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Unrest in Trinidad

La Brea protesters demand jobs

by Kevon Felmine

With construction of bpTT’s $2 billion Juniper Platform already started, scores of job-seekers blocked roads and chained the gates of Trinidad Offshore Fabricators Company Unlted (Tofco), La Brea, demanding employment.

The protest follows claims by scrap iron dealer Nick Richards who said he found a cardboard box filled with resumes, cover letters and copies of certificates at the Guapo landfill.

Richards said when he looked at the documents, they had addresses of people from La Brea and surrounding areas.

Councillor for Brighton/Vessigny Gerald Debisette said residents had a meeting with Tofco on Monday and they were promised orientation on Tuesday for the start of short-term employment.

He said the community boasted of skilled men and women who were being bypassed for people who lived outside the area.

Debisette said Government promised a lot of development for La Brea but five years have passed with nothing being built.

At 5 am yesterday, heaps of tyres were piled across the Southern Main Road, Vessigny, Point D’Or and Sobo Village, blocking early morning commuters on their way to work and school.

La Brea police, backed by South Western Division Task Force, cleared the way but protesters marched to Tofco’s compound inside the La Brea Industrial Estate and locked the gates.


Protesters said they planned to pitch a tent outside the compound and ensure no work continued until Tofco met with them to discuss employment. Calls were made to Tofco’s office yesterday, but there was no response.

[from Trinidad & Tobago Guardian, 23 January 2015]

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