After long-running negotiations that came to a head last month with a brief wildcat strike, Barbados Port Inc. (BPI) and the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) have reached an agreement on a pay hike for workers.
The workers, who have not received a pay increase in close to ten years, are to receive a five per cent salary increase backdated to October 1, 2016.
Barbados Port Inc. said in a statement this afternoon that it maintained its commitment to the continued development of relations with workers and union.
The talks ran aground in August when port workers walked off the job for 45 minutes, angry not with management but with their union.
Workers who spoke to Barbados TODAY at the time said they were upset after learning the BWU had accepted the port’s offer to match the Government’s five-per cent pay increase for public workers, without first consulting them.
The workers, stopped work at about 9 a.m. that day, prompting a conference call with BWU General Secretary Toni Moore who was overseas on business.
The union took the decision to rescind a letter dated August 14 accepting the matching offer, Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Port Incorporated David Jean-Marie had confirmed.
“The union has since put a hold on that letter and workers have returned to work” pending further discussions with the workers, he told Barbados TODAY.
The workers indicated that they were not all happy and as result they withdrew their labour for brief period,” Jean Marie said, stressing that the dispute had nothing to do with any grievances with the port’s management.
“The BWU is not negotiating for itself, it is negotiating for us, so how could they agree to something without coming back to us. We have to be consulted because we are the ones who are in the position and we are ones who know what our needs are and what would be a fair payment for us,” was the view at the time of another angry worker.