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THE GOVERNMENT is owed $194 million in outstanding royalties from quarry companies for the period between 2005 and 2020.

This was revealed in Trinidad and Tobago Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (TTEITI) summary report called the State of the Extractive Sectors Report for 2021.

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IT SEEMS as though labour leaders, or those leaders so oriented, are contemplating the return of May Day as a major day for reflection and activism for workers in the country.

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We were misled.

That was the position advanced by Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) president general Ancel Roget yesterday following a decision taken by Cabinet to reject the bid by the OWTU-owned Patriotic Energies and Technologies Ltd for the acquisition of the former Petrotrin refinery assets.

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Every so often we, as a people, have demonstrated our penchant for having shot memories, either naturally, or conveniently.

During the early 70s, Texaco then recognised and accepted their problems in effectively and profitably managing the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery so they, understanding the psyche of our politically-created intellectuals, then commenced mind games, which led to the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union chant of “Texaco must go.”

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Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar attempted to harm the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union’s bid through Patriotic Energies and Technologies to acquire the assets of the former Petrotrin refinery.

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The Prime Minister has been accused of “mamaguying” Patriotic Energies and Technologies Company Ltd.

UNC Senator Wade Mark said yesterday that while the UNC has no problem with the Prime Minister acceding to the request of Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union president general Ancel Roget to refer the Patriotic bid for the acquisition of the former Petrotrin refinery to the Evaluation Committee, the party feels that the outcome will be the same and that Government will reject the bid again.

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Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has granted Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) president general Ancel Roget’s request for the Evaluation Committee to re-examine the Patriotic bid.

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There are so many unanswered questions about the rejection of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union’s proposal to purchase the former Petrotrin refinery that one hardly knows where to start. One cannot help but wonder if the decision had been made before the submission of the final documents.