Strike by JPS workers averted after Labour Ministry intervenes in talks between company and employees
The Ministry of Labour was forced to intervene in talks between the Jamaica Public Service, JPS, and its employees to prevent the workers from taking industrial action.
In a release, the Ministry said yesterday (August 10), it received reports that workers employed to the JPS were restive, following a breakdown in wage talks between the company and workers represented by the National Workers Union and the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union.
It said after several hours of conciliation talks at the Ministry’s North Street offices, the parties reached an agreement at midnight and normalcy has been returned to the company.
Labour Minister Karl Samuda has commended the parties on their maturity in handling the discussions that facilitated the settlement of the protracted negotiations.
Meantime, General Secretary of the National Workers Union, Granville Valentine says the workers are happy that the issues have been resolved and the wage agreement has been signed.
He has thanked the minister for his intervention, but blamed the management of JPS, for the protracted negotiations.
Speaking with Irie Fm News, Mr. Valentine said there was a disagreement with the management about the sick leave bank policy at the company.
A sick leave bank provides members who are experiencing serious illnesses, an opportunity to request additional paid leave from the bank after exhausting all personal accrued leave.
Mr. Valentine said the dispute could have escalated.
He noted that there is still some work to be done at the local level.
Mr. Valentine assured that normal operations will ensue at JPS, today.