12 Jul 2013 11:19

PORT OF SPAIN, July 6 (Bernama) -- Over 7,000 people took to the street on Friday here in the capital of Trinidad and Tobago to protest government's failure in enhancing workers' rights.

Under heavy police security, demonstrators marched with placards calling for an early general election and chanted slogans against the government, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

The Joint Trade Union Movement was the sponsor of the event. It announced on June 19 that it would mobilise a massive march due to government's inefficiency in dealing with the "Workers Agenda" which includes a series of measures to enhance workers' rights.

The protest came as the country has been hosting heads of government from Caribbean countries for a four-day summit.

David Abdulah, secretary general of the Oilfield Workers Trade Union, said the turnout was more than anticipated.

"It is a march to deal with all the poor governance issues in the country, corruption, nepotism, discrimination and the non-implementation of the Workers Agenda," he said.

Opposition leader Keith Rowley, who led members of the opposition People's National Movement (PNM) in the demonstration, offered his support to the movement.

"We are in defence of those workers who have been victimised by the government," he said.

"Thousands of people have lost their jobs because of the actions of this government and because they have been stereotyped as being PNM supporters," he added.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said on Monday the march was designed to embarrass the government and called for a boycott of the event.