Riot police called out

The local contractor was reportedly owed approximately TT $4 Million, and had obtained a Court order to seize heavy machinery belonging to the company, including a D8 Bulldozer over loader, two excavators, and two 950 Front end Over loaders.

The drama unfolded at just after 9 am, when four trucks, together with a Marshal of the Court and several police officers in a marked police vehicle, arrived at the Golconda site and attempted to drive onto the compound. However, the workers, numbering approximately 25 persons, quickly realised what was taking place, and moved from their camp site located just in front of the main gates and formed a human barrier in front of the gates.

A number of other workers then proceeded to place old tyres and pieces of wood on the driveway leading to the compound.

A call was then made for back up and officers from the Guard and Emergency Branch (GEB) equipped in full riot gear, including shields, helmets, and body armour, arrived at the site and took up positions just in front of the protesting workers. A number of appeals were then made to the workers by police officers who informed them that the Court order had to be fulfilled, and they were appealing to the workers not to break the law.

An empty 25-seater police maxi then arrived on the scene as the riot police officers took up positions in front of the workers.

One worker asked about the purpose of the police maxi to which another worker said this was for those workers who refused to move from in front of the gates.

Then after being informed that they had two choices- to leave the gates or get locked up, the workers abandoned the gates, and went into their camp. Officers then removed the tyres from the road and also shifted the tent to allow the vehicles to enter the compound.

Speaking to reporters during the stand-off, OWTU representative, Jameel Thomas, said similar action had been used by other contractors, and the company may sell out their assets to repay their debts, and leave the workers unpaid.


"Riot police called out"

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