Aggrieved workers of the state-owned Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) are scheduled to meet with their union tomorrow morning amid the threat of industrial action.
The 6.30 a.m. meeting of all SSA workers has been called by the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), bargaining agent for the garbage collection workers, to thrash out three main issues; namely the suspension of supervisor Michael Stuart from the SSA for over a year, outstanding SSA appointments and their yet-to-be approved collective bargaining agreement with Government.
“It is up to the workers to decide what action they would like to take. As a union we would have to follow the direction of the membership. So if they request us to take industrial action in relation to the matter . . . because they are frustrated . . . we would have to take direction from the SSA membership,” NUPW President Akanni McDowall told Barbados TODAY this evening, adding that any protest action would have to be sanctioned by the NUPW’s National Council.
On the issue of Stuart’s suspension, the union is claiming that the worker was “wrongfully suspended” and is demanding his immediate reinstatement.
The union is also demanding the appointment of SSA workers who have been acting in their positions for more than eight years. In this regard, McDowall said a list of names had already been submitted to management, which was supposed to refer them to the board and come back to the union.
However, the NUPW president complained that “to this day, there has been no word from the management on the appointments”.
After completing negotiations on a new collective agreement between late August and early September, he also said the union was still awaiting the final signoff by Government “so that we can confirm the agreed terms and conditions of the SSA workers”.