The St Lucia Workers’ Credit Union continues to go from strength to strength creating greater opportunities and advantages for its members at every stage. Indicative of the SLWCU’s faith in the future is the announcement of the credit union’s move to bigger and better facilities at the Gable Woods Mall on Monday 16th March, 2015.
Ironically, the new premises that the St Lucia Workers’ Credit Union is moving to were once occupied by the RBTT/RBC bank. As one interested bystander put it, “The St Lucia Workers’ Credit Union is really snapping at the heels of the big foreign banks!”
The comment, though frivolous, was quite apt. A comparison is appropriate because like all credit unions, the St Lucia Workers’ Credit Union is owned and operated by its members, which means better rates and lower fees than those that customers in both local and foreign commercial banks have to put up with.
While it would be wrong to imply that the Boards of Directors of Commercial Banks do not necessarily work with the best interests of their clients in mind, their first obligation is to make money for the bank’s shareholders; whatever the message broadcast on flashy expensive billboards might convey, commercial banks are operated in such a way as to provide their shareholders with the maximum profit. They are not there for the benefit of their customers.
Like all credit unions, the St Lucia Workers’ Credit Union differs from banks; it is a not-for-profit organization. Having said that, it has to be stressed that the credit union is operated on strictly professional lines to create a surplus – similar to a profit – the difference being that all such surpluses or profits are returned to its shareholding members through a system of Dividends and Patronage Refunds. The savings of shareholders are safe – at least as safe as bank deposits, if not more so – in their credit unions; deposits are insured through CUNA Mutual at no direct cost to the shareholder.
The Board of Directors and the employees of the St Lucia Workers’ Credit Union are excited by this move to new premises and the opportunity to serve their members even better in the years to come. The credit union’s easy access and heightened visibility at the Gable Woods Mall will, it is anticipated, result in more and more St Lucian workers discovering the advantages of joining their union.
Credit unions are governed by unpaid volunteer Boards of Directors democratically elected by the membership from the membership. All members get one vote regardless of their financial position. At present, the St Lucia Workers’ Credit Union has a branch in Grass Street as well as the new locality in the Mall. The opening hours are membership-friendly: Monday to Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and on Fridays, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Grass Street to facilitate early morning business; at Gable Woods, where commerce starts a little more slowly, hours are Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Gable Woods branch is also open on Saturdays between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to make life easier for shoppers.
The St Lucia Workers’ Credit Union has come a long way since its inception. Thirty years ago, it was not the entity it is today. The seed was sown within the walls of Cable and Wireless. The idea of forming a Credit Union was borne in May 1981 when one of the founding fathers explored the possibility during a trade union training course and discussions began with other members who already knew of the concept.
The St Lucia Workers’ Credit Union was formed in July, 1982 by the staff of Cable & Wireless who used their bond of membership of the St Lucia Workers’ Union to come together to better themselves financially. The original members deserve praise for their vision of a better tomorrow. The Credit Union could not have become what it is today without their firm support.
The St Lucia Workers’ Credit Union is the ideal, and natural choice for the workers of St Lucia when considering how best to safeguard their futures and build a better tomorrow. A Union implies Unity, a Common Bond, a Shared Goal, and
Mutual Assistance and Support. The next time you pass the premises of the St Lucia Workers’ Credit Union at Gable Woods, pause for a moment and consider whether or not the credit union would be the right choice for you. Now is the time for the workers of St Lucia to form a common bond to the benefit of us all.