SISA Threatens Strike Over Delayed Pay Negotiations
With just about one week before the scheduled start of this year’s sugar crop, industrial action is looming over the sector.
The Sugar Industry Staff Association (SISA), which represents supervisory employees, on Tuesday threatened strike action over delayed pay negotiations with the state-owned Barbados Agricultural Management Company (BAMC).
President of the SISA Dwight Miller said if his organisation does not hear from BAMC management “soon” they would be taking action.
“We will be having industrial action,” Miller told Barbados TODAY when asked what that plan entailed.
“I mean, we have been calling for a meeting and it doesn’t seem to be forthcoming. So, in following industrial relations procedures…if they don’t want to try to negotiate the matter, then we would have to escalate,” he warned.
While Miller declined to provide a date for the proposed industrial action, he made it clear that a meeting must be held “long before the start of the crop”.
Minister of Agriculture Indar Weir has slated February 14 as the beginning of the harvest.
But the SISA leader said the specific date for any industrial action would be determined by the membership, whom he described as “fairly upset and agitated” over the fact that the BAMC seems to be “slighting” members regarding having a meeting.
“We can’t give them forever [to meet], so I mean, I am guided by my membership. I had a short meeting with some of them today. I have to meet with another section of them; obviously they are at different locations, and once again, I am guided by them, and how they feel about the situation,” Miller added.
Lack of negotiations fueling unrest among sugar workers Barbados Today