Categorized | National News

Morton Signs Five-Year Industrial Agreement

After a span of two meetings, Morton Salt Limited and the Ministry of Labour signed a five-year industrial agreement on Monday.

The agreement includes wage, holiday and Christmas pay increases, as well as a shift premium and reduction bonus.

In addition, Morton’s employees will receive $1,000 for the first year and a three percent increase for the last three years of the agreement.

According to Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes, the “marathon” discussions took place between September 30 and Oct 1 with the ministry, Morton executives and management, and the Bahamas Industrial Manufacturers and Allied Workers Union (BIMAWU). 

At the signing, Foulkes congratulated Morton Salt’s management, executive and union for reaching an agreement.

“This is a good day for the workers at Morton Salt and a good day for the management at Morton Salt. As you know, Morton Salt is the largest private employer in Iguana and it was very essential for the government, workers and management that we reach this agreement for stability of the economy,” Foulkes said. 

“During the negotiations, the talks were very frank and times very tense, but as I always say, once we continue to talk we all can reach an agreement.”  

Parties involved in the meetings were mum on details of the agreement, such as the estimated value. 

However, BIMAWAU’s negotiator Obie Ferguson noted that he was ultimately happy with the outcome.

“We got a reasonable figure that is satisfied to the executive of the union and was accepted by the management. I would not wish to discuss the specifics at this time. What I can say is the union is satisfied that we could meet an amicable arrangement,” Ferguson said.

Morton Bahamas Ltd. General Manager Scott Nixon added that he was “excited” and the company is committed to forging a relationship with their employees. Furthermore, they will continue to support the community. 

Both BIMAWAU President Jennifer Brown and Ferguson thanked union officers and the Director of Labour John Pinder for stepping in towards the end of the process.

Ferguson suggested to Foulkes that when considering amends for the Industrial Relations Act,  to provide specific mechanisms for “competent negotiators” from the employers, the government and the union bargaining collective agreements.

“I think the main thing that’s critical. It avoids industrial action.  It avoids strikes because the parties’ interest will be properly protected around the table,” Ferguson said.  

“I would strongly suggest that it should be used throughout with of the unions that are having issues. I see no reason why the Water and Sewage unit are ought not to be settled in the minister who have confidence in.”  

Written by Jones Bahamas

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