The long, drawn-out pay dispute between the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) and the Grantley Adams International Airport Inc (GAIA) has been referred to the Ministry of Labour for resolution.
Corporate Communications Specialist with GAIA Keith Goddard confirmed to Barbados TODAY this afternoon that the company had placed the matter in the hands of the Chief Labour Officer Vincent Burnett and had informed the union accordingly.
Up to the time of publication, union leaders were locked behind closed doors at their Dalkeith Road headquarters discussing the latest developments. Neither General Secretary Roslyn Smith nor President Akanni McDowall could be reached for comment.
However, earlier this week, Smith told Barbados TODAY the NUPW had given the airport management until today to respond to its latest letter seeking a resumption of negotiations on the contentious 3.5 per cent pay increase for 2011. Smith had declined to say what action, if any, the union would take if there was no response by today, only that she was taking the issue step by step.
The airport management has been insisting that the 3.5 per cent the workers are claiming had been taken off the table some five years ago. But the union thinks differently, arguing that both sides had settled on the payment if the economy had improved by the middle of 2011.
The NUPW said at their most recent meeting it presented the airport management with proof that the economy did improve.