Castries Mayor, Peterson Francis, has said that he is unaware of the reason for a protest Monday by employees of the Castries Constituencies Council (CCC).
Employees of the CCC’s Sanitation and Works Departments downed tools asserting that they were unhappy with plans to implement a shift system and extend their working hours.
“I came in this morning and I saw a few workers in the yard with the press around. I mean, I did not know what was happening. I had not gotten any notification from their representative,” Francis told St Lucia Times.
“Up to now I do not know the reason for workers not being at work this morning. I am still at sea as to what has happened,” the Castries Mayor said in an interview shortly after noon on Monday.
He said he had heard that one of the grouses of the employees related to a shift system.
But Francis said the system had been negotiated with the union.
“On the panel, apart from the union officials, we had three Shop Stewards,” he told St Lucia Times.
The Mayor than proceeded to read from what he said was Article 6 of the signed agreement, relating to hours of work.
” Six point one says ‘Every employee shall work for a total of 40 hours per week, spread over not more than five days in any week Sunday through Saturday.’ Six two: ‘The normal hours of work shall be 8 hours per day, exclusive of all meal breaks. Time working in excess of this shall be overtime as set out in Article 8’.”
Francis went on to quote the document as saying that the daily hours of work shall be set out in a written schedule or roster issued by the employer.
He declared that he was at a loss to understand now that there is an issue over a shift system that started on Sunday.