Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, is referring to as “irregular” the National Union of Public Workers’ decision to take industrial action while the matter in question, is still being discussed.
Speaking on the side lines of a ceremony held at St Bartholomew Primary, Mr Stuart commented on the NUPW’s going forward with industrial action at the island’s ports of entry in protest of the reported demotion of its President, Akanni McDowall.
Mr Stuart likened the Union’s taking action before discussions could be concluded to blackmail, adding that it goes against the traditional volunteeristic method of industrial relations which has been successfully used for decades. The Prime Minister also says he is watching the situation very closely and hints that a new approach to industrial relations may have to be used in the future if such behaviour continues.
He says, “if the stage is now being reached where we are being made to understand or being made to believe that the volunteeristic approach to industrial relations is not working anymore … since we cannot afford to have an unstable industrial relations environment, since we cannot afford to have a country in which neither employers nor workers can know what the next day will bring, we may have to get back to the drawing board to see whether there is any alternative to the volunteeristic system.”