Categorized | National News

Morton Salt Employees Plan To Strike

The Bahamas Industrial Manufacturers Union confirmed  last  Friday morning that they are gearing up to strike on the grounds of discrimination.

This strike could possibly result in a halt being place on salt production.

According to union president, Jennifer Brown, negotiations for a new industrial contract have been ongoing for quite some time now with no favorable outcome.

In terms of a timeline, the union president informed  this Journal that last February, the company offered the union a 1.5 per cent wage increase effective March 1 2018, another this March and a 1.7% increase in 2020.

However, the union returned with an increase of eight per cent over the three years.

Morton’s counter proposal went up only slightly in the third year from 1.7 to 1.72 per cent.  This,  according to Ms. Brown is both unacceptable and discriminatory.

“It looks like that’s the only thing they will understand. I mean and they are discriminating against the Inagua plant. At all the other plants the wages highly exceed the Inagua employees. 

“We are now trying to get what the other plants have been getting from 8 to 10 years ago and 10 years later,  they think it’s difficult or a problem to give it to the workers we feel it’s just discrimination because of the color of our skin,” she said.

Morton Salt has locations in places like Utah, Canada, Cape Canaveral and Maryland.   

She added that other Morton Salt plants have unions to which managements work hand and hand with,  but this she said is not done in Inagua.

The union – which has a membership of 84 – has been calling on the government to intervene and assist with the negotiating process, but according to Mrs. Brown, little has been done.

“The only thing they have done is arrange a date for us to meet.  As far as to say they intervened, nothing has been done. Even during the negotiations they just sit and listen,” Ms. Brown said. 

Trade Union Congress General Secretary Tyrone Morris said Morton Salt employees are being treated unfairly,  because the government is allowing the unfair treatment to carry on.

“Whenever you have a weak government, this is how they allow others to come into your country and take advantage of the workers, your countrymen and that is exactly what we have here in The Bahamas.”

He added that Bahamians need to demand more from the government so they can stand up for Bahamians because this has not been happening.   

While the union has given no definitive timeline when it will strike. Ms. Brown promises it will be within the coming weeks.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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