawless approach in the governance of an important State enterprise and we would want to have that issue dealt with at the level of the line ministry. He said it was very disconcerting where management shows absolutely no respect for the collective bargaining process and good industrial relations.
We have found in our experience if a management treats so flippantly with industrial relations it will also treat flippantly with procurement with health and safety and good financial management and therefore we are saying to the national community that those issues that are impacting you, this is not because of the workers, this is because of bad management practice and the fact that we have the downsizing of the internal crews at a very disturbing rate, Burke said.
He said the union was in talks to have a meeting with Public Utilities Minister Fitzgerald Hinds to highlight their concerns.
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