OWTU HEAD SAYS TO FOCUS ON EATING DOUBLES AND ROTI
President of the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) Ancel Roget is not backing down for a boycott of 120 businesses owned and operated by the one per cent elitists.
During a march of trade union leaders and other union members last Friday in Port-of-Spain, Roget called on citizens to boycott 120 franchise stores and other business outfits owned and operated by the “elitist one per cent.”
The “one per cent” phrase was first mentioned by businessman Mario Sabga-Aboud in June during airing of travel star Anthony Bourdain’s segment on T&T in his culinary show Parts Unknown. Following public outrage over remarks termed insensitive and irresponsible, Sabga-Aboud later issued a public apology.
In response to Roget’s statement, the president of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association, Gregory Aboud, on Monday described Roget call as a “hateful message.”
Speaking with reporters after a meeting with Energy Minister Franklin Khan yesterday, Roget said the list of 120 businesses was still being compiled which will be distributed to JTUM and the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union members.
“But that compilation is being made as we speak. The list will be circulated among our members whose disposal income on which they depend to declare profits. But there is another list that we are going to put out…the businesses which should be supported.”
Having faced a barrage of criticism from the business community, Roget said while they were entitled to their opinions, he was entitled to his.
“We are also entitled to raise the consciousness and awareness of our own members and so if we direct our members as to where to spend their money to get the most amount of benefits and in whose interest those who receive their money those persons will act.”
Roget said the trade union movement was just fulfilling its responsibility.
“It is time that we focus on buying doubles, roti, pelau and bake and shark and so on. And let us do it on any day and not just Tuesdays and Fridays. And let us not have a ritual in doing it. It is about time that we begin to focus on the 99 per cent, which forms part of the local business community,” Roget said.
Told that workers of the one per cent could be affected by his boycott, Roget said, “They are sending them home in any case. They are being sent home in any case. And we welcome them being absorbed into businesses that really would boom as a result of the 99 per cent taking charge.”
Roget said it was time the 99 per cent take charge of their destiny. (SH)