CSA General Secretary says Customs morale ‘very high’

The General Secretary of the Saint Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA), Claude Paul, has declared that he believes that the morale of Customs Officers after a recent series of meetings between them and the trade union is ‘very high’.

Paul, a former Comptroller of Customs, was responding to a question pertaining to the mood of the officers after the meetings.

“I think the morale is very high and the Customs Officers remain quite upbeat as far as the situation is concerned,” the CSA official asserted.

Paul spoke amid reports that Customs Officers began a two-day sick-out Thursday, with a likelihood that the protest may escalate on Monday.

The officers have expressed concern about job security with the proposed new Border Protection Management Authority becoming a statutory body.

Media reports have indicated that Cabinet conclusion No 247 of 2018  on April 16, 2018, approved the  establishment of the Saint Lucia Border Management Authority as a Statutory Corporation.

Asked whether he had heard  Minister with Responsibility for Finance, Doctor Ubaldus Raymond, admit to a lack of consultation during the roll out of the proposed new authority, Paul said as long as a cabinet conclusion on the new entity remains unchanged, the CSA will accept it as the government’s position.

“The creation of a statutory board to manage the border control entity, whatever it is called, remains a bone of contention for the Customs Officers and of course the CSA by extension,” he declared.

Paul expressed the view that the first order of business is for the government to examine that policy position and determine what alternatives there could be going forward.

Asked whether the CSA would endorse industrial action such as a sick-out by aggrieved Customs Officers, the CSA General Secretary said he did not know about people falling sick.

“Unions never plan activities like that – if people fall sick, they fall sick and when people fall sick, we have to find ways to get them well,” he observed.

“We recognise that people can fall sick for a number of reasons. These days in the work force you have air quality issues; you have psychological issues and of course there was a recent flu taking place.”

Paul said he himself was affected by the flu last week.

“I am sure you can hear it in my voice.”

He noted that industrial action is not off the table since the CSA is a trade union.

“Whenever the situation calls for it, we will do what we need to do,” Paul said.

10 Comments

  1. James
    September 6, 2018 at 5:10 pm Reply

    Start making them redundant and start investigating their bank accounts these idiots can’t tell the government how to run the country. Everyone can be made redundant

    1. Vibz
      September 7, 2018 at 6:49 am Reply

      James, like you, strengthen the government in their wrong doings. Consultations should be held with the affected workers or their representative organization before such fundamental changes are implemented. If the government is allowed to carry out such changes and disruption to these specific civil servants, then they will feel empowered to gut the entire civil service. Give them an inch, they will take a mile. Instead of castigating the Customs Officers, we should throw our full support behind them. We must not allowed this uncaring, autocratic, incompetent administration to twist and toss public servants as they please. Time to stand your ground and be respected.

  2. Wolfman of balata
    September 6, 2018 at 5:41 pm Reply

    **** the customs men anx **** Claude Paul

  3. Rudegyal
    September 6, 2018 at 5:43 pm Reply

    Misery loves company; I see you’re looking for companions for your redundant brain, James.

  4. Lucky
    September 6, 2018 at 5:55 pm Reply

    Couldn’t have said it better rudegyal. James is a non issue because he is already redundant.

  5. T
    September 6, 2018 at 8:30 pm Reply

    Waiting to see what comes out of all of this. Hope this isn’t a one shot thing as this won’t have the desired effect. Support fully the workers. Who feels it knows

  6. zabo
    September 6, 2018 at 10:47 pm Reply

    This is a sacrifice, and to get results you have to do it!

  7. joey
    September 7, 2018 at 7:48 am Reply

    Every one has a right to fight for their employment .. When did we become so cold and eager to see persons lose their jobs ..rsl marketing board nurses doctors my god its like people get excited when they hear retrenchment or the prospect of people losing their jobs. Wow

  8. Thinker
    September 7, 2018 at 8:26 am Reply

    I suspect Customs officers don’t even know how powerful they are. Ask yourself this: “How much money will be collected for these two days?”
    I don’t think it will be much… Can the country sustain this very long. I hope the government come to their senses soon.

  9. Anonymous
    September 7, 2018 at 11:46 am Reply

    You have the full support of patriotic saint lucians

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