Protestors push CLICO issue
ST GEORGE’S, Grenada – The Grenada Trades Union Council (GTUC) is urging regional leaders to seek an amicable solution to the problems faced by policyholders following the financial problems faced by the Trinidad and Tobago-based regional conglomerate CL Financial.
The GTUC led several persons in picketing the Grenada Grand Beach resort, where regional leaders were meeting for the opening ceremony of their 22nd annual inter-sessional summit.
GTUC president Madonna Harford told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that if the matter is not dealt with appropriately at this inter-sessional summit, there are plans to continue picketing the leaders where ever they meet in the future.
She said that more than 33 000 policy holders in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) have been affected by the collapse of the Colonial life Insurance Company (CLICO) and the British American Insurance Company (BAICO) to the tune of US$500 million.
“We feel strongly that the OECS countries, we have built Trinidad and Tobago just as any Trinidadian born in Trinidad and Tobago. Our fathers, our forefathers, worked in Trinidad and Tobago years ago in the oilfields and sugar cane industries. You have notable Grenadians who gave their lives . . . and we feel that Trinidad and Tobago has a responsibility to assist the OECS in these trying times,” she said.
The demonstrators, who presented a petition to the regional leaders, have been calling on Port of Spain to re-think its position not to participate in a new company being established within the Eastern Caribbean to ease the financial burdens of those affected by the problems facing CLICO and BAICO.
Prime Minister Persad Bissessar, who is among regional leaders attending the talks, reiterated that her administration is facing financial constraints and that the matter would most likely be raised during the meeting here.
“It is something we will discuss. As you know, in Trinidad and Tobago at the moment we are reeling from the effects of the debacle that has been CL Financial and CLICO grouping. We have not yet recovered from that ourselves, we face serious challenges…so we are not unmindful of that fact.
“But given the downturn in the economy, not just globally but for all of us in the region it is a matter for serious concern,” she said, adding that “even Trinidad you are having serious protest action, some are indicating that they may take the government to court.
“It is a matter for serious concern in the region,” she added. (CMC)