Disheartening and distasteful

The near two year old administration of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell is seemingly on a collision course with the Public Workers Union (PWU) in Grenada.

The union has put out another release expressing grave concerns with the manner in which the regime has been conducting business with public officers.

Its latest bulletin relates to government’s commitment to change the status of the state-run Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC).

The PWU said the move would affect public officers assigned to the corporation and accused the Mitchell government of not engaging the employees or their bargaining agents on the proposed change.

Following is the full text of the PWU statement:

The Public Workers Union (PWU) notes the passage of the Investment Bill 2014, by the Houses of Parliament which make specific reference
to the establishment of an ‘Agency’ which will assume responsibility for investment promotion and facilitation in Grenada.

PWU is aware that the ‘Agency’ for which the reference is made by the Investment Bill 2014, is the Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC). The Union is also cognisant of the fact that there will be consequential implications of this Act for employees tenured with the organisation.

The Union wishes to state that it is extremely concerned that statements and presentations alluding to the proposed changes in the status quo of the GIDC have been made to the media as well as various stakeholders, without the prior engagement of the persons most likely to be affected i.e. its employees.

The PWU is of the opinion that the manner by which the said employees were informed of Government’s intention i.e. within a public forum, is both disheartening and distasteful.

Having engaged our members at the GIDC, we also wish to advise that they are exceedingly disturbed, as they are still without knowledge as to how the Bill will affect their employment status. This is even more so in light of statements made to the media which suggest that the proposed changes at GIDC is likely to be dealt with in a manner similar to that of the former Grenada Board of Tourism.

The PWU wishes to place on record that it is not happy with the manner in which the GIDC situation is unfolding, and is extremely concerned over what seems to be an emerging trend in the country for restructuring statutory organisations without due regard for proper protocols.

While it is appreciated that changes are always likely to occur, observation of the right processes and protocols before change is effected, can greatly assist in minimising possible adverse effects.

The PWU is calling on the Government to engage the GIDC employees and its labour representative body, with a view to discussing the proposed way forward.

This will likely serve to avoid a recurrence of similar events and the negative effects to that which transpired in the restructuring of the former Grenada Board of Tourism.

The PWU remains ever committed to maintaining a peaceful and healthy industrial climate.

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