He refuted claims out of the labour movement that the state of emergency was imposed to thwart the unions actions against Government’s five percent wage offer.
“I always say that we live in a very democratic society and the labour movement is one of the stakeholders in society, they are free to do what they want to do within the confines of the laws,” Indarsingh said.
He reemphasised that the state of emergency was designed to deal with criminal activities and that it “is a war on crime” and not on trade unionists or the labour movement. At a meeting last week, officials from the trade union movement said they were ready to be arrested.
“I doubt very much anyone of them are law breakers or criminals. They will be allowed to have their meetings when the normal scheme of things return,” Indarsing said.
Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) president-general Ancel Roget said Government would “stop at nothing” to get at them and so has called for two days of “fast and meditation” by the joint trade union movement. Though the union leaders said they support any initiative that reduces crime, they questioned whether the curfew and other restrictions were imposed to prevent them from further protest actions.