One day before the management of Saint Lu Metals Limited and the National Workers Union (NWU) were expected to meet, employees have decided to protest outside the business premises.
St. Lucia News Online (SNO) understands that a group of disgruntled workers took it upon themselves to organise a protest at the business place Vieux Fort office on Thursday afternoon.
The NWU had said in a press statement that the company had locked out the workers for over four days. They also noted that on one day, the company had two armed police security at its operational gate.
“The workers have been quite peaceful and are looking forward to an amicable settlement of the matter. The NWU was just recently recognized as the bargaining agent on behalf of Saint Lu Metals workers.”
Saint Lu Metal and Plastic Manufacturers Limited, however, claims it issued a ‘lockout’ notice to employees who took part in an “unsanctioned industrial action,” on April 28, 2016.
“This action came after the employees met with the NWU at 11 a.m. on April 28, at which time the majority illicitly vacated the premises without any prior managerial consent,” the company said.
Saint Lu said the NWU was aware of a restructuring plan where they were forced to make 11 positions redundant. But after consultation with the NWU, the company decided to only make six positions redundant.
This has created some uneasiness at the work place. Employees have also come out alleging that they are being underpaid and overworked. They have also accused management of unfair treatment.