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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00154
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: March 23, 1975
Frequency: completely irregular
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
 Notes
Dates or Sequential Designation: no. 1- Sept. 28, 1969-
General Note: Includes supplements.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000329131
oclc - 03123637
notis - ABV8695
System ID: UF00072147:00154

Full Text


SUNDAY MARCH 23. 1975


V OTI1 .e IRI 1


Positive Moves


Now Afoot


MOVES are afoot to deal
with the national crisis
unleashed by the indus-
trial disputes in sugar and
oil and deepened last
Tuesday by police brutal-
ity at the Procession
organised by the United
Labour Front,
Culls for an inquiry into
police behaviour have been
coming from ii wide variety
of reputable community In.
terests including the Journal-
ists and Bar Associations, In
a statement to the Press last
Thursday, Tapia endorsed the
rising demand,
Tapia Secretary Loyd
Best also attended a meeting
called by Opposition Leader
in the House of Representa-
tives Roy Richardson to
discuss the national crisis,
The meeting charged Mr,
Richardson to visit the Prime


Minister and propose certain
national solutions to the
crisis.
Tupia will also hold a
Council Meeting on Sunday
March 23 to prepare a pro-
gramme of action. The
Council is expected to
approve a new demand by the
National Executive for the
Government to convene a
Constituent Assembly and
Conference of Citizens,
"In the worsening crisis",
said a report from the Tapia
House, "we are once again
Imploring the Government to
call the Conference at the
level of the entire nation,"
At the First Sitting of the
Annual General Assembly on
Sunday last (March 16), a
Resolution was approved
mandating the Executive to
take a Tapia initiative in
calling the National Con-
ference,


- Picking up the Pieces


ON Tuesday last the
United Labour Front
played its major stroke
and all the subsequent
evidence points to the
fact that the procession
was undertaken without
sufficient consideration
of the possibilities of
success or the conse-
quences of failure.
Confrontation is always an
exceedingly dangerous strat-
egy and given the relative
strengths of the opposing
forces it was clear that the
chances of success on Tues-
day were extremely small.
But what the events of
Tuesday and after have
demonstrated is that the
U.L.F. did not have an
effective plan for confronta-
tion and that the long march
for "peace, bread and justice"
was perhaps too great a risk,
a desperate and hopeless
search for a tactic which
would deliver success into the
hands of the brutalized
workers.

TEAR GAS

In the event only the
police appeared, just as they
said they would, and they
were well armed. And before
th' procession had gone more
than six hundred yards, tear
gas, batons and gunbutts had
sent the marchers scattering
in all directions.


Mr. Panday in referring to
the incident stated that "he
went up in a cloud of
smoke." An attempt to
regroup the procession failed
and thousands of work-
ers could be seen running in
all directions, fear and con.
fusion written all over their
faces,

BREAKDOWN

Thereafter the entire
situation become uncertain
in spite of heroic attempts by
second-line leadership to rally
forces in the Central Sugar
Belt. After many workers had
made their way to Port-of-
Spain they were not clear as
to where they were supposed
to go or as to what they
were supposed to do, Those
who attempted to gather
outside the Prime Minister's
Office were rudely dispersed
by the police.
Nothing more clearly
demonstrated the breakdown
of the whole exercise than
the fact that at the end of
the meeting in Woodford
Square on Wednesday night
the assembled workers were
forced to go back home on
foot since the strikes in
gasolene delivery had render-
ed public transportation
difficult and many of the
workers penniless.
All over the country, from
the blocks on the University
to-the University on the-


blocks vast numbers of people
were sympathetic enough to
wish to come out in support.
In the absence of any previ-
ously announced plan, the
support that might have
erupted at the critical
moment unfortunately was
frustrated.
Except for the vigorous
support from the journalists,
which was an accident stem-
ming from the treatment
some of the journalists re-
ceived from the police, and
the sympathy of the popula-
tion over the question of
police brutality, which is
present on human grounds
in all such situations, the
popular response which the
leaders must have counted
upon failed to translate itself
into much needed political
ammunition,

ORGANISATION

The reason for this was
simply that the link which we
had urged the leaders of the
ULF time and again to put
,in place was still missing
The vital link was and still
is a National Political Organ-
isation. Clearly such organisa-
tion cannot be brought into
being overnight. Yet the
ULF had many of the re-
sources which could have
been brought to bear on the
effort.
Embracing as it did four


major unions including the
OWTU, it controlled vital
financial resources as well as
a network of union offices
which would have proved the
nucleus of a political admin-
istration,
Starting from such a base
the ULF was in an excellent
position to take the initiative
in bringing together from
wherever they existed the
political, intellectual and
cultural resources which must
be present in any national
political organisation,
The question which must
now be asked is whether
anything can now be done
to salvage their position, It
may yet be too early to say,
But in any case it will be
necessary to reassess the
position from every angle,
In the first place we must
assess whether or not any
damage has been done to the
incipient unity that the ULF
undoubtedly managed to
achieve between the oil-
workers and the sugarworkers
in the first place and more
importantly between Africans
and Indians.
Secondly the capacity of
the rank and file to renew
the struggle must now be
assessed. Even before the
march was undertaken the
canefarmers in particular had
found themselves in serious
economic straits as a result
of the no-cut campaign. The
question is whether the same
degree of fortitude ca' be


expected after the psycholo-
gical impact of their failure
to obtain any gains whatso-
ever.

GOVERNMENT

The Government's position
must also be carefully asses-
sed. Have they gained in any
way from their handling of
the events? If so what action
can be expected from them
as they seek to consolidate
these gains? They may decide
further to embarass the
union opposition by only
now nationalising Texaco,
(which they intend in any
case to do and by only now
conceding substantial in-
creases to the oilworkers,

MILITARY

Finally we need to recog-
nist that one option which
the Government can still
persue is that of increased
repression. In any such situa.
tion the power and indepen-
dence of the police and the
military may increase to the
point where the Government
may be unable to control the
forces they themselves have
unleashed.
It was for this reason that
Tapia issued its call for an
immediate National Confer-
ence ofCitizens to discuss the
burning issues of the moment
and make a political settle-
ment the paramount choice.


"25 C'cilts


V.I. 5 N 12







PAGE 2 TAPIA SUNDAY MARCH 23, 1975



Panday Speaks On Campus


A TIRED-LOOKING
Basdeo Panday, head of
the All-Trinidad Sugar
Union, addressed a rally
at the St. Aug. campus
on Wednesday night. He
said that the United
Labour Front (ULF) had
decided to stage a
religious procession to
Port-of-Spain to block
the Government's plan
to break the workers'
struggle, by allowing a
prolonged strike.
Panday spoke to the
meeting after attempts by
the campus police to stop


him from entering the univer-
sity compound had failed.
He had come from the
meeting in Woodford Sq.
which he reported was
attended by 10,000 people.
George Weekes had not
appeared, he said, because
members of the OWTU were
afraid for his life.
Mr. Panday, said that he
had decided to disperse the
crowd "before the lights
went out and the people
were brutalised by Burroughs
and his Mongoose Gang."
I am sure they must be
on dope", he added.
The procession had set off
peacefully on Tuesday morn-


ing after prayers by Hindu,
Moslem and Christian breth-
ren. The plan, according to
the sugar workers' leader, was
not to expose the people in
the procession to danger.
If they were stopped,
Weekes, Shah and he had
decided to disperse the crowd,
if so ordered by the police,
and proceed on the walk to
Port-of-Spain by themselves,
as a mark of "courage,
strength and demonstration."
However, when they were
stopped by the police, they
were not given time to disperse
the crowd.
"That madman Ramdwar,
his face covered with a gas


mas and his voice distorted,
kept shouting in a mega-
phone."
Before they knew what
was happening tear gas can-
isters were being thrown into
the crowd and the Mongoose
Gang were setting upon the
demonstrators, beating them
with batons and gun-butts.
Panday became separated
from Shah and Weekes. A tear
gas bomb fell at his feet and
enveloped him. "I went up in
a cloud of smoke."
Running behind some un-
masked policemen who were
also affected by the tear gas,
Panday said that he made it
to the OWTU headquarters.


Changing clothes and three
cars, he was able to slip the
police and make it to Saith
Park in Chaguanas where a
meeting had been planned for
4 ,o'clock
Shortly after .he began to
address the meeting, he was
arrested by policemen who
came racing into the Park in
6 cars.
By this time, Panday said,
the workers were cowed and
afraid, although he had told
them to stay since that
meeting had been granted
police permission.
Taken to San Fernando,
he was thrown into a cell
with 20 other arrested per-
sons including Weekes and
Humphrey.
One of the persons in the
cell was semi-conscious and
vomiting throughout the
night but requests for medical
attention were ignored. D.P.


U., Staeg


MR. Panday gave some
details of the struggle of
the three unions.
After months of negotia-
tion, the All-Trinidad Union
had been able to win 100
per cent wage increase for all
workers; increases based not
on old wages but on a recalssi-
fled wage scale.
However, the union
wanted a number of other
things: medical assistance
including ambulances in the
fields where workers were
likely to be injured; portable
toilets for the women; clean
drinking water in the fields;
overtime and double-time for
both hourly and task workers.
More fundamentally, how-
ever, the Sugar Union
wanted to share in the profits
of Caroni Ltd,
The company has always
argued, Panday pointed out,
that it could not raise wages
too high in times of high
profits because when profits
fell, wages would not adjust
in the same manner.
"We agreed," said
Panday, "but when profits
are high, let us share in the
profits."
The company had agreed
in principle and put forward
a profit-sharing scheme of
not less than 10 per cent of
profits a minimum figure.
A minimum figure, Panday
postulated, must be defini-
tion include a maximum


figure. The company demur-
red.
Last year, Caroni had
made a profit of $50mn. The
Union's plan was to take
half as its share of profits.
"We ent greedy"
The intent was to use this
sum to purchase Caroni Ltd.
The Govt. had bought 51
per cent participation in the
sugar company for $10mn.
The sugar workers were pre-
pared- to pay $20.25, even
$30mn.for the company.
The Govt. couldn't accuse
us of advocating communism
or socialism or any other
"ism". The PNM Chaguara-
mas Declaration of 1971 and
the White Paper on State
Participation had both stres-
sed that the Government was
only holding ownership in
trust for the workers with a
view to eventually handing it
over to them.
"So that when people ask
whether we are preaching
Capitalism, Socialism, Com-
munism," Panday said, "I tell
them Capitalism. I'm not
against Capitalism, as long as
it is the workers who own
the capital. In fact I don't
believe in any "isms".
The cane farmers, he
continued, were fighting for
recognition, Shah's union, the
ICTU, conservatively esti-
mated, represented 90 per
cent of the cane farmers.
Yet, Act. 1 of 1965 gives


Basdeo Panday
automatic recognition to the
TICFA and cess dues are
payable to the Association by
all cane farmers.
Justice Brathwaite had
ruled certain key sections of
Act 1 null and void, yet
Caroni had refused to negoti-
ate with ICTU.
Weekes and the OWTU
were having similar experi-
ences with Texaco which had
refused to budge from its 30
per cent offer.
Caroni Ltd. suddenly came
to his negotiating team and
said that the talks had broken
down: take the matter to the
Industrial Court.
On the same day, the
sugar company wrote to
Shah's union refusing to hold
talks until the appeals against
the High Court decision had
been completed.
The Ministry of Labour
also referred the Texaco/
OWTU dispute to the Indus-
trial Court. D.P.


AT a meeting on the St.
Augustine Campus Mr.
Panday outlined the
reasons why the U.L.F.
had adopted the strategy
they used.
The Govts. plan,
according to Panday, was
to push the three unions,
into prolonged strike
action.
They knew that the
workers would begin to
weaken when the children
began to cry and would
crawl back to work with
their tails between their legs.
They were afraid of the
profit-sharing and of worker
ownership which would ex-
pose the racket in the sugar
company.
More fundamentally, the
Govt was: afraid of the alli-
ance between the three
unions, not necessarily be-
cause of the industrial might
of the combination, but
because the ULP brought
together Indians and Africans.
Williams, had made the
broad boast in his autobio-
graphy, Inward Hunger, that
he had always been able to
keep Oil and Sugar divided.
He had used religion as a
decisive force. Hindu against
Moslem, Christian against
non-Christian.
He had always depended
on race to maintain his
power, "but in my opinion,
Williams doh like black
people", and so he has


become very afraid of the
ULF.
The ULF had decided to
use religious elders of these
three main denominations in
the country to begin their
meetings.
To seal this unity of
workers, races and religions,
was to make a revolutionary
advance. "If a people can
pray together, play together
and work together, then they
can live together.."
None of three unions,
could stand a prolonged
struggle. Panday admitted.
The sugar workers and oil
workers were out at full
stretch, the cane farmers
may already be beyond that
point.
Thus the religious proces-
sion to Port-of-Spain had
been intended to dramatise
the unity and the intransig-
ence of the Govt, Texaco and
Caroni Ltd. in such a way as
to force the powers to make
a move.
The result had been the
tear gas, beatings and the
arrests in San Fernando.
Panday congratulated the
students on their show of
solidarity and asked the way
out. The workers had not
been defeated. Their solidar-
ity had been affirmed. He
hoped that the ensuring dis-
cussion would show the way
out, Mr. Panday added.
In his opinion, there was
need to transform the struggle
from an industrial one into a
political struggle, which is
what it really is. D.P.


For Your Easter Bargains



shop at






HODGKINSON'S



the place where thrifty people shop


62 Queen St, P.O.S


T heAssues,










TAPIA MUST CONQUER




WITH NEW POLITICS


Brothers & Sisters,

WELCOME. It is an old saying, after seven
years and five Annual General Assemblies,
that wherever two or three Tapia people are
gathered, invariably they are gathered on the
people's business. When, in the fullness of
time, those two or three multiply into a multi-
tude, then it's the people's business with a
vengeance.
Like Fidel Castro we say that:
When we speak of the people we do not mean
the comfortable ones, the conservative ele-
ments of the nation, who welcome any regime
of oppression, any dictatorship, any despotism,
prostrating themselves before the master of the
moment until they grind their foreheads in the
ground ....

.... the people means the vast unredeemed
masses, to whom all make promises and whom
all deceive .. who yearn for a better, more
dignified and more just nation; who are moved
by ancestral aspirations of justice, for they
have suffered injustice and mockery generation
after generation; who long for great and wise
changes, are ready to give even the very last
breath of their lives, when they believe in
something or in someone, especially.when they
Believe in themselves.

In stating a purpose, the first condition of
sincerity and good faith is to do precisely what
nobody else ever does, that. is, to speak with
absolute clarity, without fear.
The demagogues and professional politicians
who manage to perform the miracle of being
right in everything and in pleasing everyone,
are, of necessity, deceiving everyone about
everything. The revolutionaries must proclaim
their ideas courageously, define their principles
and express their intentions so that in one is
deceived, neither friend nor foe."

NEW MORALITY

Today, as everyday, we must talk from our hearts.
Today as everyday, the truth will set us free.
Last year for Independence Day, I was asked
by the Press to sum up the situation in the country.
To my mind, the immediate task was and is the
restoration of drder:
"... not in the hackneyed, conventional sense
of law and order but in the sense of recognizing
the need for a new morality, a new system of
beliefs, a new way of seeing.

The bases of the old morality, the conventional
economics and politics, the hallowed world-
view, have been shattered beyond repair,
throwing us into persisting crisis."
Today that view is even more valid than yester-
day. On the world stage, the constitutional crisis has


been brought to a head at the level of the entire
civilization by
.. .The two world wars, the breaking of the
imperial stranglehold, the transfer of'power from
Europe to America, the revolt in Cuba and
Vietnam, the emergence of Russia, China and
the European Community, the rise of the black
States in Africa and Asia, the long hot summers
of black power, young power, the unabashed
degeneracy of central power in the highest
places .. ."
A floodgate of watergates; and then we must
not forget what for us'is the most immediate factor
of all. It is the energy crisis expressing a bid by the
poorer countries to flee from the University of
hunger, to leap from the oppressor's hate and escape
from economic colonisation by administering the
prices and the marketing of their raw materials, cash
crops and export staples by bringing to a final
collapse the merchant order which has kept us all
enchained for nearly 500 long years in "the nigger-
yard of yesterday."
The Arabs are leading this revolt; we are only
lagging and tagging behind as the change advances
apace accompanied by dislocation, disorder, disarray
of every conceivable kind. The most outward of the
visible signs has been rampant inflation on a universal
scale and the man in the street is reeling under all the
blows -- the pressure, the punishment and the pain.
At home we 'tourdi with licks; the whole
country buffeted, boulverse and beat up. There is
now no interval in the revolutionary upheaval, no
respite, not a moment of peace, only uncertainty and
fear, and dread. Since 1968, we have had agitation
on an ever increasing scale involving practically every
section of the country. Now the industrial disputes in
the Oil and Sugar Belts are. threatening to escalate
into open conflict, the only difference being that,
after all these years of agony, the choices are nar-
rower by far thap in 1968 or '70.

WIN ON POINTS


When frustration has become a way of life,
when all the complexities of change stare us daily in
the face; when all the easy options have been taken
and we have learnt that overnight solutions always
tumble by the wayside, instinctively we turn quickly
away from militant adventurism towards activity
which endures and lasts; We in Tapia therefore,
counsel all to work and wait and build and win the
game on points.
In the absence of'the means of sustained and
constructive involvement for our people, the only
recourse is negation. Boycotts, sick-outs, withdrawals
of enthusiasm; or, from another angle, orgies of sex,
of drugs and of magical, apocalyptic cult, of charis-
-matic religion and most recently, of "endless vibra-
tions." We try to lose ourselves upon a trip either
into retreat and sullen resignation or into a super-
militant euphoric indignation. Drunk and disorderly,
as Sparrow put it.
We have been swept from shore to shore; we
must find ground Walcott. The answer lies in moral


resurgence, in cultural revival. This oscillation, up
and down, this wild swinging to extremes of involve-
ment and non-involvement is a denial that our people
can be free and equal and responsible; it is an
affirmation of contempt and self-contempt. What we
need is that tranquility of soul that comes from soul-
force:
"afresh initiative for inner meaning, an instinc-
tive and primal quest for ancestral origins."
We need the idea of a sovereign individual in a
concert of community freedom; a recognition that
the West Indian is "a civilisation-making animal who
can alter the architectural complex of an age "
(Kamau Brathwaite). We need to reach out for our
native tradition, to plumb "the depth of inarticulate
feeling and unrealised wells of emotion belonging to
the whole West Indies." (Wilson Harris)

LET THE PEOPLE SPEAK

I have been referring to the poets. I have been
referring to them quite deliberately because, the new
morality that we need must acknowledge that the
poetry and the politics, that the two ends of our
consciousness are one both dealing with the
unspoken anxieties of a people their' object being to
teach ourselves how to speak. Like love, to teach us
how to speak.
Brothers and Sisters, The purpose of Tapia
politics is to teach our people how to speak and to
design instruments and agencies of Community and
State through which the Voice of God is expressed in
the Voice of the People and not in the Voice of One.
'That is the mission of our time.
The weakness of the old regime, of the national
movement to date is that it dares not let the people
speak. It dares not let the people speak because it has
no plan, it has no organisation, it has no purpose, no
organisation no leadership current or aspiring. Our
Government is a rickety edifice held together by a
crooked rusty nail crooked till it bend a crooked
nail of decrepit administration, without politics and
therefore without life.
Our people are drifting, looking for another
home. The industrial unrest is so absurd, the paralysis
in public life is so numbing to the senses that its
basic cause is very plain. We need a change, we need a
change.
Hear the Archbishop of Port-of-Spain:
"His Grace referred to an extremely important
issue towering above the trivialities that seemed
to have an exaggerated importance in the lives
of many people that we were witnessing a
continued struggle for power between manage-.
ment and unionised labour while the dis-
advantaged remained neglected." (Trinidad
Guardian, 14/3/75).
The general public needs to know more, he
said, "about what a multi-national corporation stands
for as well as its role in a developing country such as
ours. The civil authorities have a duty to -let the
people know what a multi-national corporation is
doing, what it is getting out of the country and, even
more fundamentally, whether it is a good thingfor the
country to have it at all." Coitiu d Pag 7
Continued on Page 7


LUMBER



PLYWOOD


HARDBOARD
1 INi N Il l Il A i h, il


SEILPPUSG NIDLIUBd an


g


!AND SONS LIMI T ED
Poto-pi n Sa Juan SanR a


R EMEMBERl.-II
ER


IIIIP


SUNDAY MARCH 23, 1975


TAPIA PAGE: 3





PAGE 4 TAPIA
THE strong public reaction to the
police brutality which took
place in San Fernando on
Tuesday is valid and justified.
No matter what Commissioner
May may say about only the
minimum of force being used,
no matter what an enquiry may
find out about particular inci-
dents, in any situation where no
force or provocation is offered to
the police, where everyone flees
at the first whiff of tear gas,
even one blow with a truncheon
is unnecessarily brutal; and there
were many such blows.
No matter what the Commis-
sioner or an enquiry may say, the
presence of plain-clothesmen as part
of a crowd control detail is in-
excusable, even if the plainclothesmen
were not Burroughs' hooligans which
they were.
This particular aspect is reminis-
cent of the student demonstrations
in Mexico in 1968, when plain-
clothesmen infiltrated the crowd,
acted as agents provocateurs, and then
slaughtered unsuspecting marchers
from inside the melee.
In any case few people doubt
that the police brutalise members of
the public all over the country every
day.
But it is important that in our
justified anger at the brutality, we
should avoid becoming so consumed
with self-pity that we fail to focus on
the larger issues.
It is part of the colonial condi-
tion that politics consists largely of
protests about sufferings. The new
politics, on the other hand, is not


Politics

only a struggle for real power but the 19
also the work of founding a nation. leaders
So that issues of rights and fo, the
legality are perforce mixed up in the march p
political conflict. The political struggle and all
cannot be separated from the constitu- alternate
tional one. as it af
The political struggle is a struggle the nati
for power between the Government T
and the forces wanting change. But one of
these forces are not clearly defined, decision
not united, and not clear on their govern
policies. Absolute and watertight divi- standing
sions are of course an impossibility question
in politics; but when people are not march
reasonably clear about their align- the Su
ments and objectives, it is essential We reti
that the leaders be that little bit If
clearer than the followers that is need on
their job. That is what ANR Robinson But in a
was no doubt thinking, without realis- tionalit3
ing that he was expressing it, when he whole
said in a radio interview after the claimed
battle that the country was devoid of process
leadership. meaning
It certainly seems that the an acce
leadership of the United Labour S
Force were less clear than they might ously b
have been about the objectives and political
strategy of the march. It is regrettable tional te
that they did not heed the call made M
in Tapia to hold a meeting compar- to anti
able to that held by Joe Young and claim,
the Transport workers on the occasion leaders'
of the bus strike in May'12 1969,.after leae
Williams had declared a 'fight to a blocked
finish'. leaders
Such a meeting might have, as leaders


Behind


69 meeting did, forced the
ip to put and examine a case
kind of policies of which the
purported to be an instrument,
owed the workers -to consider
ives and to place the struggle
fected them in the context of
onal political crisis.
he general strategy was clearly
confrontation. That is what a
i to march, in the face of the
nent's ban, meant, notwith-
g the perfectly legitimate
Is of the legality of a religious
and the constitutionality of
mmary Offences Ordinance.
urn to these questions later.
you want to test a law you
ly ten people, not ten thousand.
ny case, a test of the constitu-
y of the law is a test of the
law. An approach which
that the march was a religious
on and not a march under the
g of the act was, by definition
stance of the law.
o the ten thousand were obvi-
rought out to participate in a
d and not a legal or constitu-
est.
r. Panday has obviously tried
cipate this argument by his
nade after the battle, that the
intention was to tell the
to disperse if the police
them, and then for the
to march on alone to Port-of-


WI&iTW-l




L71'v


THE first session of
Tapia's 5 Annual As-
sembly was held last
Sunday against the back-
ground of increasing
tension in the Oil and
Sugar belts.
Speaker after speaker
warned of the dangers of
the time and of the need
for cool and organisation.
Hear Syl Lowhar, Tapia
Chairman:
"We have had pitched
battles before, and we have
had our victories and defeats.
When the brothers tried to
block the buses from rolling
in '69 they were beaten back
brutally. Clive Nunez was
almost murdered with licks.
We remember the cry of Joe
Young as he was thrown
into the Black Maria.' We
shall overcome, brothers.
In '70 we marched and
marched, crushing the poui
underfoot. We had long days.
We almost commanded the
sun to be still. Yet humpty
dumpty did not fall, and the


walls of Jericho did not
crumble. We huffed and
huffed while the chain smoker
behind the dark googles
puffed and puffed."
Ivan Laughlin, Com-
munity Secretary had a
similar point:
"The issues in oil and
sugar have to do with econ-
omic reorganisation and there-
fore with constitution re-
form. You can talk of rallies,
of marches but the future of
Trinidad and Tobago is at
stake. One cannot afford to
race blindly into the future
.... Trinidad and Tobago is
on the brink of fundamental
upheaval.
The Sugar and oil struggles
are only symptoms of that
and not the basic reason. The
basic reason is that the Govt.
is on a collision course with


the people of Trinidad and
Tobago. .. We can't dilly-
daily with the lives of our
peoples."


COOL

Campaign Manager, Michael
Harris, was at pains to stress
the importance of revolution-
ary cool:
"Those of us in the North
may not appreciate the
gravity of the situation in the
country.. If we don't move
swiftly our blood may flow in
the land .... What we are
having is rhetoric instead of
reason, passion instead of pers-
pective. The greatest need in
revolutionary times is f.or
revolutionary cool.. .. These
days the rhetoric becomes not


only more militant, but me
militaristic."
Lloyd Best Tapia Secr
tarv:
"Tapia counsels all to we
and build and wait and w
the game on points .
When frustration has becoi
a way oflife, when all t
complexities of change sta
us daily in the face; when
the easy options have be
taken and we have lear
that overnight solutions
ways tumble by the wayside
instinctively we turn aw
from militant adventurism
towards activity which e
dures."
"In the absence of t
means of sustained and co
structive involvement for c
people the only recourse
negation; Boycotts, sick-ou


Spain; but that the precipitateness
and incoherence of Ramdwar fore-
stalled this. 'That Ramdwar is a mad-
man' Paqiday claimed in his talk at
UWI.
But if a test of the law was the
purpose, this strategy could have been
adopted from the very beginning. Not
only do you not bring out ten
thousand people to do what ten can
do, you don't bring out ten thousand
on a march so that only ten can
complete it.
In any. case, if Panday was not
sure before the march that Ramdwar
was a madman, and that when wearing
a gas-mask he would be an incoherent
madman, he should at least have con-
sidered the possibility before develop-
ing a strategy that depended so
crucially on it.
There would be no difference
between the ULF action of bringing
out ten thousand people in order to
send them home again and the action
of Eric Williams when on April 22nd
1960 he led a colossal march for
Chaguaramas only to settle for a
measly 51 million dollars. This is
manipulation at its worst.
So the plan was perhaps to put
the Government's bona fides to the
test to see whether they would
abide by their own legislation con-
cerning religious processions. But
such a test depends on a non-existent
consensus about the meaning of
'religious'. In any case, one can only
call otner people's bona fides in
question if one's own are unimpeach-
able. In this respect, the ULF's were
not they themselves did not believe
the march was religious in character
and they could not expect to convince
anyone else that it was, especially
since their objective was first of all
Whitehall and the Governor General's
House, and especially since prominent
among the prospective participants
were such sacerdotal figures as
Vernon Jamadar and James Millette
and among the patrons the saintly
figure of ANR Robinson, and be-
latedly, Ashford Sinanan.
So the march was a political
test and nothing else. Which is in
fact what such a march should always
be. But a mere crowd is never a
political resource. Confrontation is
politically necessary, or at least
effective, in certain cases, but only
when other political resources have
been organized too.
It is essential to ask whether
Weekes, Shah and Panday properly

withdrawals or enthusiasm
or, from another angle, orgies
of sex, of drugs and of apo-
calyptic cult and charismatic
religion. We try to lose our-
selves upon a trip either into
retreat and sullen resignation
re or into super-militant,
euphoric indignation.
"The answer lies in moral
resurgence and cultural
)rk revival. The wild swinging to
vin extremes is a denial that our
people can be free and equal
me and responsible. It is an
he affirmation of contempt and
he self-contempt ......
al "A private community
S movement alone can make
en the initial breakaway but its
rnt development and spread re-
quires conquest of the power
de, of the State as well.
ay The link between the two
sm is politics, that activity which
en- generates the hope first, then
the almost religious commit-
he ment and the dedication to
on- convert personal and group
)ur dreams and scattered individ-
is ual capacities into a nation-
ts, wvide movement for glory."


SUNDAY


P


What. Td aipi(ad sa-'I~ d






4ARCH_23, 1975




lice


TAPIA PAGE 5


Brutality


assessed the capacity of the ULF to
confront the Government politically;
whether they can be foolish enough to
believe that on the basis of merely a
few weeks' campaign on limited issues
it is ready to take on the entrenched
forces of the state.
Did they believe that an indus-
trially based organisation which took
no pains to notice and reconcile the
differences of political allegiance
among its rank and file could be
thrown together in short order and
stand up under fire, especially when
the rhetoric of organisation in the
first place was the poor-me-one rhetoric
of suffering and moral worth?
We know that they are not so
foolish. They were no more planning
for total victory on the basis of their
own resources than they were organis-
ing a test of the law or a test of the
Government's bona fides.
This leaves two possibilities:
The first is that they were hoping
for limited gains, knowing full well
that the police would stop the march,
the second is that they were seeking
a total victory brought about through
an escalation favourable to the ULF.
In this connection, the lack of
precision in the strategy is exemplified
by the two conflicting announcements
made by Panday and Weekes before
the march. Panday on television the
week before said 'either we will crush
them or they will crush us', which
suggests nothing less than total victory
as the objective. At UWI after the
march he said that the march had been
intended to dramatise the unity and
intransigence of the Government,
Texaco and Caroni Ltd. "in such a
way as to force the powers to make a
move." Weekes on the morning of the
march told reporters that his followers
had been strictly enjoined to do noth-
ing provocative and offer no resistance
to the police, in keeping with the
religious atmosphere.
But assuming the first possibil-
ity the method of gaining a limited
victory by arousing the sympathy of
the population such a strategy
would be a truly alarming way of
seeking such a goal, requiring as it
does the mobilisation of thousands of
citizens solely to be beaten, and
implying as it does a total lack of any
concept of organisation by persuasion
and hard work. That is why we must
be careful about concentrating on the
question of police brutality, especially
since police brutality is an easy issue
to use for arousing people, the police


being always brutal.
But the ULF leaders could not
be so imbued with the methods of
doctor politics to have relied on such
a strategy. The last possibility is the
most likely that they were seeking
total victory on the theory that the
confrontation itself would bring the
resources necessary for a knock-out
victory. This of course is manipulative
too. But as an interpretation it ex-
plains, for one thing, why so many
divergent political groups could find
themselves on the bandwaggon. For
another, it explains why Tapia could
not be involved, if this was not already
crystal clear from our statements over
the past years and months.
Such a strategy is no more than
the belief in magic characteristic of
conventional colonial politics. In any
case, even if escalation is what is
wanted it must be planned meeting
after meeting, march after march, con-
frontation after confrontation. It
therefore assumes a high level of
dedication on the part of followers.
Paradoxically, such dedication can
only be achieved by a kind of in-
doctrination in the issues that, it
successful, would probably make con-
frontation politics unnecessary in the
first place.
But what is worst about this
attempt at a knock-out blow is not
the almost complete mentality of its
failure but what would have happened
if it had succeeded.
Suppose every worker in the
country had turned out; suppose the
riot squads had been lynched; sup-
pose the riot squads had
pose the ULF had taken over the
government. What government, and
what kind of government would we
have ended up with? Weekes and Shah?
ANR and Jamadar? Shades of the
ACDC-DLP! What kind of national
policy could we have expected? The
only thing we know for sure is that
Texaco would have been nationalised
a little sooner. As regards any other
aspects of economic, constitutional
or social organisation, we would have
had to await the announcements of
the new government with interest.
In fact, a much better version of
this very process occurred in 1956,
and look where that has led us.
It might perhaps be claimed
that a positive aspect of this strategy
of total confrontation, even in the
case of its failure, is the rapproche-
ment it brought about between oil and
sugar, between African and Indian.


At least in this respect, it might be
said, the ULF, win or lose, is superior
to the PNM. But apart from the fact
that the phoniness of its multi-racialism
was not the only fault of the PNM, it
must be pointed out that the new
multi-racialism of 1975 is only a
beginning a tender plant to be
exposed to such the hard test of
armed confrontation.
We can speculate but we do not
arrogate to ourselves the right to judge
the motives of methods of the ULF's
leaders. Their followers must, and will
do that.
The concept of moral right has
as we indicated above, been repeatedly
invoked in this conflict. It was not like
1970, people said, when the un-
employed marched and you couldn't
tell the respectable youth from the
criminals and layabouts. This time,
people arc saying, the iarclhers were
solid, honest farming and working
citizens, and hence it was much more
disgraceful for the police to beat them
up.
This preoccupation with moral
right and justification by personal
worth is another source of confusion.
If the moral right ol" the participants
was such a powerful factor, why did
thousands more not come out in
support of the cause? Why did the
people of the north not take over
the country while the police were
occupied in the south?
The fact is that that kind of
rightness is not automatically encash-
able politically, if only because there
is always a risk that it will be seen
from different angles by different
people.One function of law is to inst-
itutionalise what people see as moral


so that all can share it, just as the
function of politics is to persuade
people to that consent sus in the first
place.
In this regard the fundamental
inconsistency of the ULF leaders is
that in 1971 when the opportunity
arose for the opposition forces to
unite to block the passage of the
Summary Offences Act, it proved im-
possible to assemble% conference of
citizens for the purpose; and that in
1972-73 when the Wooding Commis-
sion invited the collaboration of
opposition forces in its deliberations
on the constitution reform, there
was no participation even on the
crucial question of fundamental rights
and freedoms.

Some supposed leaders of the
opposition even expressed their atti-
tude to the question of institutionalisa-
tion of freedoms in even stronger
terms: there was nothing wrong with
the constitution, said ANR Robinson,
that an election couldn't cure. Was it
elections that he hoped last Tuesday's
march would bring?
Those who invoke moral right
as their sole justification in their
confrontation with a government
armed with legality (even if it is
morally liegitimate)have to remember
that when they themselves come to
power they too will have to govern
by law. But law merely expresses
consensus. Politics creates it. Therefore
any party which wishes to govern on
the basis of consensus, which is the
only condition under which govern-
ment is possible at all, must first
create that consensus by hard political
work.


Skinner Park, San Fernando
17-2-75

PANDAY
"It is a crisis in
which the old
way in which the society is
organised cannot do justice
to the people .. We must
not make the mistake to
think that we can go our
separate ways out of
this assembly a permanent
working class political party
must be born."

SHAH

"I would
like to make
it very clear that and I
direct my comments to the
informers, policemen, stooges
who have come here, we want
them to note the might
of the thousands gathered
here, and if they stand on
the wrong side they'll be
crushed We are not
vicious, but the people here


is like a steamroller going
down hill."

PANDAY

"I have heard words
about leh we seize
state power as if it is a
parcel, a box that we could
grab and go home with."
"The first act (Govern-
ment's) will be to break up
the alliance. Will we let it
happen? (Crowd: 'No!') The
.second act would be to dis-
member the U.L.F. .. but
they'll never succeed in
dividing us along racial lines
again . .
. .. In 1970 they (the
Government) succeeded


largely because the struggle
was composed ol largely,
unemployed people. But now
they are fighting a might!


army of workers and farmers.
The Black Power movement
had people like tlis. But they
failed to consolidate that
power into a political force...
We must not make the mis-
take of Iaot consolidating
thai power."

FPaiamount Building. Wednesday
March 12, 1975.

WEEKS
I recall tlhe
long March
in 1935. All of us must recall
that and prepare for this one
It will take blood and sacrifice
hut we can't lose. The
ioly wiv wAi can lose is by
sitting on .u1i ,backsides and
doing noillui l. iic we will


be looking for miracles. Are
you looking for miracles?
Crowd: 'No!')"
I invite the forces of this
country the police and the
army to join with us in our
just struggle I invite the
armed forces to judge us if
they feel that we should be
judged and to answer if
they feel that we are guilty
of any crime against Texaco.
If their friends feel that we
are guilty 1 put forward my
body to be shot if the
armed forces believe that our
,cause is not just."
U.W.I. St. Augustine Wednesday
March 19, 1975


the religious
procession to Port-
of-Spain had been intended
to dramatise th. unity and
the intransigence of the
Government. Texaco aiid
Caroni in sucl a way as to
force the powers to make a
move.


What-The-UM "d'r, P






SUNDAY MARCH 23, 1975



Multinational


Manipulation-


IN his book The Sovereign
State A Secret History Of
TT, Anthony Sampson
suggests that ITT has
become the symbolic
multi-national oppressor
protecting its investment
in the Third World, taking
over the position previ-
ously held by companies
like United Fruit. A look
at the background to
United Fruit shows how
it is still doing exactly
the same despite a public
relations campaign to
prove otherwise.
Like Booker McConnell
in the Caribbean sugar trade,
United Fruit (now known as
United Brands Inc.) has used
its dominance in the banana
trade to manipulate govern-
ments to get favourable
arrangements and in the event
of hostility to protect its
investment.


LANDOWNER

UF is the biggest land-
owner, the biggest employer
and the' biggest business in
Honduras, Costa Rica and
Panama (with the exception
of the Canal Zone). In
Jamaica it buys almost 80%
of all bananas produced for
export. It also buys from
Surinam, Ivory Coast, Taiwan
and many other countries.
As can be guessed, the bulk
of United Fruit's operations
are in Central America, where
it employs 30,000 people
who produce over 50 million
bananas for export.
Most. of these employees
live in company towns where
all facilities roads, hospitals,
schools, shops etc., are
provided by the company. It
runs 49 radio stations on the
sub-continent and mail from
the outside world is brought
in on its fleet of banana
boats. In this way, like many
of the copper and tin-mining
companies in Chile and Peru,
it has been able to dictate
wages and ensure that most
of these wages return to the
company's coffers via the
cash tills in the company
stores.


MERGER

The forerunner of today's
company was formed in 1899
by the merger of a banana-
boat company, owned by
Bostonian, Andrew Preston
and the railroad company of
Minor C. Keith. Already it
owned over a hundred miles
of railroad and 200,000 acres
of land, a third of which was
in banana production. Over
the next two decades, the
company increased its land-
holding and railroad mileage
fifteenfold, partly by the
acquisition of several smaller
banana and railroad com-
panies, enabling it to seize
the dominant position in the


world market.
At this point in time it
sold over two-thirds of the
world's bananas. Though this
has fallen, partly due to anti-
trust actions, it still holds
over a third of the world
r


A CsseStudy


that John Foster Dulles, the
US secretary of State at the
time, was also the legal
representative of United
Fruit through his law firm,
Sullivan and Cromwell.
Obviously after these inci-


As part of its 'social res-
ponsibility' image, the com-
pany often proudly points to
hospitals it has built. In fact
two of these, one in Colombia
(1928) and one in Costa Rica
(1934), were built as a result


m__ :i ; . l
A huge banana plantation in Panama. Banana production and exports account for 86% of Panama's
foreign exchange income. Some 15,000 workers depend on that sector dominated by United Fruit.


market according to 1972
figures.
The company has effec-
tively used its dominance in
Central Latin America to
protect its investments from
the hands of any domestic
politician who might have
thought the company's terms
less than favourable. Also, it
has used its dominance to
increase its monopoly.


BORDER

For instance, in the early
1930s a war broke out be-
tween Guatemala and Hondu-
ras over some land that lay
on a disputed border. Both
countries were egged on by
their respective companies,
who eventually merged three
years later. The most well-
known incident concerns the
revolution in Guatemala in
1954. A left-leaning national-
ist government led by Jacobo
Arbenz was in power. It
attempted to nationalize
200,000 acres of United
Fruit's land for the amount
at which the land was asses-
sed in the company's tax
returns -just over $A million.
However, the value of the

land suddenly shot up in
United Fruit's estimation' to
a hefty $15 million. Before
the matter could be resolved
the government was over-
thrown by a group of US-
trained exiles who invaded
from Honduras, under the
covering bombardment of
US bombers.
As one of the first gestures
of the new government was
to return the nationalized
lands to United Fruit, the
company is widely thought to
have been involved.
John Gerassi argues this
case and points out vaious
coincidences such as the fact


dents, which earned UF the
nickname El Pupo (the
octopus), the company was
desperate to improve its
public image. Year after year,
the 'social responsibility' of
the company has beenstres-
sed in its annual report. The
swashbuckling capitalist style
may have changed but the
name of the game is still
profits and control over
investments.
The massive expansion in
landholdings was usually made
by purchasing virgin areas at
giveaway prices. The com-
pany also entered into favour-
able agreements with the
government of the country,
exempting it from the pay-
ment of export taxes, custom
duties for imports and several
other taxes. These agreements
were made over a period of
thirty years and the com-
pany still has agreements
stretching into the 1980s
with Panama and Costa Rica,
and into the 1990s with
Honduras.

FURORE

In Costa Rica, shortly
before the 1969 presidential
election, United Fruit
attempted to buy a large
trucking company, Trans-
porte Gash Limitada. The
acquisition caused such a
furore that the company can-
celled its plans to buy the
company outright for a short
while. Instead Transporte
Gash was persuaded to float
its shares on the local Stock
Exchange where United Fruit
was able to secretly buy up
100% of the shares. Costa
Ricans only learned this after
a strike at the company when
the workers discovered their
new masters *were United
Fruit.


of strikes. At present, all
their hospitals remain segre-
gated between nationals and
expatriates, with a dispropor-
tionate distribution of ameni-
ties.

Since 1970, United Fruit
has been part of a larger
corporation, United Brands,
that has a wide variety of
interests ranging from sun-
glasses to ice-cream, but
mainly concentrated on the
food industry. The company
has kept on diversifying its
interests both within Central
America and the US, but its
predominant income earner
(though less than half the
total business) is United
Fruit.


PAGE 6 TAPIA


THESEm


Clico

A symbol of security


4zc


NEEDS MET! PROBLEMS SOLVED!



FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS SEE:
COLONIAL LIFE INSURANCE CO. (TDAD) LTD.,
29 ST VINCENT STREET. ST.
PORT-OF-SPAIN.
PHONES: 31421.

4 uc


For all citizens who
strive towards a better
life for themselves
& their children.


But final proof, if it were
needed, that the company's
policies have only changed in
style, not effect, came with
the forming of a banana
cartel called the Union of
Banana Exporting countries
(UPEB) last March. These
countries control two-thirds
of all banana production and
obviously got the idea they
might be able to push up the
price of bananas for the first
time in twenty years.
The two US fruit com-
panies Standard 'Fruit and
Steamship Co. and United

Brands decided to break
up UPEB. Two factors
weighed in their favour -
1) Bananas are not a vital
commodity like oil and 2)
the other 1/3 of the world's
banana producers refused to
go along with UPEB. Stand-
ard Fruit cut back its pur-
chases from Costa Rica by
40% and United Fruit stop-
ped all banana production in
Panama and refused to export
a single banana from the
country.


WINNER


The first move almost
crippled Costa Rica's fragile
economy and it cut its export
tax by 60%. Guatemala and
Nicaragua saw the tide of
things and never raised their
prices. Only Colombia,
Ecuador, and Honduras stood
by their promise, but after
the hurricane which recently
devastated the country,
Honduras seems likely to
capitulate. While aid was
being poured in, bananas
were rotting on the trees
thanks to the US-owned
Banana Companies.

The biggest winner from
this fight the banana, com-
panies. Only a year ago, the
companies' profit per box of
bananas was twenty cents.
Because of the world short-
age of bananas caused by the
companies' cutbacks in pro-
duction the world price of
bananas has increased 40%.


(People's News Service)









GuatI~ Ig


0..
in Bid


1Annx elze.
A a I


AFTER eight months of
overtures from Guatemala
City, Britain last week
agreed to start talking
again about Guatemala's
claim to Belize. The
secret "contacts had been
broken off in March
1972 by President Carlos
Arana's government after
British troop reinforce-
ments were rushed to the
colony because of fears
of an imminent Guatema-
lan military adventure.
President Kjell Laugerud's
government has now softened
the traditional hard line by
stressing that Guatemala is
willing to accommodate
Belizean 'traditions, adminis-
trative structures and social
and political institutions', in
the words of foreign minister
Adolfo Molina four weeks
ago.
This new tack, however,
is unlikely to move the Beli-
zeans as long as the Guate-
malans continue to insist at
the same time that they must
recognize Guatemalan sover-
eignty and abandon all
aspirations to the complete
independence which Britain


is willing to give the Belizeans
whenever they wish.
The internal political situa-
tion in Belize, is moreover,
now less favourable than ever
to a settlement with Guate-
mala. The People's United
Party (PUP) of Premier
George Price, who is regarded

as being inclined to some
kind of compromise with
Guatemala, inasmuch as any-
one in Belize is, lost ground
badly to the new opposition
front, the United Democratic
Party (UDP) in last October's
general election.
The UDP is built around
the politicians traditionally
most opposed to Guatemala's
claim. The PUP's long mono-
poly of power was dealt a
further heavy blow six weeks
later when the UDP won
overwhelming control of the
Belize city council, which had
previously been completely in
the pocket of the PUP.
These challenges have also
led to the emergence of more
nationalistic elements inside
the PUP. On the one hand,
Price's authority is being dis-


creetly contested by his
deputy, home affairs minister
Lindbergh Rogers, a shrewd
and ambitious, if corrupt,
man who has been quietly
cultivating an 'African' image.
Rogers has in fact won
the open support of the once
threatening black radical
UBAD party which, having
dropped its fierce opposition
to the government, saw its
leader, Evan Hyde, soundly
defeated in the general elec-
tion.
The other development
unlikely to please Guate-
mala- is Price's promotion of
his strongly left-wing aide,
Assad Shoman, a 32-year-old
lawyer, to the key posts of


attorney-general and minister
in charge of the newly-
created department of econ-
omic planning, largely in an
effort to offset the influence
of Rogers.
Price has also renewed hi,
promise of complete indepen-
dence 'soon' in an effort to
recoup his lost popularity.
The UDP leaders are not very
interested in cutting ties with
Britain.
Belize is not about to
become a hotbed of subver-
sion, threatening the rightist
generals in Guatemala and
their patrons in Washington,
but its leaders are certainly
further than ever from enter-
taining any deal between


Britain and Guatemala which
does not formally recognize
Belizean sovereignty.
Belizeans, still firmly
backed by the independent
Commonwealth Caribbean,
retain their revulsion for
their neighbour's long history
of political violence, and are
also aware that any settle-
ment might be torn up after
the next coup in Guatemala
City. It is thus hard to see
exactly what Guatemala is
expecting from the renewal
of talks.
In the meantime, Belize's
120,000 inhabitants are pre-
paring to welcome Queen
Elizabeth's husband. Prince
Philip, who will pay a flag-
showing visit to the colony
next week
'Couirtesy Latin A merica Magazine)


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i KIRPALANI'S NATIONWIDE


Cont'd from pg 3

"His Grace noted that
workers were entitled to a
fair day's wage for a fair
day's work, and he
appeared for those who
had no one to bargain for
them the poor, the un-
employed, the old people".
(Trinidad Guardian)
He made a special plea for
the people of Tobago, for
Matelot, for other rural areas,
for people in Central Trini-
dad, recently ravaged by the
storm.
But are all these reason-
able but competing and con-
flicting and apparently
incompatible demands to be


solved by forces beyond the
will of man?
No, they are not. They are
demands that are entirely
reconcilable in the context of
a new morality, a fresh
approach, a new culture none
of which however, is feasible
without new politics. The
State is much too powerful
these days, directs too much
of the economy, controls
too many jobs, is too in-
volved in education and
schooling, and is too much
in command of the com-
munications media for any
purely private cultural or
religious movement to
proceed without the backing
of organised political force.
A private community


movement alone can make
the initial breakaway but its
development and spread re-
quires conquest of the power
of the State as well. The link
between the two is politics,
that activity which generates
the hope first, then the
almost religious commitment
and the dedication to convert
personal and group dreams
and scattered individual
potentials and capacities into
a nation-wide movement for
glory; to bring all the little
tributaries into a single
roaring torrent.
Brothers and Sisters, This
country needs a change; we
need politics, we need new
politics; we need unconven-
tional politics.
Lloyd Best.


uegree or fortitude ca be


fl.lIeIZpaamunLtIcIce
icii I the parailmoun choice.


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/s Stephens
PORT OF SPAIN N FERNANDO


NE JTICS


t


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Mrs. Andrea. Talbutt,
Research Institut for
Study of Man,
162, Eas~78th Street,
New York, N.Y. 10021,
Ph. LeEigh 5 8448.
U.S..,


PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY THE TAPIA HOUSE PUBLISHING CO., LTD. 91, TUNAPUNA ROAD. TUNAPUNA.


Countdown To Confrontation


FEBRUAR



10: The recently formed United Labour Front
announces an all-day rally of oil and sugar workers
at a venue to be fixed. George Weekes, President
General of the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU)
states that the purpose of the mass meeting is to
protest the delay in their negotiations with Texaco
Trinidad Inc. and also to give the company an
ultimatum to withdraw the injunction they got against
the union on the question of recognition of Texaco's
monthly paid workers, and to call for the repeal of
the Industrial Relations Act and Act 1 of 1965 for
cane farmers.

18: All-day rally at Skinner Park attended by
25,000 workers,

20: The OWTU announces that it is raising its wage
increase demand to 147 per cent. The Company's
offer remains at 30 per cent. A company spokesman
states that production is 50% below estimate because
of poor deliveries of farmers' canes and work stop-
pages. Workers have been granted recently a 100%
wage increase but are pressing for settlement of a
profit-sharing scheme. Farmers are maintaining a no-
cut campaign to protest the non-recognition of the
Island-wide Canefarmers Trade Union (ICFTU)
Raffique Shah, President General of ICFTU writes to
Caroni calling for a meeting to discuss final payment
for farmers' canes for 1974; first interim payment
for the 1975 crop; recognition of his union and the
supply of farmers' canes to the company this year.

23: Letter from OWTU to the Labour Congress
calling on it to publicly or otherwise pledge moral
and/or active support for the union in its 147% wage
increase fight with Texaco. Texaco refinery reported
at virtual standstill because of go-slow. Work stoppage
at Texaco bond during past week has halted deliveries
of petroleum.

Trade Union leader and Government Senator
Carl Tull moves a resolution calling on the General
Council of the People's National Movement to dis-
cuss the current unrest in the oil and sugar belts. Issue
referred to special General council meeting for
Sunday, March 2.

25: Minister of Labour Hector McLean calls OWTU
to a meeting to continue conciliatory efforts in the
impasse. Weeks says that the call probably stems
from the 7-day ultimatum issued by the ULF in the
form of a resolution adopted at Its mass rally at
Skinner Park on the 18th. OWTU calls on Texaco to
resume operations at the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery ;,,
Weeks i'Thrm.i the company that the union is
standing by to continue its operations 'for we know
that Texaco must either pay or go', Weekes states
that h- has no intention of entering Parliament des.
pite the fact that he has always "acted politically".
He adds that he knows (f' no plan by the ULFt to
Wed. 19 Marcih.
IN the light of today's
events, Tapia once again
implores the Government to such a Nati(
to convene an immediate ference is a furti
National Conference of tion ofindustria
Citizens and to invite social unrest an(
community groups, politi- antagonism I e
cal parties, trade unions inescapably to c
and business organisa- civil strife.
tions. The two b
The events have con- tions on wh
firmed that the alternative must be dialogue


enter politics or to form any political party. "I will at
present disagree with any move to form a political
party". He explains that he is in agreement, though,
with statements attributed to Mr. Basdeo Panday,
President General of the All Trinidad Sugar Estates and
Factory Workers Trade Union (ATSEFWTU) that if
any political party is to be formed as a result of unity
in the trade union movement, it must come only
from the grass roots and not be imposed from the
top.

26: Caroni Limited, in reply to a letter from Raf-
fique Shah of February 17, in which he requested a
meeting with the compa'iy to' discuss his union's
recognition claim, among other things, states that it
is awaiting determination of the appeal against the
ruling holding certain sections of Act 1 of 1965 to
be null and void, so that it might finally know what
precisely its legal dutlns i re in the matter. Shall states
that the company, iki Texaco Trinidad Inc., is
inviting confrontation and warns that the ULF will
deal with them in any way it sees fit "We
intend to pounce upon them like a ton of bricks and
we hope this will bring them to their senses."
Basdeo Panday is reported as charging that Caroni
Limited is bent on confrontation with sugar workers
and cane farmers for the Govy-rnrent to impose a
state of emergency. Texaco' and OWTU reported to
be studying proposals from the Labour Minister,
including one for an interim payment in the wage
negotiations,

28: Texaco advlsei the Minister that it would agree
in principle to his proposals for an interim wage
payment.





MARCY



2: The General council of the PNM defers discus-
sion of the labour crisis,

3: The Executive of the Labour Congress meets
the OWTU to discuss the union's dispute with
Texaco over a new wage agreement, Caroni Limited
is reported to have halted grinding operations be-
cause of work-to-rule action by its employees.
ULFpromises week of action,

4; Labour Congress accuses Texaco of not making
a serious effort to settle its wage dispute with the
OWTU without hostilities, Congress says It is also
satisfied that, based upon the profitability of the
company, OWTU has a case for 'substantial increases'
In pay for the workers employed by Texaco. Caroni
spokesman states that the company's production
continues to' lag 50% behind the projected target
for the period.

5: Sugar workers union breaks off negotiations
with Caroni Limited because ol what the union's
President General describes as 'political interference',
This comes in the midst of "Action week" called by

TAIAPRS RLES


;onal Con-
her escala-
I conflict,
j political
a d i n g
continuing

asic qlues-
ich there
e are inw .


plainer than ever after the
move towards confronta-
tion. The first is economic
reorganisation w i t li
special reference to the
role of the multi-national
corporations and the
national system of bar-
gaining for salaries and
wages.


The
stitutlonal
special ref
damental
freedoms.
The
the preset
the absence
body of
which cou
issues in p


the ULF. OWTU rejects Texaco's conditions for an
interim wage offer, describing them as outrageous.
George Weekes says that the union can only con-
clude that the company is deliberately trying to
provoke oil workers "into some kind of confrontation
which will be inimical to the national interest".
6: Labour Minister certifies dispute between
Texaco and OWTU as 'unresolved' under the terms
of the Industrial Relations Act.

7: Basdeo Panday summons police to put out of
his San Fernando office a ten-man group of cane
farmers who had called on him requesting him to
instruct sugar workers to handle their canes.

8: Caroni Limited closes down its factories ...
A company spokesman says that it will not resume
operations until it has the assurance of the bargaining
agents that the workers are prepared to work
without further interruptions. A joint general council
meeting of the Sugar Workers union and the Sugar
Industry Staff Association takes a decision to have
their members picket the four sugar factories owned
by Caroni Limited ... until the end of the struggle.

9: The OWTU states that it is prepared to reduce
its 147% pay increase demand if the company
accepts the principle of profit-sharing. George Weekes
says that "this week will see the sharpening of con-
flict in the oil and sugar industries that will affect
South as well as North Trinidad ... The South is in
turmoil, oil is in turmoil and sweet sugar is getting
bitter. A new Trinagonlan is on the march and no
terror on the part of the establishment could stop
the march for economic liberation."

10: Workers at State-owned Orange Grove National
Sugar Company and privately operated Forres Park
Limited stage a work stoppage bringing a halt to
the entire sugar industry. The action is in support of
workers at strike-bound Caroni Limited the
nation's largest sugar producer. OWTU president
general gives warning of strike action by some 6,000
oil workers,

15: OWTU rejects Texaco's interim payment pro-
posals, The Labour Congress is reported as not being
satisfied with the manner in which the Minister of
Labour has handled the dispute between the OWTU
and Texaco.
16: Oilworkers told that none of the executive
officers of the OWTU would attend the sittings at
the Industrial Court because the Union believes It
would not get justice. The ULF issues an open appeal
to all religious, political, social and cultural groups
and the public to join in the Front's "religious
Procession" to Port-of-Spain to pray for justice,
peace and bread the procession is to start at
7 a.m. on Tuesday from the headquarters of the
OWTU, Paramount Building San Fernando,
17: Gasoline pumps running dry. Police Chief says
no to "Bread and peace" march Workers plan to go
ahead with procession,

18: All police leave cancelled. Commissioner of
Police warns that any march will be stopped. No
question of turning back, says Panday.
things for which no seg-
ment of the national
second is con- leadership is entirely free
reform with of blame.
'erence to fun- T a p i a therefore
rights and urges the Government
and the Opposition and
root cause of the country at large to
nt upheaval is attempt a fresh beginning,
:e of any valid Nothing could be more
representatives irresponsible now than to
ild settle basic perpetuate the errors of
eace, a state of the past.