The Saint Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA) has expressed ‘great concern’ about union poaching, accusing the National Workers Union (NWU) of going after workers who are CSA members.
CSA Assistant General Secretary Mc Stephen Aubertin asserting that the mantra of the trade union movement is unity, said that trade unions want workers to unite because in doing so they will be stronger.
He made the remarks in response to a reporter’s question about reports of poaching by the National Workers Union (NWU).
“The more united you are the more strength you have in fighting – not the enemy, but the adversary,” he told reporters at a news conference today.
“When it comes to unity we expect also that trade unions would unite with other trade unions,” the CSA official said.
Aubertin observed that a “so-called” poll is currently taking place.
It was an obvious reference to decertification poll that was being conducted today among monthly paid WASCO employees represented by the CSA.
“I suspect that there is what you call trade union capitalism which is going on in the country. If you find that the workers at WASCO or LUCELEC or anywhere else complain about the level of representation given by the CSA or by the Seamen Union, the first thing you do is to contact your colleague union – your brother or sister union and say: ‘Listen, your members are approaching us with certain concerns. Please check it out and see what are the concerns so that you can correct it’,” Aubertin stated.
He noted that workers have switched trade union allegiances in the past.
According to the CSA Assistant General Secretary, his trade union got the LUCELEC Grade One staff who were members of another union.
However Aubertin asserted that this happened after a lot had been done to try to get the original union to listen to the issues affecting the workers.
” They came along to us -we didn’t go after them – that’s a difference,” he declared.
“This time the NWU has gone after our workers and they know that we have been in negotiations with WASCO for over a year – a year and a half and were able under the circumstances to come out with an agreement which our members agreed to,” the CSA official told today’s news conference.
“But something happened subsequently and maybe you are correct in your assumption that it may have political connotations – I don’t know, but subsequent to the last election that is when the whole thing turned around,” Aubertin told reporters.