Precision Packaging top official says action affecting operations
Management of Precision Packaging Inc., where employees have been on strike for the past three days, is hoping for a resolution soon, acknowledging that the work stoppage is hurting the company’s operations.
While not specifying the extent of the fallout, divisional general manager for manufacturing and services at Goddard Enterprises John Taylor told Barbados TODAY that the Lower Estate, St Michael company has been impacted since the almost 40 employees walked off the job on Tuesday.
Representatives of Precision Packaging, a subsidiary of Goddard Enterprises, and the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) which is representing the workers are due to continue discussions on Monday at the Labour Department.
The two sides are at odds over a new shift system that would require employees to work until 11 pm instead of 10 pm.
However, Taylor said the old system was not in keeping with existing legislation and current normal practice for businesses with shift systems.
“We needed to change it and we had several discussions over a couple of years on the matter. We reached a position where we needed now to make the change. We notified the union and the staff back in July,” he said.
“We have arranged transportation for the workers to the bus stands in town . . . so they would be transported down there in time to get the last bus, or buses that leave at midnight.”
“That is the basis for the new arrangement there and some of the workers, I believe, are unhappy with that. So we had a meeting with them this afternoon with the union and those discussions are ongoing,” he added, although declining to go into further detail about the talks.
While accepting the new shift system, the BWU has rejected the transportation policy, arguing that because most of the workers live close to the company, it made no sense taking them to the City to catch a bus when there was no guarantee they would get one.
Senior industrial relations officer and president of the union division at Precision Packaging Ron Bates told Barbados TODAY while on the picket line today that the workers would be better served if the vehicles provided by the company transported the employees to their homes.
BWU General Secretary Toni Moore will address the striking workers tomorrow morning to determine the next step, after this afternoon’s discussions ended without a resolution.