While Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said that an average of $.5 million was paid as severance to each Petrotrin worker when the company was shut down, the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) has accused him of distorting figures.
Speaking at the People’s National Movement public meeting at the Pleasantville Community Centre, San Fernando on Tuesday night, Rowley said that “no one was tossed onto the pavement to suffer”.
State-owned Petrotrin made an operating profit of US$250.28 million or TT$1.67 billion during its last year in existence.
This was revealed in unaudited figures that the company’s successor, Trinidad Petroleum Holdings Limited presented recently to investors.
As at the year ended September 30, 2018, the revenues for Petrotrin, stood at US$1,045.20 or TT$7.08 billion.
The company’s Cost of Sales stood at US$195.45 million or TT$1.3 billion while Gross Profit US$849.75 million or TT$5.7 billion.
Almost 100 residents of La Brea who were affected by an oil spill in December 2013, have lost their multi-million dollar negligence lawsuit against now-defunct Petrotrin.
Delivering an oral ruling at the end of a brief procedural appeal at the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain, Chief Justice Ivor Archie and Appellate Judge Charmaine Pemberton upheld the decision of a High Court judge who had previously dismissed the residents’ claim.
Petrotrin says that it has transferred $50 million to commercial banks to fulfill its commitment to pay all former non-permanent workers outstanding backpay for the period 2011 to 2018.
Some 2069 individuals will benefit from the payout.
A statement by Petrotrin says that a team from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) worked diligently during the past several weeks to ensure the company met its commitment to pay workers by January 15.
Petrotrin ceased operations on November 30, 2018, but the process for determining the amounts owed to each worker required detailed work.