Terminated offshore workers of JSL International staged a placard protest in San Fernando on Thursday, calling for the outstanding payments owed to them.
"We want we money now," they chanted as they accused their former employer, a labour supply contractor for offshore rigs and platforms on the East Coast, of attempting to deny them their just dues.
The workers, who are represented by the Oilfields Workers' Trade Union, said more than 100 workers were employed under the Juniper Savannah project and claimed they are owed an estimated $200,000 each.
Spokesperson Lester Adolphus said the monies were owed since 2017 when the OWTU's joint collective agreement came to an end.
"Right now they are operating under a company which is non-unionised and workers are working for half of their salary. We are still waiting for our severance and this is very unfair," Adolphus said.
Another former worker Ali Bocas said since they were terminated, they have been unable to get work.
"We have bills to pay and we cannot get on to the company. If we go there to enquire we are getting the runaround," Bocas said.
He added that he sought legal advice but was told it would cost them $4,000 to send a letter to the company.
"We cannot afford this and we are calling on the authorities to look into our matter," Bocas said.
Another ex-worker Darin Hosein said he also has sent e-mails to the company inquiring about the non-payment of severance but his calls went unanswered.
Adrain Greenidge who worked permanently with the company for several years said the OWTU has taken the matter to court and was awaiting an outcome. He said the workers had protested several times in the past but nothing was done to alleviate their concerns.
An email seeking a response from Chief Executive Officer of JSL Javid Ramcharitar was sent by Guardian Media but there has not been any response just yet. Calls to the company's office lines have gone unanswered.
Following the workers' last protest in December of 2017, JSL's legal and industrial relations advisor Kezia Johnson-Ramoutar said there were several policies and procedures available where workers could get one-on-one communication with management. She said the company practised an open-door policy, adding that claims and issues could be dealt with through the Minister of Labour and the Industrial Court.