The National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) has threatened to bring down the wrath of the entire trade union movement on Government if the row over its president is not resolved in its favour by Wednesday.
Following a meeting last Thursday with the Personal Administration Division (PAD), the NUPW had said it would wait until Monday for a response to its demand for the reinstatement of its president Akanni McDowall to the post of Acting Health Officer 1, following his reversion last month to his substantive entry level post of Environmental Health Assistant 1.
However, following a meeting Monday with shop stewards at the union’s Dalkeith Road, St Michael headquarters, General Secretary Roslyn Smith told the media the NUPW was now prepared to wait until Wednesday for a response before it acts.
And while still not revealing what form the industrial action would take, Smith hinted at a joint approach involving all the trade unions.
“The policy of the Personnel Administration Division is that the Public Service Commission meets every Monday and that is a full day in which they deal with public service matters. So that is reason that I said that from Tuesday we should be in a better position to hear something on the request that we made last week. It would be good if we get that request by tomorrow, but we would say no later than Wednesday.
“Our next move would be a meeting with our sister unions. So that is where we are at. We would be bringing the unions together and we strategize from there. They have all pledged their support and it is just a matter of time. Obviously I would not go into the finer details because we have to be very careful as everyone is not confidential and we need to be very strategic,” the NUPW leader said.
The two sides met for close to two hours last Thursday, after which Smith had said the union had made its position clear to the Chief Personnel Officer, who was expected to relay the message to Public Service Commission.
In an earlier interview with journalists following a meeting with environmental officers, Smith had promised that no stone would be left unturned in the push to resolve this matter in the union’s favour.
A similar position was outlined by Acting Assistant General Secretary Delcia Burke, who described McDowall’s reversion as “an attack” on the workers’ representatives.
“NUPW sees this as an attack, not only on the NUPW, but on the trade union movement. We are taking this extremely serious and that is why we are saying that we are not going to leave any stone unturned until we have this matter resolved.
“You would recognize that even without prompting from the NUPW other unions would have voiced their support. If needs be and we have to call on them to support the action to join with us to have this matter resolved we are going to do that. As long as you attack the president of the union by removing him from his position without a cause, we see this as an attack on the trade union movement,” Burke said.