PRESS RELEASE – Fed up and frustrated after 12 years of no salary increase and up in arms with constant late payment of salaries, the workers of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute have decided that these injustices must come to an end.
Since 2004, the workers have been fighting for a salary increase. However this regional body has relied on its immunity from national law in order to evade their duty to bargain with BIGWU. The workers and the union have insisted from one government to the next that immunity from national law is no excuse to avoid the duty of all employers to observe and practice good industrial relations principles and practices.
Within recent times, representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Agency were debarred from carrying out their legitimate duties on the grounds that this body enjoys immunity from national law.
We condemn without hesitation the use of such immunity to practice wage slavery more so when one considers the fact that during this 12 year period, even Old Age pensioners enjoyed several increases and so too did the minimum wage workers. Indeed, we find that it is equally outrageous, that an institution with such higher learning, supervised by the Region’s Ministers of Agriculture can treat the workers so punitive.
The Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union will be seeking a meeting with the Ministers of Labour and Agriculture as a first step to have these wrongs righted.