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Wednesday, January 18, 2006 

Labour unions in Trinidad force implementation of Occupational Safety Act
by Stephen Cummings
Caribbean Net News Trinidad Correspondent
Email: stephen@caribbeannetnews.com

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad: The Trinidad Government has agreed to implement parts of a controversial Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) which have been engaging the attention of labour unions and other interests groups in the country.
Labour union leaders had threatened the government, saying they would call a national strike of the working class if the issue of health and safety in the workplace was not addressed.

They claim that recently some 23 persons have died due to the absence of the Act, which was passed in both houses of Parliament and assented to by President George Maxwell Richards in 2003 and 2004 respectively.

Government has since being arguing that though the Act was passed earlier there were many flaws and therefore could not be implemented in its present form.
But speaking at a news conference at his Port of Spain Whitehall office on Tuesday, Prime Minister Patrick Manning said parts of the legislation could be introduced by the end of the week.

He said the Attorney General, John Jeremie, is now looking at the issue to see what can be implemented now, saying OSHA could be implemented in its entirety by February 17 of this year.

Meanwhile, representatives of the country's labour unions who meet with the Prime Minister on Monday, are calling the move a victory for the working class in the country.

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