Unions plan protest against corruption in government
The Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) has announced plans for a demonstration against corruption in government.
The JTUM has dubbed the demonstration on Friday a "National March" and is urging the general population to "take a stand against 'Korruption'".
"We have sent out invitations to every organisation, political parties, civil society groups to participate in the demonstration," said JTUM general secretary Ossie Warwick. "After four years, this has to be the most corrupt government. We need to take some form of action."
Warwick has dismissed suggestions that the planned demonstration in the capital is part of a political agenda even as the main opposition People's National Movement (PNM), the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ), which once formed part of the coalition People's Partnership government, and the Independent Liberal Party (ILP), headed by former national security minister Austin 'Jack' Warner, have urged supporters to participate in the event.
"This is our home. We are not passing through; we are not squatting, and our children and grandchildren will inherit whether we act or don't act. So if not you, then who? If not now then when? This is a time to take a stand against corruption.
"Yes, there has been corruption going back and back and back, but at this point, this stage in our history, we will not, must not, allow corruption to become the normal way of life for us in Trinidad and Tobago," Warwick said.
In flyers to members of the public, the JTUM has listed a number of alleged acts of corruption by the Kamla Persad Bissessar administration, including "massive corruption with the additional highway from Debe to Mon Desir costing taxpayers an extra four billion (one TT dollar = US$0.16 cents) and making a few multimillionaires" as well as
"massive corruption with the billion-dollar contract ... for the waste water plant ... and a number of other questionable contracts involving the same" company.
The unions are also accusing government ministers of "hundreds of millions of dollars in kickbacks to themselves from contracts given to their friends".