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STREET VIBE: Roget’s retarded, regrettable error; irresponsible to give BP red card

“The mere decision by BPTT to have their platform built probably some place in Texas speaks volumes about our work ethic.

“It will eventually drive business away from this land, where parasitic unions and their leaders still dress up in comrade uniform to hold the nation hostage with their unreasonable demands despite providing nothing in return.”

The following Letter to the Editor on OWTU president Ancel Roget’s response to oil and gas company, BPTT, was submitted to Wired868 by Rudy Chato Paul:

Photo: Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU) president general Ancel Roget. (Copyright Industriall-Union.org)
Photo: Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU) president general Ancel Roget.
(Copyright Industriall-Union.org)

I used the term “retard” advisedly. Let it be clearly understood that I mean no ill or offence to persons with challenges or any of the various forms of disability. In this case, I intentionally use it to refer to loudmouth Mr Ancel Roget who, to all intents and purposes, has once again in one swoop demonstrated his arrogance and illiteracy by advising BPTT to take their business elsewhere.

Mr Roget has single-handedly demonstrated all that is wrong with this nation. He has once again proven that he cannot think and speak simultaneously. Nor does he really represent those whom he claims to.

Let me also categorically state my view that the Minister of Finance (MoF) is in way above his head, both literally and figuratively. From his very entrance into that office, he has been misleading the nation about the nation’s finances.

It is undoubtedly his view and that of his Cabinet colleagues that, by blaming the past regime for all the challenges his government faces, he can almost literally get away with murder. He has to stick to that story.

It is also my prediction that during this regime’s final year in office, should they make it that far, the tide and the MoF’s tune will change. Monies will be found to do all that is necessary to oil and grease the voting apparatus. This brings me back to that Mr Retard.

Despite his years as a union boss, like many of his other colleagues in that line of business, Retard undoubtedly has political aspirations. A cursory glance at the lengthening list of persons using unions to get into political office supports my theory. Jennifer Baptiste-Primus and Watson Duke being the most recent examples.

Photo: PSA union boss Watson Duke leads a protest for better working conditions for public servants. (Courtesy Power102 FM)
Photo: PSA union boss Watson Duke leads a protest for better working conditions for public servants.
(Courtesy Power102 FM)

Aspirants have generally relied on two basic entrances to political offices: the legal fraternity and unions. There has been the odd exception, like Stephen Cadiz who skilfully created his own 136 Committee.

However, BPTT’s refusal to build their platform for the Angelin here in T&T, as was requested by the negotiators, and the reasons provided put the spotlight on our work ethic as a major challenge. The mere decision by BPTT to have their platform built probably some place in Texas speaks volumes about our work ethic.

It will eventually drive business away from this land, where parasitic unions and their leaders still dress up in comrade uniform to hold the nation hostage with their unreasonable demands despite providing nothing in return.

As a former and current union member, I hold no brief for or against unions. They have a place and function. However, Roget and others, who consistently chant “We woh we money, we woh it now” yet offer nothing like value for money in return, have outlived their usefulness in a globalized economy.

Most people, I daresay, recognize the need for increased salaries. Many people are operating on 2008 salaries. Unfortunately, the nation has bought into the line sold by the MoF that the nation is broke. Nonetheless, I have always been a believer in “from those to whom much is given, much is expected.”  Unfortunately, such a concept is foreign to our native land.

Photo: Leaders of the All Trinidad General Trade Workers Union protest. "We woh we money" is their constant cry. (Courtesy ATGTWU)
Photo: Leaders of the All Trinidad General Trade Workers Union protest. “We woh we money” is their constant cry.
(Courtesy ATGTWU)

On the contrary, we go out of our way to demonstrate just how smart we are by avoiding work.

Work, I submit, is a bad, four-letter word.  Many of us associate work with slavery despite none of us having any idea, academic studies notwithstanding, of what slavery really entailed.  Work was further demonised by the nation’s first prime minister, whose “Massa day done” statement is often quoted in many quarters.

From this statement has blossomed the entitlement mentality, which makes many of us take for granted that someone, usually “the govament,” owes us something. That something usually means free housing, free land, free education, free health care, easy (free) money, etc.

So when Dr Rowley, himself a beneficiary of ‘free education,’ recently said that the government was not in the freeness business, building free roads and free schools, he had the right idea but got his information mixed up.

Government is not an employment agency. One of the functions of a government is to put in place the proper infrastructure and make the environment attractive to businesses like BPTT to invest in nations like ours.

For Mr Retard to make the statement that BPTT can take their business elsewhere is irresponsible and demonstrates his narcissistic personality.

So sad he can’t be fired.

About Rudy Chato Paul Sr

Rudy Chato Paul, Sr, is passionate about gardening, music and writing and boasts post-graduate certification in Anthropology, Criminology and Sociology. He also studied Theology, which is why he is actively seeking to make Trinidad a better place rather than waiting for divine intervention. 

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  1. On his meeting with FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Tuesday, Rowley said he focused on the requirement of football’s world governing body to be above board and in appearing to be an agency where there is accountability and transpa­rency because it plays a huge role.
    He said he told FIFA the Government supports the T&T Football Association (TTFA) as long as it acts on the basis of those same principles (of accountability and transparency). He said the Government is committed to working alongside the TTFA to advance football in Trinidad and Tobago.

  2. We cannot denounce demands for better H&S without questioning our intelligence or humanity

    When people get injured the taxpayer pays

    No job is with injury or death

    • I have read this article twice and the data is wrong “Why do I say this? T&T’s proven oil reserves have stagnated at approximately 800 million barrels for almost a decade, and our current natural gas equivalent has dipped below ten trillion cubic feet. For many reasons, oil production has slumped to 70,000 barrels per day (bpd), and gas below the benchmark 4.0 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d). If we manage to ramp up oil production to 100,000 bpd, and gas to the required 4.2 bcf/d, outside of any major discoveries, we shall have approximately 20 years’ worth of oil and eight years’ of gas.” These numbers should be verified before publication – surprised the editorial team let it slide

  3. Union leaders are very intelligent men who can adapt to the situation they are in as we saw with Mr. McCleod. Give Mr. Roget the position of Managing Director of Petrotrin and we will see wastage almost eliminated, we will see corrupt practices not being tolerated and we will see the company offering sensible compensation packages. When I was in secondary school the dean made a bully a school prefect and his behavior changed from bully to exemplary student.

  4. But let’s be clear, BP pulled the project! Roget didn’t! Roget responded by saying take your platform and go! Nit saying that I agree with Roget but don’t blame him for killing the project. The initial project was fraught with delays and cost overruns so bp as a shareholder led company will take actions to ensure that there’s no dilution of shareholder value. What we need Roget and all Trinis to understand is that productivity is key and that these are the decisions of well run companies and more will come. Unions have to begin to work with management to improve productivity. In the USA the big unions work closely with management all the time and are usually informed if not involved when big decisions are made. The caliber of USA trade unionists is also different- many of these guys have degrees in management and economics from good schools – we don’t find that to be widespread in TT

    • The union is not involved because they don’t represent workers at BP here. Another difference is that these oil companies don’t negotiate with the President of the USA but do so with our PMs and leaders of other third world countries. Productivity may be a good word to use in the US but not in third world countries where resources are given away for bribes and a monopoly of the market. How do economists define such a monopoly? Should these secret deals be a considered a part of the underground economy? I am asking as I am not an economist and it is my opinion that this is not rational behavior! How do economic models interpret irrational behavior?

    • The deals are not secret! BP and others negotiate their PSC contracts etc with the ministry of energy and these are standard contracts used in multiple global jurisdictions. TT Is not any different. In the USa the nature of the contracts are different but they do have to negotiate with the relevant agencies for example BOEM. They don’t own the acreage so they have to bid and negotiate just like in TT . The issue is not BP workers but the workers at the construction yard who are represented by this and other unions

    • Excellent questions my dear Sir. I am an economist of varying specialties and I have always marveled at how textbook traditional conservative theories are applied here when we have anything but.

      I am also amazed that Lloyd Best started how many decades ago and no one continued on theory building/ reality explaining

      Then. The biggest sham of all. All these decades and no one. not A One, has ever mapped or modeled this very small space.

      We are a country of Flying frauds

      Disclaimer: I did not train here. Have not been employed for the last seven years, and prior, never to the authority to guide policy and action; projects and programs.

    • Sorry.
      But there is no such thing as a “standard contract”.
      What is negotiated in america among Americans is vastly different from an African, Caribbean : ie, Third world colonial contract; versus the pacific, Asia, Europe…all on various degrees.
      Whether we are at the core or periphery.

      The struggles are real

      It would be intriguing to have one company, and examples of contracts in a five to ten year span, for similar and same services, for different populations, nations .
      . see what that record would show us

    • I don’t understand your point

  5. Lester, there is a bigger, older, more generalized robbery of Nigerian oil, that has something to do with routes, companies, rates. Read it years ago. Beyond that situation you posted.
    My laptop crashed, if I was able I would search it

    We don’t have any idea how much these companies rape our land for the spittance of employment.
    No taxes, no inputs, no costs, no setups to the company. All to the host nation

    • In a JSC meeting with the Ministry of Energy last year, it was said that we don’t have a device of our own to measure output from wells. We depend on the device from those companies. They are also diverting gas shipments to subsidiaries in Asia that yield prices that are more than double the pegged US price used in the contract.

    • Yes, the racket is on pricing.

      You talking madness there eh.
      But life on the plantation never changed

    • That is so blowmind
      No device to measure the output of your own well.

      My world

    • And whose fault is it that we don’t have that device? Good God! We have been pioneers in this business for over a century and we can’t call the shots? Let’s not rest this squarely on the shoulders of the MNC’s. Governments and Unions have been complicit in the raping this country.

      While Roget didn’t pull this project, his words have far reaching consequences lest we forget that we are the price takers in this business. We have long been an unproductive nation and those actions or lack thereof have now come home to hit us squarely in our pocket books. This point could have been made with more finesse and certainly with a greater understanding of global energy issues.

    • “Pioneers”

      Further, no one here I read is blaming MNCs for the device.
      Please don’t sully a sane exchange with childish comments

      The irony is Roget’s comments are also that of a petulant illiterate infant in the throes of powerlessness.

      Neither I nor logie are discussing any of that

      But, all comments are valid in the public square, right.

      Me on exit. Cheers

    • Yes Maven Huggins. Pioneers. Check out our history in this industry and you’ll understand what I mean.

  6. Btw, Fayola Bostic, Antoinette Sankar, Brian Harry, Akins Olatunji Vidale and Kion S Williams, I tweaked the headline ever so slightly and probably should have in the first instance:

  7. In order to comment on this situation one needs to be privy to information from three sides. The Government, BP. and the unions.In order to conduct a cost benefit analysis which is essential in this scenario, information must be made public.BP is not unionised, therefore health concerns of the workers are not a priority, it is feasible then for the MNC to seek the cheapest way out by locating in a country, which disregards these issues. this would be a benefit to the Company, but a cost to the workers. The parting of ways by the Company will result in a loss of revenue to the country, which will be a cost to the Government in these dire economic straits. The workers will suffer a loss of income, which will also result in a loss of the trickle down effect of income which could have provided additional employment thus causing an increase in poverty. This could go on and on, unless all the facts are laid on the table, it is impossible to give an informed assessment.

    • Earl Best

      But knowing all that you have set out above, Carol, would you say that Roget’s statement is defensible? In the light of what we already know about the situation in the country in general and in La Brea and environs in particular, whose best interests, would you say, are being advanced by a statement such as Roget’s?

      I think that is the issue…

  8. “Upgrade” what a nice idea.
    Realize none of our characters have upgraded for sixty one years,??!!

  9. Demagoguery at its worst… now is not the time for that , wish some of these ppl would upgrade yearly like cellphones. Steups…

  10. I may have missed Roget’s H&S concerns. Did he specify? And if BP were going to compromise H&S here in TnT does that mean they will do the same wherever the platform is eventually built?

  11. Roger don’t know the purpose of that big hole on his face. He should get his tongue amputated

  12. Yes he can be fired. But by his followers. That is not going to happen unless the culture of freeness is changed. Imagine if he becomes Prime Minister. That would be our version of the American Nightmare “Donald Trump” and remember that we have a tendency to follow America.

  13. Secretly people in Trinidad and Tobago believe change is for everyone else but me

  14. I don’t agree with everything in the article however I agree that OWTU’s leadership needs to stop with the foolishness. Yes safety is priority but there’s a way to do things. In this economic climate we cannot afford to be playing stupid with FDI we need it. Moreover they fail to realize as an MNC these companies aren’t going to allow “protest acttion” to hinder their operations. Labour to them is easy to come by many ppl are willing to work for $20K the union just took from their members pockets. They keep thinking that foreign companies are Petrotrin state owned and can be held to ransom when they cannot and would not. These trade unions need to seek advise not just from legal minds but business professionals before making such stupid decisions.

  15. A statement like that may have had some beef two decades ago…but not today…damage done…

  16. This is interesting Roget and workers are parasites but big business are the good guys. Really back to front oui.

  17. Gosh that headline though ?. Don’t attack me for being PC or a SJW, but “retard”? Really?

    • I agree Fayola, once I saw the headline I couldn’t read any further.

    • I have to agree. I thought the “R word” was akin to the word Faggot or Nigga now? Not a good look to have it in a headline.

      • Earl Best

        I hear you but I have a question. Does what you say still apply if the writer provides in the next sentence the following information: “Let it be clearly understood that I mean no ill or offence to persons with challenges or any of the various forms of disability. In this case, I intentionally use it to refer to loudmouth Mr Ancel Roget…”?

        The question is NOT rhetorical; I genuinely want to know what you think>

    • Not Kion, but isn’t that like saying faggot followed by “Let it be clearly understood that I mean no ill or offence to homosexuals or other LGBT indiciduals…”

      • Earl Best

        Fayola, if you’re suggesting that the word itself is offensive, why would you use it to make that point? Words take their meaning from their context and I suspect that right-thinking people would have no objection to Roget having the R-word stuck on his forehead, given his behaviour on this particular issue.

        And I think Rudy went out of his way to make it clear that he is condemning the man’s action/statement and not the man himself. The entire first paragraph is an attempt to apologise in advance for ruffling those feathers which are likely to be ruffled by his deliberate shorthand.

    • It’s one of those instances where I feel torn between not censoring a columnist and my own feeling of fair comment.
      My personal feeling is it was too harsh. But it is the point the author wants to make and he explained why.
      Even if I disagree–and I do–I opted to allow him to express himself. So I will take my criticism on the chin too.
      Rudy does some commentary I endorse 100 percent. Ever so often, I might disagree. That’s normal I think.

    • Lasana Liburd “retard” is a sensitive word for some people, a medical designation sometimes “mentally retarded” and not sure it’s too helpful to create a negative connotation based on the actions of someone that you want to emphasise as wrong – in this case I would have erred on the side of censorship – the word screams to me “don’t!”

      • Earl Best

        I think I have already commented to someone here on this string that context is everything. The second sentence of the piece explains the limited sense in which the writer uses the word, which makes it clear that he is well aware that he is running close to the line.

        In the circumstances, I feel he has earned the right to take a chance at offending some to make the point of the enormity of Mr Roget’s “sin.” Wired may very well disagree with the opinion and or with the use of the term while still allowing the writer the freedom to express his view within the law.

    • I know it’s a sensitive word for some. But retarded does not only refer to a medical condition and is often used to an act of stupidity.
      In fact, one can argue that it is the other way around and people who refer to people with mental issues as “retarded” as actually the ones who are guilty of inappropriate use.
      Censorship is something that you have to be very slow to do in the media and I don’t think this crosses the line, even though I can fully understand the concern and I would understand too if Ancel Roget is very cross with it.

    • The word itself is not offensive, in the same way no word on its own is offensive. However, using a word that was meant to describe mental disability as short hand for stupid, idiotic, dumb or whatever this writer means (I am not 100% clear) is offensive. It’s why people say don’t use the word gay to mean lame for example. Also, if you need a paragraph of disclaimer, maybe your word choice could be more precise.

    • Also are you really “going out of your way” to condemn actions and not the man himself by calling the man names? He didn’t say the actions were dumb, he said “Retard Roget”. Come on now

    • Lasana I agree we should probably be slow on the draw re censorship of the media therefore I understand your hesitation. I can’t say I agree on using the word to refer to an act of stupidity since that use most certainly would have originated from the awful habit certain people have for name calling of persons with disabilities.

    • Over above and beyond the medical applications of the word, any word used disparagingly can either escalate or deflate or even kill a discussion. We can make the case without offensive language. This is about debate not pulling down. Mr Roget and his predecessors have also done great work on behalf of workers. Forgetting BP for a moment, we also have very oppressive local companies . I’m all for the vigorous debate and picking but I can never support name calling and obnoxiousness

  18. so lasana Paul dont support health safety concerns?

    • That’s the thing. I don’t know that Roget said stuff other than he needed to keep the safety of staff paramount.
      So I tell me myself I have to go search for the response from Roget to ensure I didn’t miss anything.

  19. Well Lasana I guess I know what I will be writing about next. I cant respond to this in comments.