A protest action that was taken by workers of one of the top media houses on the island is threatening the job security of its General Manager who has just returned to work from a one year study leave.
Workers of the Grenada Broadcasting Networking (GBN) downed tools on Monday morning to send a strong message to its Board of Directors at the head company in Trinidad, Caribbean Communications Network (CCN) that they are not prepared to continue to work with their General Manager, Odette Campbell.
On August 7th, a signed petition, with 15 signatures, was sent to the Chairman of the Board of Directors of CCN Ltd, Michael Carballo, requesting the removal of Campbell as the General Manager at the GBN.
On the advice of the their Union Representative, Grenada Technical and Allied Workers Union (GTAWU), workers were seen standing outside the GBN building on Observatory Road, Upper Lucas Street, St. George as they believe the Chairman is not taking their concerns seriously.
Bernadette Cornell-Celestine, one of the Shop Stewards at the GBN, spoke to the media.
She said, “We are actually protesting the way in which Trinidad is treating with our matter, we’ve done a petition to Trinidad asking for the removal of Ms Campbell as General Manager because of the way she manages the company and we are not happy so far in the way in which Trinidad is treating with our concerns, so, we have made a decision to down tools for the moment and stand out here by the gate until they give us the attention and let us know that they take us seriously.”
She continued, “We’ve written to the Chairman of the Board and he responded giving us the assurance that they don’t take these things lightly. He did respond, giving the assurance that he got the correspondence. So he assured me that he received it and that he was going to take action and the company take these things seriously and that they are going to treat with it seriously and they were going to give Mrs. Campbell a chance to more or less defend herself, which is obvious, we expected that…,
“…However, that was just words, we have not seen any action to the words and we need action. We’ve informed the union and the union is 100% behind us. We will be out here until we are of the opinion that Trinidad is taking us seriously; that they are making serious moves on treating with our concerns.”
Monday was the first day back to work for Mrs. Campbell, after being on a one year study leave and according to Cornell-Celestine; workers are already feeling a sense of “intimidation”.
“Although she is back to work as of today (Monday, September 17th), since last week she’s been in and out, acting as though she is back. I mean, we can’t stop her, she is the General Manager of GBN, so we couldn’t stop her but I think personally speaking, I think that was a form of intimidation because she is aware of the petition and I think it’s a form of intimidation,” she remarked.
Monday afternoon workers in the presence of the Labour Representative, GTAWU, were given the assurance in writing from their bosses in Trinidad that they are taking the matter seriously and investigation into the concerns raised over the style of managing of Mrs. Campbell have begun.
The workers agreed to return to work on Monday afternoon pending the outcome of the investigation but not before laying out some requests of their own.
They asked that Campbell remain off the job pending the outcome of the investigation and also asked for a timeline as to how long the investigation will take.
Campbell was summoned to Trinidad on Tuesday to a meeting with the Chairman.