Trinidad and Tobago


Systematic violations of rights

Same as last year


Workers' rights violations

Right to collective bargaining

The Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) criticised the government after the unilateral restructuring of the state-owned company Lake Asphalt of Trinidad and Tobago in April 2022. The bitumen mining company was transferred from the Ministry of Energy to the Ministry of Works and Transport, with plans to create a new business model, without any consultation of the majority union, the Contractors and General Workers’ Trade Union (CGWTU). While the CGWTU was aware of the financial struggles of the state company, they had been in contact with the appropriate minister, two weeks before the announcement, who had given no indication of the planned reconstruction. The JTUM denounced the government’s disregard for the basic principles of industrial relations and social dialogue.

Prosecution of union leaders for participating in strikes

The government of Trinidad and Tobago blocked a teachers’ strike with an ex parte injunction received from the Industrial Court. Teachers of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) sought to strike on 31 September 2022 to protest stalled salary negotiations. This came after an ongoing, month-long struggle between the government and public servants of all industries, including firemen, teachers, and police officers. The unions were seeking liveable wages in line with inflation, while the government was only offering a four per cent increase in salary. The government was able to block the strike due to the classification of teachers as essential workers, forbidding them from taking part in industrial action. This classification increasingly affects many public workers. The government also threatened the union with fines and de-registration should they go through with the strike. In view of these serious threats, the TTUTA had no other choice but to call off the strike.

Workers’ rights in law

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