Express Business Filler #1

Women members of the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) yesterday joined the calls for an end to violence against their gender, and for the justice system to be more stringent against perpetrators of these kind of crimes.

In a joint statement yesterday, the women labour leaders of JTUM said they were dismayed and angered by the many deaths and disappearances of women in the country and it seemed that many violent people were allowed back into society to prey on women.

The leaders who signed the joint statement included president of the Trinidad and Tobago United Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) Antonia De Freitas, second vice-president of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) Sati Gajadhar-Inniss, president of the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) Joanne Ogeer and Ermine De Bique, general secretary of the Contractors and General Workers’ Trade Union (CGWTU).

They said the kidnapping and murder of court clerk Andrea Bharatt and the increase in the number of murdered women have raised many issues.

“This tragedy also raises questions about our justice system—why is our justice system allowing people connected with so much violence to roam freely? Why are these people not coming to trial so that they can be cleared or convicted? As labour leaders, we believe deeply and passionately in justice,” they said in the statement.

Their message to Trinidad and Tobago, especially the country’s political leaders, was that society cannot withstand the injustice of violence against women.

“We also understand that the systems of justice must work quickly—justice delayed is justice denied. We also understand that a blow against one is a blow against all.”

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