The National Democratic Congress views with great concern the rapid deterioration of the industrial climate in the country.
As we understand it, the unions signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government relating to the outstanding and long delayed issue over Public Sector pension benefits.
The timing of the signing of the MOU on the eve of the last elections exposed the opportunistic intent of the Government.
The time has come for the government to deliver on its promises as detailed in the MOU and other surrounding discussions with the unions.
It is indeed very disturbing that while the parties are at the negotiating table, the government has embarked on a systematic campaign of threats of salary deductions, intimidation and victimization against the workers.
Filing an injunction over the weekend in an attempt to stop workers from exercising their right to withhold their labor, an unprecedented step in this country represents a serious threat to our democracy by an administration that increasingly demonstrates worrying dictatorial tendencies.
Moreover these anti- worker actions only serve to reinforce the fact that the Government cannot be trusted and trade union solidarity is vital in defending and preserving workers’ rights.
Public Sector Pensions is a right granted by the constitution and we accept the unions’ version that at all times, only 25% gratuity was on the table. All that’s left for Government to do now, is to sit with the unions to work out the modalities of payment.
The fact that the unions have participated in various sessions to find a way out of the impasse speaks to their goodwill and respect for the negotiation process. They must be applauded for their responsible conduct.
Having now wisely withdrawn the oppressive Court action, we now call on the government to:
1. Return to the bargaining table in good faith so as to seek a solution in the interest of all concerned.
2. Immediately withdraw the Cabinet Conclusion which ordered deductions from salaries for workers who properly took strike action.
The National Democratic Congress says unreservedly to the Teachers, Public, Prison and Police Officers that we stand in solidarity with you in your just struggle for the restoration of your pension rights and we encourage all workers in Grenada to support the struggle and participate in the events promoted by the unions.