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More pressure for Balgobin

Published: 
Friday, February 17, 2017
Anya joins sexual harassment protest
Former Miss T&T Anya Ayoung Chee,left, with Angostura Limited workers during a protest outside the House of Angostura in Laventille calling for the resignation of chairman Dr Rolph Balgobin over sexual harassment allegations.

Local fashioner designer Anya Ayoung Chee yesterday joined Angostura Limited workers in a protest outside the House of Angostura, Laventille, calling for the resignation of chairman Dr Rolph Balgobin over sexual harassment allegations.

Ayoung Chee, who had placards which read “Leave she alone” and “Leave me alone,” said she was part of a group of artistes contributing their time and skills to make visual messages about a variety of issues.

“It began with the calypso inspired by Calypso Rose using the song, “Leave Me Alone” and obviously it is around the issue of gender-based violence, which obviously needs to stop,” she said.

“In this particular issue of sexual harassment in the workplace, there is a trajectory under which it exists. One thing can lead to another and although this is a very specific issue, the Leave me Alone campaign is generally about violence against women.”

She said women had a right to “have a life” without being harassed or assaulted and urged the public to support this stance.

Seamen and Waterfront Workers Trade Union (SWWTU) president Michael Annisette said the workers intended to keep up their protest action as long as necessary.

“Nothing has been done in respect to the chairman and the executive of the union wrote to the board asking for a meeting to discuss the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace but nothing has materialised. Matters which have such serious allegations should be treated expeditiously,” he said.

Annisette said there had been sufficient time for a thorough probe of the allegations and there was growing dissatisfaction among workers.

He added: “We are saying that in domestic violence and sexual harassment in the workplace there is no fundamental difference and we need to keep the issue on the front burner.

“And we are saying just like domestic violence, you need to have enabling legislation to address this particular issue.”

Last November, an executive of Angostura filed a police report at the Morvant Police Station alleging sexual harassment on August 17 and September 14, 2016, after two work-related meetings. The employee also filed a whistle-blower complaint to the audit committee of Angostura and the board of its parent company, CL Financial Ltd (CLF).

Balgobin, president of the T&T Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA), took up the chairmanship of CLF in May 2016. He has vehemently denied the allegations made against him.