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Roget: Labour Day II coming on August 4

News day / Under overcast conditions which often gave way to periods of rain, Roget told a large contingent of workers assembled at Charlie King Junction, Fyzabad for the traditional Labour Day celebrations yesterday, that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley had to, “Step up to the plate and take full control of his government.” “He must accept the inescapable reality that things are just not right and the country is falling apart. Therefore, for the benefit of the country, a radical overhaul of government is not only necessary, indeed it is critical,” Roget said.

“The country deserves it and must accept no less, therefore today, on the occasion of the 80th Anniversary of the labour movement, we demand the immediate removal of Colm Imbert, the Minister of Finance,” he said.

Roget continued: “We demand the immediate removal of Edmund Dillon, Minister of National Security.

We demand the immediate removal of Fitzgerald Hinds, the Minister of Public Utilities. We demand the immediate removal of Shamfa Cudjoe, the Minister of Tourism for his disrespect to the people of Tobago. We demand the immediate removal of Rohan Sinanan, Minister of Works and Transport.” He said the labour movement’s mandate was to hold every government accountable and would immediately embark on a massive mobilization throughout Trinidad and Tobago beginning in Tobago on June 30.

“We will intensify this mobilization in Arima, San Fernando, Sangre Grande and Mayaro and on Friday August 4, we will be carrying this entire Labour Day here in Fyzabad to the streets of Port of Spain,” he said.

“We call on all workers, social and community groups, political organizations, NGOs, our unemployed brothers and sisters, students and especially our young people.

We call on all decent and patriotic citizens, all of us who want and deserve a different and better Trinidad and Tobago, to join us in our struggle for a completely new system of governance,” he said.

In a wide-ranging speech which covered every aspect of the national economy from crime to health care, agriculture and tourism, Roget told the members of the 23 assembled trade unions that only as a strong united force would the government heed their concerns.

“Today we say, no to IMF and World Bank Policies, no to retrenchment, no to privatization, no to wage freeze and no to dismantling of the Public Service.” “Based on Labour’s assessment, today on this platform, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the trade union movement, we declare that the government has failed to deliver on its mandate,” Roget said.

He also had some choice words for former trade union leader and current Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste- Primus. He said that despite numerous requests to meet the Prime Minister for over six months, she simply failed to confirm a meeting between the Prime Minister and the Joint Trade Union Movement.

“Clearly the Labour Minister and labour issues are no longer a priority for this Prime Minister. It seems to us like it’s only Stuart Young, Faris Al Rawi and Colm Imbert who have the ear of the Prime Minister,” Roget said. The rally also saw addresses from representatives of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions and NGOs (FITUN) and the National Trade Union Centre, (NATUC).

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