INDARSINGH LAMBASTS MC CLASHIE, IMBERT FOR REPEATEDLY FAILING TO PAY OJT TRAINEES; INSISTS “THE PRIME MINISTER CANNOT BE PAYING HARDWORKING OJT TRAINEES LATE WHILE
PAYING HIS LAZY OJT MINISTERS ON TIME.”
August 23rd, 2022
Today, I share in the hurt, disrespect and frustration felt by the thousands of On the Job (OJT) trainees who, as of 8 am this morning, still have not received their stipends for the month of July by this PNM Government.
We are approaching the end of the month of August. OJT trainees, like the rest of the working class in this country, are suffering the indignity meted out to them by a Government which seems unable to meet its recurrent commitments of paying stipends. As a matter of fact, this is the fourth consecutive month for which OJT trainees have been paid their stipends late by the Ministry of Labour.
Recently, nursing students at COSTATT have also complained that they have not received their monthly stipends from the Government, and that the non-payment or late payment of these stipends have become a regular occurrence.
We have also seen where workers at Lake Asphalt have also been victim of the non-payment of their wages by this Government for several months, with the future of the company at stake.
Is it that the future of the OJT programme is at stake? Is the Government aiming to cut the OJT programme in parts or altogether?
What signals does this send regarding the condition of the country’s economy and finances, eight years into this administration?
The silence of the Minister of Labour on this matter is deafening, as Stephen Mc Clashie is nowhere to be seen and nowhere to be heard.
Neither Minister Mc Clashie nor the coordinators of the OJT programme have communicated with the trainees regarding when they would receive their stipends, nor have they offered an explanation or solution for the new trend of disbursing stipends to trainees way after their stipulated pay date.
Our own OJT trainees at the constituency office in Couva South and trainees across the country continue to suffer even as Minister Mc Clashie, Finance Minister Colm Imbert and Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley continue to receive their high salaries and perks on time and in full from the national Treasury.
One would recall that on a previous occasion, the Prime Minister indicated that he was owed monies from the State and that he wanted to be paid his monies immediately.
I am calling on the Prime Minister to pay our OJT trainees immediately. The Prime Minister cannot be paying hardworking OJT trainees late, while paying his lazy OJT Government ministers on time.
Member of Parliament for Couva South and Shadow Representative for Labour
and Tobago Affairs.