The Grenada Technical and Allied Workers’ Union (TAWU) had advised the Grenada Electricity Services Ltd. (GRENLEC) of a dispute with the Company on Friday, 7 June 2013. The matter concerned the Company’s desire to register a revised Trust Deed and Rules for the management of a retirement fund for employees, as stipulated by the Insurance Act 2010. This led to workers wearing Union jerseys to work from Monday June 10th.
The TAWU had indicated in writing to the Company that it had referred the matter to the Minister of Labour for his intervention as the commencement of the dispute resolution process. This process required that the matter be moved through various stages as stipulated in the Labour Code and the Collective Agreement.
A meeting between parties was held at the Ministry of Labour’s Conference Room on Wednesday June 12th, presided over by Labour Minister Elvin Nimrod and included Works Minister Gregory Bowen and Labour Commissioner Mr. Griffith.
A statement from the Company said, ”We are committed to resolving this matter in accordance with the established grievance procedures.”
At the conclusion of the meeting the Managing Director of Grenlec said, “The Ministry of Labour is involved and coming from the meeting there has to be continued discussions between both parties. The issues tend to be moving around a-lot and that is the reason why there must be further discussion.”
Mr. Chester Humphrey - Head of TAWU said that the Company made some concessions but there are still some matters to be sorted out. The Minister is going to reconvene a meeting but in and between that time the Company and the Union commit to meet again. The major thing that we achieved, said TAWU, was that the Company has abandoned its position of getting a majority of the Trustees and they have agreed that in accordance with the agreement we would have equal amount of Trustees. That is what the collective agreement calls for. The second thing is the removal from the rules that a worker may forfeit his Retirement benefit or Provident fund if he/she is dismissed for cause. The Company has agreed to expunge that from the rules and that is a significant way forward. However Mr. Humphrey continued, “there are a number of other matters that need to be sorted out but we don’t believe that they are insurmountable”. The real issue was that the Company was proceeding to register a Trust Deed and Rules in violation of the Collective agreement.” Informer learned from the Union that Friday’s meeting with their members was fruitful and the workers returned to work in their Company uniforms.