Police, armed with riot gear, on Wednesday beat and forcefully removed employees protesting at the entrance of the compound to Grenada Breweries Limited as industrial tensions heightened here .
About 20 officers carrying batons broke through a red tape erected by the workers and forced them away from the entrance so that delivery trucks laden with beer could leave the compound.
The workers have been blocking the entrance to the factory since Tuesday after management allegedly locked them out when they showed up for duty at the end of a one week strike.
Wednesday’s show of force by the police against the workers adds a new twist to escalating industrial drama following Tuesday’s arrest of prominent trade union leader Chester Humphrey.
Humphrey, currently out on EC 3000 dollar bail, was arrested for obstruction and failure to comply with a police order after he allegedly used a vehicle to block the entrance to the Breweries.
Humphrey, the President of the Technical and Allied Workers Union (TAWU), is due to make his first court appearance on the 25th of January, 2012.
The trade unionist, who represents labour in the senate, was not among protesters at the entrance of the breweries just before noon when the riot police moved in.
The profit-making Grenada Breweries limited is owned by the Trinidad and Tobago based Ansal Mc Cal group of companies. Local manager Ron Antoine has declined repeated request for interviews from media houses.
The group’s chairman and Chief Executive Andrew Sabga is expected in St.George’s on Friday to continue mediation talks.
About a hundred workers have been on the picket line pressing their claim for a salary increase of 7 percent over a three-year period while the company is offering 2.7 percent.