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Feb 14, 2014

Final cheques for 26 security officers late and short

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

On Thursday when the Christian Workers Union gave its update on the conclusion of negotiations with City Hall and the Labour Commissioner, it was mostly positive. Most of the workers were transitioning into employment with the new security firm, Ranger Security. The rest had gotten pretty significant compassionate packages to provide a cushion during the period of searching for new employment. While it’s an overstatement to say that everybody was all smiles, the consensus was that the union and the workers had won a victory. With that, the only thing remaining was for the workers to be shown the money, and that was to happen today, the final day of employment for those workers. Well they were shown the money, all right – but hours late and many dollars short. Late this afternoon, CWU President, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, told News Five that she is amazed and disappointed by what happened, or didn’t happen today.


Audrey Matura-Shepherd, President, CWU

“I don’t know what went wrong because yesterday we had full agreement. We didn’t sign a formal agreement because the mayor didn’t want us to include in the agreement the preamble that outlined how we got here. And it wasn’t neither here or there, we had full agreement and we don’t have a problem. We were to meet here today at eleven o’clock and then we were told that the mayor couldn’t make it. So we said we still didn’t mind meeting only with the new contractor because we needed to know the terms and with the HR Manager, we needed to make sure that everything would be smooth. That meeting never happened. They said three o’clock. Just minutes to three, I got a call saying they can’t do it at three because the mayor wouldn’t be available. I said well it doesn’t matter if he wasn’t there; we’d still want to meet because it’s about the transition, knowing about what are the new terms of the workers. Up to today, the workers have not gotten new offer letters with the new terms. And to make it worse, I just pass by to see that everything would go right and while I am here, I met that the workers are all angry. They all got shorted of their money; one of them didn’t get any money, but since we begin making noise out here, they gave him a cheque. Some of them have not gotten their salary for the last payment period and different things are missing. And I really didn’t expect…that’s why the meeting this morning was important so that this transition is smooth. The guys can tell you after that what happened. And unfortunately, one of the sad things for them was that unlike what we were told that by two o’clock they would have gotten their money so that they can make it to the bank. They never got that so some of them with their short amount of money tried to go to the pawn shop to see if they can change their money. That’s not what we expected.”


Mike Rudon

“As far as you are aware, everyone was shorted some money?”


Audrey Matura-Shepherd

“Yes that’s what I am told, but I didn’t get to speak to all of them. I know the ones that I met here that were still upset, I checked their documents and it is short. And that’s one of the things we had wanted. We wanted the final calculations. But I think it can be resolved by Monday. I can understand the guys are upset. We are trying to keep them calm because we told them getting angry won’t help. It can be solved, it can be solved. It is only that we would have wanted the transition to be smooth so that we don’t have this kind of bad blood because some of them are already hurt and upset. Unfortunately the ones who were jilted the most are the ones who have fought the most for the union and are the same ones that they don’t want to keep. So I hope it is not linked.”

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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