WASCO workers continue strike

Water and Sewerage Company Inc. (WASCO) workers continued a strike today, although reporting that some progress has been made in getting management to address some of their concerns.

Spokesman for the WASCO workers, Fred Alcindor, told the Times that a meeting at the Labour Commissioner’s Office involving management, its Attorney, the National Workers Union (NWU) which represents the workers and shop stewards took place today.

fred-alcindorAlcindor asserted that the meeting came up with some “good decisions.”

“A lot of issues that we brought up today will be addressed by management, “he told the Times.

However Alcindor disclosed that a technical issue that needs addressing is still outstanding.

He identified it as the problem of wage adjustment that was sent to a tribunal to be resolved.

Alcindor said that WASCO workers are irritated that for the second time they have found themselves in a situation  where general elections are nigh and wage negotiations have not been completed.

“The workers have said that this time they have to take a stand,” he remarked.

Alcindor asserted that both management and the workers are depending on the tribunal which, as far as he was concerned, is making no effort to deal with the matter in an urgent manner while the prices of goods and services keep going up.

“What we are trying to get is for the tribunal to come to a speedy solution to this problem which could have been resolved between the union and management and it did not have to reach the Minister, but it reached there and he decided to send it to the tribunal – I don’t know for what reason,” he explained.

Alcindor suggested however that the tribunal was in no way able to deal with issues of wage adjustment and reclassification.

“So we are back to square one,” he declared.

An estimated two hundred and fifty daily paid WACO workers across Saint Lucia downed tools earlier this week, complaining of a number of issues including conditions of work – especially at the Hill 20 Plant.