FOR THE third week in a row, ex-Lennox Petroleum Service Ltd workers protested outside the Vistabella home of the company’s chief executive officer.
The workers showed up at the CEO’s Sumadh Gardens, Vistabella home, demanding a payment of US$9.6 million they say are owed to 300 people.
Chief labour relations officer for the Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) Lindon Mendoza told Newsday the workers were protesting in accordance with labour laws and hoped that public pressure would prompt the CEO to release funds owed to the workers.
“We really want the pressure of the public to come out and say that this is unjust and they should release the money.”
Lennox supplied workers to another oil company. Lennox was supposed to process payroll and deal with administrative issues, Mendoza told Newsday. He said the company gave the money to Lennox for the purpose of distribution, but the money was withheld.
In July, the Industrial court ordered Lennox Petroleum to pay the money owed by the end of September. Lennox appealed and were turned down, but still failed to comply.
“The workers would have given one week from the 23rd, and having received information that they will not pay, they engaged in peaceful protest,” Mendoza said.
He added that the union has since informed the Industrial Court of the company’s non-compliance. He said once the court is satisfied, it could issue a certificate with which the union could use to levy against assets of the company for payment.
The court could also charge the company for contempt for not complying with its orders, he added.
The workers also paranged the CEO’s house on Christmas morning, after gathering at the company’s headquarters at Princess Margaret Street, San Fernando.
It was alleged that a police officer from the Marabella police station threatened to arrest them. On Friday, the same police officer again threatened to arrest Mendoza and the others.