Employees of the East Caribbean Financial Holding Company (ECFH) have decided to down their tools in protest for higher wages and salaries, and better working conditions.
The employees have been standing outside the Castries branch since 8:00 a.m.
Secretary General of the National Workers Union (NWU) George Goddard told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) that the protest is in response to the bank’s decision to ignore an arrived decision on wages and salaries and better working conditions, worked out between the union and the bank.
Goddard said the NWU and the ECFH are currently engaged in negotiations and had met last week, where they had hoped to bring a conclusion to these talks, after arriving at a certain decision.
“We thought we had made quite a bit of progress and that the position that was arrived at these negotiations was a basis for settlement,” he told SNO.
Goddard explained that both parties had to return to their principals with the arrived decision.
He admitted that they might have had to be a slight tweaking, except for the figures relating to wages and salaries and some benefits.
“We did that, only to receive a slap in our face even before we consulted our membership, saying there was a totally revised position a much lower threshold than we expected, even though we had an understanding at the meeting,” Goddard added.
The NWU official said once this information was conveyed to the employees, they became incensed and decided with the union to take protest action against the ECFH.
However, the NWU, he said has already written the bank to clarify its position and is hoping that the bank will reply soon with something that will cause workers to feel a bit more at ease.
The NWU met with the employees this morning. ECFH employees from other branches also joined the workers at the main office in Castries.