Rowley distances himself from talks of TSTT retrenchment.

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The Prime Minister has said there is currently no retrenchment exercise at the Telecommunication Services of Trinidad and Tobago, currently in front of the Cabinet. 

In Parliament on Friday, he further dismissed Secretary General Clyde Elder’s claims of over 400 workers being affected. According to him, “Restructuring is not only about jobs, it is about the business that those entities are engaged in.”

He said that with TSTT partially privately owned, the government is not involved in these discussions.

“TSTT is not simply a state-owned company. TSTT has a 49% ownership by cable and wireless, a private company….the government as a major shareholder in this company will get this information at the appropriate time and only then do these issues be in front of the government.”

When asked exactly how does government plan on funding a restructuring keeping in mind TSTT’s losses, the Prime Minister responded, “There is no issue of retrenchment in front of the government and those numbers that are being raised and banded about and coming from these particular sources are to be taken as hearsay.” 

Dr. Rowley further stated that it would be inappropriate for the government to give instructions to a company that has 49% private ownership by a foreign company.

Just over a week ago, Elder claimed that as much as 600 workers are likely to face the ax in the company’s restructuring exercise and in  January, TSTT revealed a revenue fall of $453 million – earnings down from $2.49 billion to $2.04 billion, as a result of the pandemic as well as communication platforms like WhatsApp and Zoom.