Industrial action looming at Grenlec

Grenlec's prime building at Dusty Highway

Grenlec’s prime building at Dusty Highway

The Technical and Allied Workers Union (TAWU) is seeking the intervention of Labour Minister, Elvin Nimrod in a dispute it has with Grenlec that could possibly lead to industrial action.

The union membership has voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action in any form at the lone power company.

TAWU has accused the company of attempting to register a Trust Deed and Rules aimed at reducing the influence and the presence of the union, which is in violation of the collective agreement with the union.

TAWU’s President-General, Chester Humphrey told the media last week Friday that the 2010 collective agreement that was signed on July 12, 2010 which has a Provident Fund is financed by Grenlec withholding ten percent of the workers’ annual income which is payable to the worker when he would either resign, or reaches retirement age.

According to Humphrey, that Fund is managed by a Trust of six persons, three coming from the company and the other three representing the union.

Humphrey who brought the media up-to-date on the dispute at the union’s Green Street, St. George’s Headquarters charged that Grenlec is now seeking to shut the union out of having a role in the new Trust Deed which involved significant sums of money.

He said the company is seeking to have a five-member Board of Trustees of which three are part of Grenlec’s management and two being workers.

However, correspondents sent by Grenlec to TAWU indicated that the Trust Deed and Rules are not the collective agreement and there is no role or requirement for TAWU to be a part of the Trust Deed.

Humphrey claimed that Grenlec does not want TAWU to have a role in determining the workers who would be Trustees of the Trust Deed.

“What is clear is that when we examine the document is that there is a concerted, consistent, consolidated action to keep the union out,” he said.

A letter dated June 7 that was sent to the Interim Chief Executive Officer of Grenlec, Clive Hosten by TAWU that was shared with the media said in part, “the union again warns that the action on the part of the company would lead to a disruption in the stability of industrial relations at the company.”

Humphrey disclosed that the union has sought the intervention of Minister Nimrod as from all indications there will be a disruption in the operations at Grenlec.

He said TAWU is reluctant to take industrial action hence the reason why the union is relying on Minister Nimrod’s intervention to find a resolution to the matter.

“If a resolution cannot be found to the satisfaction of the union…. rest assured that the union will take industrial action at that company,” he remarked.

The TAWU President General indicated that the union will not act irresponsibly, but will indeed act if it has to.

“I don’t think that that disruption would be good for the economy, and I believe that the current management in Grenlec is positioning itself to provoke the union into taking action,” he charged.

Humphrey warned that TAWU would fight the dispute on all fronts.

“We would fight it industrially, and we would fight it legally,” he said.

As of Monday, Grenlec workers began wearing their union T-shirts. The company was last affected by industrial action in August 2008.


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