Ancel Roget

Joint Trade Union Movement leader Ancel Roget launches an attack against editors during a press conference at OWTU headquarters in San Fernando yesterday. —Photo: TREVOR WATSON

Joint Trade Union Movement leader Ancel Roget yesterday lashed out at newspaper editors, using the historically derogatory ‘N’ word for African house slaves to describe them.

Roget, who called a press conference at the OWTU’s head office in San Fernando to address outstanding negotiations between Government and trade unions, also criticised the Government.

He said the union sent three letters dated around November 2019 to March 2020 to Finance Minister Colm Imbert outlining the respective issues for resolution, but received no response.

The letters related to outstanding negotiations that at least ten trade unions are involved in with the Government.

Roget said, “So our March 10 letter was neither acknowledged nor responded to. And so today, we are with three letters and we will make copies available to you members of the media...none of them even acknowledged or responded to. Just a matter of record, sycophants...just a matter of record people out editors and so on...”

Holding up the letters, he said, “You can zoom in and see what we are talking about. This is real correspondence. We can tell you the date it was delivered and who signed for it – and the media was there. You newspaper editors, you “house ni**ers”, your hard workers out there, so you can spin this how you want.”

He said: “Even though you would carry out the dictates for the local, modern-day ‘massas’ and write against the trade union movement, I want to remind you house ni**ers in the Guardian, Express and Newsday we have been raising these issues all of the time.”

Roget also chastised Government for treating trade unions with disrespect.

MATT: Infantile leadership

Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT) president Sheila Rampersad responded to Roget’s attack against editors, saying in a statement: “It is an egregious example of infantile leadership to attack a free press that has represented the voice of workers throughout the history of media in T&T.”

She said: “This is silly season, not open season on journalists. Leaders seem incapable of emancipating themselves from narrow ideologies and limited vocabularies.”

She said a similar matter involving MATT member Kejan Haynes was currently before the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC).

“MATT is actively exploring the possibility of filing a similar complaint against Mr Roget on behalf of our members,” Rampersad added.