Caroni East Member of Parliament and former Minister of Education, Dr Tim Gopeesingh is calling on the Prime Minister to engage in "meaningful discussions" with steel manufacturers ArcelorMittal.
Dr Gopeesingh says the impact of the plants' closure on downstream industries can be dire.
The following is a statement from Dr Gopeesingh:
"The Dr. Keith Rowley administration must immediately engage Arcelor Mittal in meaningful discussions with a view to having the multinational enterprise continue its operations in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Steel Workers Union (SWUTT) is not accepting ArcelorMittal’s claims that it was incurring losses since 2009, which subsequently led to the company being forced to close its Point Lisas plant on Friday.
The union has labelled the company’s move as a “strategic” way to wash its hands of its obligations to workers.
Only on Thursday, workers celebrated having won at the Industrial Court, in a case against the company for laying them off twice between December 2015 and February this year.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has described the actions of ArcelorMittal as "punitive and disrespectful".
The steel producing company shut down operations and sent home over 600 workers one day ater losing a matter in the Industrial Court for the unfair dismissal of 480 workers.
The following is the statement from the Office of the Prime Minister:
ArcelorMittal is confirming its decision to close operations in Point Lisas.
The following the is a statement from the company:
"ArcelorMittal Point Lisas announces with deep regret that it is to close its operations.
Despite the company’s considerable efforts to avoid the closure of the iron and steel facility, a combination of local and international challenges has resulted in a decision to close the business, which has been under severe financial distress since the second half of 2015.
Workers who were laid off from ArcelorMittal have turned up at the company's offices and up until 8.30 this morning, were waiting for a briefing from company officials.
The action comes despite a statement last week by ArcelorMittal, indicating that there was no agreement for the 1500 workers to return to work today. http://www.cnc3.co.tt/press-release/arcelormittal-clears-air-return-1500...
ArcelorMittal Point Lisas Limited is clearing the air on reports that the company has agreed to allow 1500 workers to show up to work next Monday.
The energy company published a newspaper ad today stating that the company continues to bear the effects of the continued deterioration of economic and market conditions.
The following is the statement by ArcelorMittal:
"It is incorrect to say that ArcelorMittal Point Lisas Limited has agreed to have 1500 workers show up for work on January 18th 2016.