It is now up to Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo to seek to broker a settlement to the airport pay dispute.
Today, talks between Grantley Adams International Airport Inc. (GAIA) and the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) broke down at the level of the Chief Labour Officer Vincent Burnett, who reported at the end of a three-hour long meeting that the dispute would be referred to the Minister of Labour.
While Burnett described the talks as “cordial”, no resolution appeared to be in sight as both parties were sticking to their guns.
GAIA Chief Executive Officer David Barrow declined to comment when he and his delegation emerged from the closed-door talks at the Warrens, St Michael offices of the Labour Department.
However, NUPW General Secretary Roslyn Smith remained adamant that a 3.5 per cent pay hike was owed to the airport workers since 2010/2011 and that it must be paid.
Nonetheless, when asked if any action would be taken at this stage, Smith said the union was prepared to let the matter run the full course of the industrial relations process.
“We will await the meeting with the minister and we will be move from there. But we will ensure that we keep our membership up to date,” the union boss said.
Today, the NUPW President Akanni McDowall said the union wanted a quick settlement to the dispute.
However, he said the final decision on any protest action would be left to the national council of the NUPW, which is responsible for sanctioning industrial action.
The two sides differ on the outcome of a December 2010 meeting chaired by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.
GAIA contends that the 3.5 per cent was taken off the table while the union said the increase would only be paid if the economy improved.
However, while Government is maintaining that the desired growth has not yet been realized, the union is contending otherwise. Based on January 4, 2010 letter it further insists that the pay increase was never taken off the table.