The Energy Chamber of Trinidad & Tobago is relieved to learn that the ‘contempt of court’ case against the Trinidad & Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Gabriel Faria, Frank Mouttet and Derek Ali has been dropped by the Industrial Court.  The Industrial Court should never have responded to the patently unreasonable demands of JTUM in the first place.  The trade union movement must stop trying to use the powers they have been afforded by the industrial relations legislation to bully the rest of the population.  We would like to suggest that JTUM offers to cover legal costs arising from this case and if this offer is not forthcoming, the Industrial Court should make such an order.  As well, the Industrial Court must consider implementation of deterrents against those wishing to raise frivolous charges against other parties.

Over the past two and a half years the threat of these contempt proceedings has limited freedom of speech. The threat of possible contempt of court proceedings led to the Energy Chamber, and other business associations, being more guarded in our calls for reform of the Industrial Court.  This threat has been in place during a period in which the business associations have been advocating for comprehensive reform of the country’s industrial relations system. This sort of attack on freedom of speech must not be allowed to take place ever again. Our democratic system relies upon the ability of individuals and organisations to voice their opinions and advocate for change.  We need to ensure that we engage in constructive dialogue to improve the Court.

In their release on this issue the Trinidad & Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce (TTCIC) has asked some extremely pertinent questions that the Energy Chamber believes need to be answered comprehensively and emphatically. 

The full text of the TTCIC’s release is below.

For further information, please contact the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago at (868) 6-ENERGY ext 33/22.