Customs Officers have been planning a two-day sickout, reliable sources have told St Lucia Times.
According to the sources, the planned two-day action on Thursday and Friday is intended to register concern over the proposed Border Control Management Authority becoming a statutory body.
Customs Officers are known to be concerned over job security, expressing fears that in the creation of statutory body they will be forced to resign and reapply for employment in the new entity with no guarantee of employment.
Sources have told St Lucia Times that it appears that the sick-out is being organised so that Customs Officers in key departments would be absent from work over a two-day period, creating a disruption of the service.
Customs Officers have said in the past that Prime Minister Allen Chastanet’s public denial of reports that a statutory body will be created does not harmonise with a cabinet conclusion on the subject.
Published 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.
Chastanet has said that the goal of the proposed new Border Control Agency is to strengthen this country’s borders.
He disclosed that as a result, there will be the integration of immigration, customs, quarantine and the Marine Police to create the new body.
The PM has said that no jobs will be lost in the creation of the new agency.
But the Saint Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA) which represents Customs Officers has suggested that Chastanet lacks credibility.