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Oct 5, 2015

CWU President Says FCIB Operating in Bad Faith

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

Where the negotiation with First Caribbean International Bank is concerned the news is not as good. Matura-Shepherd told News Five that the bank continues to operate in bad faith, so there is practically no progress to report.


Audrey Matura-Shepherd, President, CWU

“With FCIB, there’s not so good news because we feel that the staff is being held at ransom. It is simply this and a lot of people don’t know that all banks are part of the essential services. In our law, it provides for at section eleven and section fifteen of the Essential Services Act that if you apprehend a dispute, you just have to perceive there is one or apprehend one or there is a dispute; you write the minister, you have to give the minister advance warning and say look, there is a dispute arising or that has arisen and the minister then takes note and can intervene if he believes there is a need to intervene—we haven’t reached that part yet. And also you need to do that because for any person who is an essential service to act or do any industrial act, you have to comply with that law. So you have to make sure that if you don’t want to lose your job for doing anything that is considered industrial action that you’ve given the notice; you’ve put them on notice. Of course, you don’t take industrial action just in a vacuum; things have to break down. What the bank is saying is that hey; while we know it is your right and you have every right—we can’t take away your right—we don’t want to talk to you unless you give up that right. And we are saying to the bank man that’s bad faith. So we spent hours discussing that with the view that we will hope to reach conclusion, but there are lot of options to the union and one of them that we told them that we will do is look into all our legal options because it is unfair. You don’t hold your employees at ransom like that and this is a bank that has a timeframe that they are looking at for when they will exit. And there is a lot of bad faith, we would say. So it was a long tedious day around that issue, but yet we remain optimistic because they cannot show us where we’ve acted unlawful; it is our right, it is our prerogative. And so our question to the bank has simply been…you mean if we don’t advice the workers or the workers do not wish to give up their right; that you will not talk to them. You just saw it at B.E.L…B.E.L. had to issue the notice as well, but that didn’t stop attempts to negotiate. You just have that there because you have to comply with the law. so that has been a lot of negotiation around that and we hope that the bank would come to terms with the reality.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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