Categorized | National News

Union Rejects Morton’s Proposal

Bahamas Industrial Manufacturers and Allied Workers Union, (BIMAWU) has rejected Morton Bahamas Company’s proposals in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.  

Union President Jennifer Brown  in a statement released yesterday said the offer presented by the company was egregious. 

“After waiting months to get back  to the table,  the company’s position has not changed.

“They proposed a 1.5 percent increase to its workers;  yet has grossly increased health insurance payments, which is viewed by the employees as a modern day slave trade,” Mrs. Brown said. 

“An excerpt of the preamble to the constitution states that no man, woman or child shall ever be slaves in the islands of The Bahamas,” she added. 

She  said  what the company has proposed falls short. 

“This is clearly a deficit contract that lacks vision and financial advancement of its workers. 

“It’s obvious that they can’t be taken at face value. The officers of the Union were told that ‘you give us salt, we will give you money’. Well the workers have done their part. 

“The company however, have rescind on their statement,” Mrs. Brown said. 

“It is obvious that they don’t give a hill of beans about their workers and are not trustworthy. How much longer do the people have  to suffer under the hands of Pharaoh?” she asked . 

In light of BIMAWU’s plight, the  Chairman of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), Fred Mitchell, in a statement, said the PLP is extremely concerned about the state of labour relations as it relates to Morton Salt. 

“Following up on the proposals advanced by the employer to the Union at Morton yesterday, it appears that there has been no movement in the company’s position.  The employees indicate that they have compromised since the parties were last at the table, but the employer has not shifted its position   

As Morton Salt is the single largest and dominant employer in Matthew Town, according to Mr. Mithchell, he said a collapse of the company, as a result of the state of labour issues, “will result in extreme hardship for the island of Inagua but also the country at large. 

“We do not want anything to happen which will cause the shutdown of the plant and the collapse of the economy in Inagua. 

 “We are concerned about these reports. Our Leader had previously written to the employer to urge some movement on the issues,” Mr. Mitchell said.
Mr. Mitchell added that there is also concern about the way the Minister of Labour is dealing with the Union’s issues. 

“The Minister of Labour is not taking an aggressive enough approach to getting this matter resolved before it explodes.  We urge him to do so as a matter of priority.

“It is imperative that industrial peace and harmony be maintained in Inagua,” Mr. Mitchell said. 

Negotiations for a new Industrial Agreement for BIMAWU began last year. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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