Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Petrotrin suspends workers pending probe of oil spills

Trinidad and Tobago's state energy company Petrotrin on Monday suspended several of its employess as it continues its investigations into the oil spills that began mid December.

The company's corporate communications manager, Gillian Friday, said the suspended employees were attached to Petrotrin’s port and marine operations at Pointe-a-Pierre. They were involved with the loading and receiving of fuel at the port.

She added that the suspensions have to do with the investigations of the first set of spills that happened on December 17. 
Friday said company suspended the workers to ensure the integrity of the investigations. 

A report from the company had stated that a weld leak on the No 10 Sea Line at the Pointe-a-Pierre port developed during fuel oil bunkers loading operations on a barge. The company successfully contained the spill and completed the clean up within 24 hours.

Petrotrin’s senior manager of marketing and trading, Errol Baldeo, confirmed that any action against workers would take place after an established process for disciplinary action.

He noted that it is highly unusual for 11 spills to occur within a ten-day period. He said by the end of the week the company expects to have a clearer indication of what action it might take against the suspended workers.

The leaks happened between December 17 and December 29. Four of them were at companies that have joint ventures with Petrotrin.

The Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU), which representys the workers, said Petrotrin is sacrificing "lower-level employees" to cover up mistakes by senior managers.

However, the union's president general Ancel Roget admitted that he did not have full details. He said the union's position is that the company "is still protecting those persons in high management who are responsible for this." He suggested that the company should have suspnded personnel who were in charge of the port.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai