Sick-out by Republic Bank workers in Grenada cripples operations on Friday

In Grenada, operations at the Trinidad-owned Republic Bank were crippled on Friday as close to two hundred workers here staged a sick-out.

The workers and their union, the Bank and General Workers Union are expressing dissatisfaction with the current state of negotiations for a new bargaining agreement.

The negotiations which started since August last year are now deadlocked on at least one article – that of profit-sharing for workers.

Initially the parties were deadlocked on the articles of Acting Appointment Allowance, Salary increases and Profit Sharing.

Following a number of meetings during the last week, with the Ministry of Labour, Acting Labour Minister Glen Noel, made a proposal to the parties which the Union says it has agreed with.

CMC has not been able to find out what are the exact details of the proposals.

However President of the Bank and General Workers Union Justin Campbell says in the last meeting, which was held yesterday, talks broke down when the bank refused to discuss the Minister’s suggestions on the article of profit-sharing.

“The fact is that the bank does not want to handle discussions as it relates to the profit-sharing,” Campbell told CMC.

“We agreed with the minister’s recommendations in its entirety but the bank does not want to negotiate the profit-sharing clause.”

Across the island on Friday, scores of people cued in long lines inside and outside of the bank waiting to be attended to, as members of management and contract workers, tried to keep the operations afloat.

Campbell says he cannot say what the next course of action will be as the union is now awaiting word from the Minister.

Earlier this week the bank and union were deadlocked on three articles: Acting Appointment Allowance, Salaries and Profit sharing. The workers have been wearing red armbands for the last two weeks before Friday’s sickout.

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