Categorized | Featured, National News

Unions Threaten “Complete Shutdown”

The country may come to a standstill next month as more than 260,000 unionised workers may strike for a minimum of three days, according to Trade Union Congress (TUC) President Obie Ferguson who urged the government to address pending labour industrial agreements before strike action is taken.

Mr. Ferguson said that prior to any strike action a national labour rally will be held on Tuesday to bring workers up to date on all labour issues affecting the country and to gear them up to put pressure on the government to take action.

“What is needed in The Bahamas is a complete shutdown in my humble opinion, there needs to be a shutdown of all workers because if you don’t do it, it seems to me that being intelligent and being sensible and being reasonable is a sign of weakness,” he said.

“After May 6 you may very well hear a cry from this body, inviting all workers to stand still for a couple of days. People are being fired left, right and centre, one day its customs, the next day its immigration and then bankers. Then when you go to the labour board and what do you get? Absolutely zero with a smiling face.”

Mr. Ferguson made the announcement on Wednesday during a press conference at the House of Labour.

He said that for far too long the government has turned a blind eye to their concerns.

“Failure to give the union recognition, the failure to deal with the industrial agreement on a timely basis, the failure to make amendments to legislation affecting workers and specifically construction workers,” he said.

“This is a serious situation that’s affecting a lot of workers, with recognition taking three of four years before you can get a reply.”

The TUC is also requested that amendments be made to the Employment Act, to address issues such as redundancy pay, gratuity, working hours and commission.

With more than 24 union organisations on board, Mr. Ferguson is also calling on non-government workers to take a stand and join in what could be a massive labour movement in the country.

According to Mr. Ferguson there are pending industrial agreements for The Bahamas Nurses Union, Bahamas Doctors Union, Bahamas Educators Managerial Union, Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union, Bahamas Customs and Immigration and Allied Workers Union, Commonwealth Hotel Services and Workers Union, Bahamas Water and Sewage Management Union, Electric Utility Management Union, Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers, and The Bahamas Hotel Managerial Association.

The national rally will be held at St. Gregory’s Anglican Church at 7:00 p.m.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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