A group of seven Victoria Hospital drivers, who were on strike over the past few days over delayed overtime payments, have returned to work.
Acting President of the Civil Service Association (CSA) Wilfred Pierre confirmed with St. Lucia News Online (SNO) that the drivers are also expected to receive their overtime payments today.
Pierre told SNO that this decision was made during a meeting held at the Public Service Ministry and chaired by the Labour Commissioner Ray Narcisse, along with teams from CSA and the Health Ministry, on Thursday, July 30.
The drivers are collectively owed cash totaling over $30,000 in overtime payments, which were accumulated between 2012 and 2013.
Pierre said he was happy with the outcome of the meeting and noted that officials from the Ministry of Health, particularly the Permanent Secretary Cointha Thomas was very professional in handling the issue.
The acting president said he is hoping that the ministry delivers on their promise and that such a situation never reoccurs. He said the CSA is always open for discourse on matters affecting its members.
The trade unionist said despite this, he was not too pleased with the threatening letter that was delivered to his office from the Permanent Secretary of the Public Service Ministry Phillip Dalsou.
Dalsou had accused the CSA of failing to comply with the established procedures for trade disputes/ grievances, as outlined in the Labour Act of 2006 and demanded that the drivers return to work immediately.
But Pierre said that the government was also in breach of the Labour Act, because they failed to deliver on payments owed to employees for a specific period and decided to withhold those payments.
Nevertheless, Pierre said the drivers are happy with the decision taken by government to have them paid in full and have also expressed how happy they are to return to work as well.