Categorized | National News

No Industrial Action for Customs Union

Despite the disagreement over money and medical insurance coverage between non-uniformed customs workers and the government, Vice President of the Bahamas Customs Immigration and Allied Worked Union (BCIAWU) Sloan Smith said the union has no plans for industrial action at the moment.

The union VP said industrial action is always the last resort, and he hopes it would not have to go that far.

For the past several weeks, non-uniformed customs officers have been trying to get money they claim the government owes them for Family Island expenses.

According to Mr. Smith, customs officers sent to the Family Islands have not been receiving funds for bills and transportation that is owed to them.

He said, since filing a trade dispute last Friday, he has seen some sort of movement from the government.

“The Department of Labour has since sent us a letter telling us to meet with them on Wednesday morning with the purpose of reaching an agreement on the three items in the trade dispute,” he said.

“It is our intent to be there and hopefully there is some resolution. We anticipate that these things are easily resolved. Once there is a structure in customs and immigration and these things should pretty much be a cake walk.”

Mr. Smith said there are about 300 people being affected by what’s going on.

He said especially when it comes to medical insurance; this matter can be fixed very easily.

“The government need only remember that they cannot change the bargaining unit,” he said.

“They were the ones that signed and said who the bargaining unit is and that is inclusive of uniformed and non-uniformed staff. Right now, by not giving these people medical coverage, it’s extremely discriminating them.”

In August, the BCIAWU got Prime Minister Perry Christie to reinstate medical insurance for all police, defence force, immigration and customs officers.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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