PRESS RELEASE – The National Workers Union (NWU) has called the Government of Saint Lucia to urgently appoint a negotiating team to meet with the NWU and other organisations to commence and conclude negotiations to cover the 2013 to 2016 period.
The union’s request was contained in a letter to the Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony, dated May 5, 2014. The letter went on to state that having attended a meeting on May 2, 2014, during which government officials dealt with the country’s deficit and the state of the economy, the NWU is of the strong opinion that the proper channel must be established to effectively deal with that situation.
The NWU must reiterate the fact that the Government of Saint Lucia and the National Workers Union have a tremendous industrial relations relationship with a three-year industrial contract that ended in June 2013. It is against this background that the Union’s call is being driven and should the NWU’s suggestion be accepted, the government would be lending its support in the maintenance of industrial democracy in Saint Lucia.
It must not be forgotten that industrial agreements make provisions for a regulatory process that establishes rates of pay, hours of work etc. Whenever such benefits are to be considered one way or another, the correct industrial machinery must be reactivated.
The NWU has been monitoring Saint Lucia’s economic performance for many years and could point out that the workers of this country are in no way responsible for our present predicament. It is therefore very clear that Saint Lucia did not get where it is overnight.
The NWU is open and stands ready to engage the government negotiating team to find acceptable provisions that would form part of a new industrial agreement.