The Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) called for private and public sector workers to participate in a nationwide strike on Friday, September 7. Unions representing teachers, nurses, taxi drivers, farmers, and communication workers all agreed on August 30 to hold the strike in support of the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU). Teachers asked parents to keep their children home on Friday as classes are expected to be canceled. As of Tuesday, September 4, it is unclear how many workers will participate in the work stoppage. On Monday, September 3, Minister of Public Administration Marlene McDonald issued a statement condemning the strike and warning that any public workers who fail to show up for work will not receive pay for the day. McDonald also warned that individuals who are employed in essential services, such as the Defence Force, prison and fire services, and teachers will be subject to fine and imprisonment for taking part in the strike. Significant transportation and commercial disruptions are possible throughout Trinidad and Tobago on Friday.
The unions are protesting the decision to close an oil refinery in Point-a-Pierre operated by the state-run oil company PETROTRIN. Around 1700 jobs are expected to be cut when the refinery closes.
Individuals in Trinidad and Tobago are advised to monitor the situation, prepare for disruptions to daily life on the day of the strike, and avoid public gatherings as a precaution.
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