OWTU/PETROTRIN STRIKE UPDATE NO. 1- 15 February, 2012
Despite the intervention of the Minister of Labour, Hon. Errol K. McLeod, the Company was still unwilling to move from its original 5% cap which was the main cause for the breakdown in the negotiations and the serving of the notice of legal strike action.
At Conciliation proceedings last evening the Union informed the Minister of Labour that we were prepared to significantly reduce our original proposal in order to reach a settlement. This is a position we have regularly communicated to the Company. The Company however refused to move from their 5% cap. At approximately 3:30 a.m. after extensive discussions with both parties, the Minister advised that parties relook their positions and to return Thursday 16 February at 6 p.m., with amended proposals with intentions to settle. The Union remains committed to a speedy and amicable resolution but we wish to state clearly that:-
· Our demand for a decent wage adjustment is on the basis of the Company’s ability to pay after declaring after tax profits over the period of the collective agreements, including approximately $2.2 billion at the end of last financial year; which profits could not have been generated without the input of workers.
Finally, we remain firm in our belief, which is shared by the workers, that both the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance are directly responsible for maintaining the 5% cap. This is absolutely contrary to the free collective bargaining process and therefore denies workers a just and fair settlement. We state this despite their claims to the contrary.