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Mar 5, 2020

CWU Says They Made Good on Commitments, but P.B.L. Didn’t

Evan Mose Hyde

As a part of the commitments, the C.W.U. decided to go back to work on Wednesday night, with the expectation that today the P.B.L. should have sent them a letter agreeing to three points they had agreed upon, including that within twenty-one days they would negotiate and sign a Memorandum of Understanding with C.W.U. on a Redundancy Package. The C.W.U. President told the press today that the some progress was made with the staff and they have suspended their strike action on the condition that P.B.L. commits that by March thirteenth 2020 it will provide written counter proposals for the Framework for a new Collective Agreement for the Staff. Up to news time the C.W.U. says they haven’t received any of the letters.

 

Evan Mose Hyde, President, CWU

“They said that they had five containers here for BAHA and it was time sensitive in that it had contents that could spoil and they wanted to get it out. So, we said no problem. We got it out last night and that is without any signed agreement of PBL. Our members of the staff met and we decided that, listen, we have been able to move on our issues and we have certain time tables in place but if the stevedores are not back or if they are taking a stand, we would take a stand in solidarity with them. We said to the staff, we want to operate in good faith and we have been told that we would have a process where we would have an agreement as to how we proceed with the twenty-one days notice that we would give. So, the staff is back to work this morning, off of strike and that letter was sent to say that the staff is declaring that they are no longer on strike. But yet at this moment in time, PBL has not lived up to its agreement with us. Our position right now is what they are really trying to do, and this just opinion now, is that they believe they can somehow just play us like a yo-yo and create a level of frustration and division among stevedores. But because of this significant, in my view, blatant disrespect, and I call the Minister of Labour and her response to me was, ‘do you want me to wrench it out of them?’ To say, well, she doesn’t have the power to force them to give us an email. I said to her that I understand what she is saying but fundamentally, this is why how can we go into this process right now with any sense of confidence that we are with a genuine partner across the table?  We can’t even get a signed email on the prescribed timetable and we are going to spend the next twenty-one days to create a signed memorandum of understanding to deal with the redundancy issue that our members will face. Because we are absolutely sure that ASR intends to move from PBL.”


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