Categorized | National News

Details Of Union’s Closed Meeting Revealed

Labour unions in the country are confident that an open door policy introduced by Minister of Labour and National Insurance Shane Gibson will assist in creating and keeping an open line of dialogue between both parties.

Following a lengthy meeting between union leaders and Minister Gibson earlier this week, labour leaders are confident that they are making strides in the right direction to curtail industrial conflicts before they arise.

The National Congress of Trade Unions of The Bahamas (NCTUB) and its affiliates were a part of the closed door meeting on Monday, and according to NCTUB President Jennifer Isaacs-Dotson everyone had an opportunity to discuss a myriad of concerns affecting each union.

While everyone aired their respective concerns, Mrs. Isaacs-Dotson revealed that there was one issue that all union heads agreed must be addressed real soon.

“I guess one common thread coming out of the meeting was that there are a lot of outstanding industrial agreements that need to be completed, particularly the Union of Central Banks, the Bahamas Public Services Union (BPSU) and UTEB, which is waiting to exchange proposals with the College of The Bahamas (COB),” she said.

“So really what we are looking forward to with the minister is the opportunity to continue to have open dialogue to be able to discuss our many issues and how we will move forward to discuss those issues.”

Mrs. Isaacs-Dotson said the unions have good faith that the labour minister, a former trade unionist himself, will follow through on his commitment to ensure that labour woes are kept to a minimum and any industrial unrest, which may arise, is handled expeditiously.

“Being a trade unionist himself, the minister has made it unequivocally clear that he will try to resolve issues as quickly as he can and we will hold him to that. So, we are looking to have continued dialogue and to be preventative as opposed to dealing with issues after they have already come up,” Mrs. Isaacs-Dotson said.

“We want to reach the level where we can prevent issues from happening so that whenever there is a problem we can pick up the phone and call the minister and know that he is able to make quick decisions and get matters resolved.”

In moving forward, Mrs. Isaacs-Dotson told the Bahama Journal that union leaders are hopeful that employers will begin to change their approach to unions within their establishments.

According to Mrs. Isaacs-Dotson, a lot of labour woes can be avoided if employers decided to have open dialogue with unions as opposed to turning a cold shoulder.

“Employers have this very negative attitude towards the union. They don’t view us as a partner, but they actually view us as an adversaries; that mindset needs to change. We all work within these institutions and we want the best for these institutions; we don’t want to bring harm to these establishments,” she said.

“We need to at least be able to sit down and talk when we realise that things are not going so well. Talking does not mean that we will agree, but at least we will be able to understand each other’s position and hopefully can come to a mutual compromise.”

The Bahamas Prison Officers Association, the Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU), the Bahamas Airline Pilots Association, the Union of Central Bankers, former employers of BTC, the Bahamas Utilities Services and Allied Workers Union, Bahamas Commercial Stores, Supermarkets and Warehouse Workers Union, NIB and UTEB all attended the meeting.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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