MINISTER MAKES RECOMMENDATION IN TAWU/CABLE & WIRELESS DISPUTE

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The long awaited recommendations from the mediation efforts by Labour Minister Hon. Elvin Nimrod were received yesterday with clarifications made pursuant to those recommendations received this afternoon.

The Minister both under the provisions of the Labour Relations Act and the Grievance Procedure of the Collective Labour Agreement intervene to mediate deadlocked negotiations for wage increases and other matters for both Bargaining Units represented by the Technical and Allied Workers’ Union at Cable and Wireless. (Apart from the generalised staff TAWU also represent Managerial employees).

The Minister’s recommendations of 4% in basic pay for each of the periods 2012 to 2013, 2013 to 2014 and 2014 to 2015. The increase was made against the backdrop of mounting profitability of Cable and Wireless and its radically improved efficiencies brought on by drastic cuts of jobs during the period of the life of the agreement currently negotiated.

The Union had earlier accepted the said recommendations by Labour Commissioner - Cyrus Griffith who took into consideration that the Company had never argued the inability to pay. The Minister also recommended positively the obligation of Cable & Wireless to pay employees the Vehicle Buy out on the basis of voice evidence on a recording which established beyond any doubt that the parties had agreed at a meeting to make that payment to all employees who were in receipt of a Vehicle Allowance.

The Union is to meet with Cable and Wireless employees in both Bargaining Units tomorrow morning at 7:30 where a formal ballot ratifying acceptance would be conducted.

Meanwhile, TAWU has issued a statement of solidarity with a sister Union in Antigua the National Workers’ Union and its members of Cable & Wireless who are on a complete sick out which commenced yesterday. Speaking on the recommendations from the Minister the Union’s President’s General Senator Chester Humphrey has said that “Cable & Wireless financial performance is evidence by its wholesale acquisition of FLOW Columbus Communications and its enhanced profitability has had much to do with its massive cut of jobs. Cable & Wireless share price has significantly increased since the Columbus Communications acquisitions.”

The President General further said that it was his sincerest hope that Cable & Wireless will accept the Minister’s recommendations and bring a quick and complete end to this dispute which has been threating industrial stability of the Company within Grenada.