Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture recommends arbitration after three weeks of industrial action

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Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture recommends arbitration after three weeks of industrial action
A march through Castries by members of the Civil Service Association earlier today, April 8, 2013.
A march through Castries by members of the Civil Service Association earlier today, April 8, 2013.

Below is a statement from the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture about the ongoing industrial action by the Civil Service Association over wage negotiations

After almost three weeks of strike action, there has been no discernible movement in the ongoing negotiations between the government of St. Lucia and the St. Lucia Civil Service Association.

The St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture calls for the parties to move expeditiously to the next logical step: arbitration.

The Chamber has noted the explicit acceptance by both sides of this dispute that the negotiation is at an impasse.  As such, the Chamber appeals to the CSA and government to convene a binding arbitration panel in order to arrive at a decisive and speedy resolution.

The Chamber is of the view that continued protraction of the dispute is pointless. Continuing in this vein only further damages the relationship between these two critical partners and has a huge negative impact on the citizenry and the economy.

Throughout the entire process of collective bargaining between the government and trade unions, the Chamber has urged for balance and proportionality to be the order of the day and called for mature dialogue as the method to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion.

The St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture is strong in its conviction that industrial unrest is not a very useful tool in the current delicate economic circumstance of the country and as such believes that the time for arbitration has arrived.

Clearly dialogue has run its course.  The Chamber thus insists that the parties proceed forthwith to arbitration.

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