Categorized | National News

Union Fights for Increased Morton Salaries

Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes, Allied Workers Union negotiator Obie Ferguson and Morton Salt Company executives met last Thursday to discuss the company’s industrial agreement, but concerns over salary increase made it difficult to consent on terms of the agreement.

Ferguson, who spoke to Bahama Journal about the outcome of the meeting, said the parties made progress, but employees’ salaries and insurance are preventing them from signing.

“We maintain that the salary of 1.5 percent increase in pay is not sufficient. In the increases in insurance is excess of 5 percent. That doesn’t make any sense,” Ferguson said. 

“We understand that concern that they’re raising is inflection, that being what it is. We’re averaging about 3 percent and we we’re thinking in terms of an increase in VAT and some of the other cost incurred on the worker.  We figure that 1.5 percent isn’t going to cut it.”

Union President Jennifer Brown said they wanted to meet on Friday to finish talks on the agreement, but was unable, due to schedule conflicts. 

Ferguson revealed they will meet again on September 30 to continue negotiations and finding a solution that appeases both the minister and Morton.

Back in June, Morton threatened to lock employees out of the Inagua Salt plant if a “happy medium” of negotiations was not achieved within 15 days. 

It escalated that month, after a letter accused the line staff union’s inability to negotiate “in good faith” and preventing Morton’s Bahamian operation’s “economic viability”.

Brown condemned the move as she felt it would do neither party any good. They eventually decide not to go through with their plans. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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