Categorized | National News

‘Threats to Lock Out Morton Salt Employees Frustrating,’ Says Brown

The threat to lock Morton Salt employees out of the Inagua Salt Plant has only further infuriated the Bahamas Industrial Manufacturers and Allied Workers Union, whose President Jennifer Brown condemned such a move as doing neither party any good, but rather only frustrates the process and workers.

Morton executives threatened as much last week after reaching an impasse with negotiations for a new industrial agreement.

Morton contended that its latest proposal of 1.5 per cent was its final and best deal, but that the union was unwilling to meet at the table in good faith.

Ms. Brown said otherwise and charged in a recent letter that after exceeding Morton’s budget by 799 tons, the union was eager to get back to the table for a counter proposal.

Still, the union opted not to attend monthly meetings as nothing was being accomplished.

Ms. Brown made it clear that when the company decides to give workers what is due to them, the union will be willing to return to the table.

Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes yesterday reiterated the call for the two sides to refrain from any action that could affect the plant’s operation.

“Both management and the union have agreed to holt any anticipated or proposed action. On the union side, they have decided not to engage in any industrial action,” he said. 

“On the management side, they have agreed to hold off on any potential lock out of the plant. 

“We are trying to set up a meeting as soon as possible, the lead negotiator for Morton resides in Chicago and we’re trying to confirm a date that’s convenient for Mr. Obie Ferguson who is the lead negotiator for the union.”  

Mr. Foulkes plans to meet with both sides by next week in hopes of hashing out a resolution to the standoff.

“I want to emphasize that this is a top priority for the prime minister, this is a top priority for the government to have the matter at Morton Salt settled,” Mr. Foulkes said.

“Matthew Town, Inagua is a one company town in terms of the economic activity there and we want to ensure that the livelihood of all of the workers and the residents is secured in Matthew Town.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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