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posted 3 Aug 2015, 15:16 by Gerry Kangalee

The following article was published in LABOUR INSIGHT (issue 2/2015), the newsletter of the Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU) After 48 months of persistent battle with the Management, the Board, the Minister of Finance, the CPO and the Government’s Inter Ministerial Committee, the warrior workers of First Citizens have finally won a settlement of their 2012 -2014 and 2015-2017 negotiations. For the period 2012 – 2014, the workers will get a salary increase of 11%. For the period 2015 – 2017, the workers will get a 14% salary increase.

On top that, according to Comrade Don Devonish, 1st Vice President: “Grades 5-7 were first brought up to the market rates, and then the percentage increase was applied.” The icing on the cake, the milestone achievement was really the agreement on profit sharing. 5% of after tax profit will be shared equally among the workers. Comrades Deshand Joseph and La Vern Roban told LABOUR INSIGHT: “for 10 long years, we have fought for this. This was one of our hardest battles ever. We came out on top... it was a well-deserved benefit for the workers.”

These warrior workers of First Citizens took the fight to their employers. The battleground was everywhere. From the office with red ribbons to the Corporate Centre with candle light vigils, to solidarity marches with other state sector workers and workers in the Finance sector in front of the Ministry of Finance and the Parliament, to defending our national patrimony at First Citizens against corporate insider trading and plunder.

They even picketed the Bank’s Christmas Dinner and blanked their Family Day. This struggle was not just about the workers being united; it was also one that allowed them to unite with other workers in similar struggles (RBL, ECU, and TCL to name a few).