WASCO comments on work stoppage

The Water and Sewerage Company, Inc (WASCO) is aware of protest action by some daily-paid employees of the company represented by the National Workers Union (NWU) over retroactive payments resulting from the completion of negotiations between the management of WASCO and the workers’ union representatives. On Monday, November 12, 2012, some workers decided to stop work demanding that they be given a firm date for the payment of retroactive wages. Over the past weeks, management had been negotiating with the two unions representing WASCO workers, the NWU and the Saint Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA), and the parties had agreed on all areas under the collective bargaining agreement, including an increase in wages. Also, the management of WASCO and the unions had agreed that the payment of retroactive wages would be concluded by the end of 2012. There has been no change in that schedule. The leadership of the NWU has confirmed that its members are demanding to know when the outstanding wages will be paid. While WASCO would be happy to provide a firm date for the settlement of retroactive pay to workers, the company is not in a position to make such a pronouncement at this time as it is in the process of concluding funding arrangements to meet its commitment under the agreement. Both unions are fully aware of the situation as WASCO continues with its policy of open dialogue with the unions’ leadership regarding developments on the matter. The management of WASCO considers today’s work stoppage very unfortunate, as the NWU has indicated that it has not directed its members to protest. However, most employees are at work ensuring that the needs of our customers are met. WASCO is committed to continuing to work with the trade unions to ensure that the situation is resolved shortly.

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