Categorized | National News

Union Ducks Meeting With Minister

Representatives for The Bahamas Customs and Immigration Allied Workers Union (BCIAWU) refused to show up to a meeting with labour executives on Monday, according to Labour Minister Shane Gibson.

The minister told reporters yesterday that it doesn’t seem as though the union wants to have the problem resolved.

The two have long been at odds over medical insurance and out island payment for non-uniformed customs and immigration workers.

“We had a meeting scheduled yesterday to begin negotiations at 10 a.m. and they never showed up,” Mr. Gibson said.
“I don’t know how we’re going to discuss anything if they don’t show up.”

Nearly two weeks ago, around 500 union employees participated in a strike poll.

However, they were unable to take strike action after the minister sent the matter to the Industrial Tribunal.
The union’s Vice-President Sloane Smith said, it doesn’t make sense for them to meet with the minister as he’s already made it clear that the union will get nothing.

“I’m surprised at this because if the government has changed its position that there is nothing there for us nobody has told us,” he said.

“What is the sense of going to meetings if the position is the same that we’re going to get nothing? We don’t know about any meeting to begin with. Even if there was one scheduled, what’s the sense of going there if you’ve already publicly said there’s nothing there for the workers? That amounts to wasting time. I’m hoping that’s not what the honourable minister is trying to do.”

According to Mr. Smith there are a number of matters that the union has before the courts.

He said once they are concluded and the minister, who represents the government, changes his stance, then they will have no problem coming to the negotiating table.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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