Categorized | National News

Gibson Says Strike Was Illegal

Labour Minister Shane Gibson said Wednesday that the mass strike held by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) yesterday was illegal and could result in its members facing disciplinary action.

Minister Gibson, while refusing to speculate as to what form of action would be taken against the workers, who he said are in contravention of the labour laws, did confirm that many of the unions taking strike action yesterday have matters before the Industrial Tribunal and said the fact that they have withdrawn their labour, is illegal.

According to a statement release by the Ministry of Labour and National Insurance, The Bahamas Industrial Manufacturers and Allied Workers Union, The Bahamas Nurses Union, The Commonwealth Union of Hotel Services and Allied Workers, The Bahamas Hotel Managerial Association, The Bahamas Customs Immigration Allied Workers Union and The Bahamas Educators Managerial Union all have matters pending before the Industrial Tribunal.

“Once a poll is supervised and everything is in order, you must issue the strike certificate but if that matter or even the certificate is issued and the matter still is before the Tribunal, then it is illegal for any executive or union member to take part in a strike related to those disputes or the certificate once the matter is referred,” he explained.

“All of these matters have been referred so all of these members are out on what we call an illegal strike.”

He did add however, that as soon as the government learned of the strike, it implemented contingency plans to ensure that all none of the crucial departments were severely affected by the move.

As early as 5:00 a.m. Wednesday, TUC members began pulling their services from the hospitals and clinics, the customs and immigration departments, public school principals, Morton Salt in Inagua and others all in a show of solidarity and support.

Despite the drastic move, Minister Gibson said this ministry is prepared, even at this stage, to enter into discussions with the TUC in an effort to resolve the matters.

“We welcome and we encourage the workers’ representatives to come to the table and sit down so we can try and negotiate these matters, even though they have been referred to the Tribunal,” he added.

“We don’t want to see workers striking, particularly when it’s done illegally and when union executives are exposing members to possible termination as a result of illegally withdrawing their labour. We had nurses who walked off the job at 5:00 a.m. in the middle of treating patients. Something must be wrong with that.”

Minister Gibson said the government supports all workers and will continue to defend their rights to take part and participate in lawful demonstrations and strike action pursuant to the statutes laws of The Bahamas and judgments of the court.

Ianthia Smith

Written by Ianthia Smith

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook