WICSU to raise concerns about mediators with Lee

PHILIPSBURG–The Windward Islands Civil Servants Union/Private Sector Union (WICSU/PSU) will be raising what it considers the non-functioning of the group of mediators, with Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour Emil Lee.

“When we had one mediator we were getting some results, now that we have a team of mediators, we are not getting any results,” WICSU/PSU President Julia Solognier said at a press conference on Friday. She explained that the workers at the Simpson Bay Resort (former Pelican Resort) have indicated that they would like the WICSU/PSU to represent them.

Solognier said although the workers have expressed their desire for WICSU/PSU representation, the mediators are not acting on the request for a referendum to be called.

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The request for a referendum at the Simpson Bay Resort was made in September last year, prior to the introduction of the group of mediators. No response was received to the request made in September. When the group of mediators were installed, a second request was sent. Based on this letter, a mediator then sent a letter to the Resort requesting information so that a referendum can be held. A deadline was given. Solognier said the deadline has passed, “and the mediator is at a standstill.”

She said the Simpson Bay Resort is refusing to provide information and the entire process is stalled, which she said is not fair to the workers. The Union wants the mediators to act and not sit back and allow the desire of the workers for a referendum to be ignored because of the company. “We will bring this to the Minister’s attention and see if he can intervene,” Solognier said.

In a separate issue, Solognier said the Union is concerned about what it sees as the unjustified firing of a chef at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino.

Solognier said the chef, who was fired in the past when he was on sick leave, but was later reinstated after the Union intervened and informed his employer that employees cannot be fired for being ill, has been a target by his employer for some time now. The employee was again fired earlier this year. He was accused of pulling a knife on a superior, while witnesses have indicated in their written accounts of the incident that he never possessed a knife.

The Labour Office had intervened, but Solognier said nothing came out of the matter. She believes that the employee was fired unjustly because his employer was just looking for a reason to get rid of him. Also, one of the Union’s shop stewards at the company is also under threat of losing their job.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/67518-wicsu-to-raise-concerns-about-mediators-with-lee

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