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Government Workers Demanding Better Working Conditions

WATCHMEN, janitors, caretakers and cleaners employed at various government ministries are calling for better working conditions, as more and more state-employed workers are being placed on three, six and in some cases one-year contracts.

The National Workers Union (NWU) – which represents the workers concerned –met with the watchmen, janitors, caretakers and cleaners last Friday at the Castries Constituency Council Auditorium.

The workers discussed unpleasant working conditions and called for a complete shake-up by those responsible for human resource within the various ministries.

The workers conveyed their disillusionment with not being paid for public holidays and sick leave, plus the continued practice of being paid for six hours a day and scant courtesy being displayed by certain school principals.

The workers also selected a five-member delegation to accompany the Leadership of the NWU during a scheduled meeting with government officials.

Meanwhile, President General of the NWU, Tyrone Maynard, says many workers have called the union informing that they are being placed on three-months, six-months and one-year contracts.

“Many of them are of the opinion that this contract legislation is dehumanizing and places them in a worse position compared to that before the Labour Code was enacted.

“Some of them are appealing to the NWU to speak out against these things and to call for them to be repealed,” Maynard said.

He also said that when the Labour Code was drafted and circulated, the leadership of the union was against many of the Code’s provisions.

“Our position was that certain sections were draconian and anti-trade union. In fact, the only organization that spoke out against was the NWU,” Maynard said.

“There were some leaders who were of the strong opinion that the document should be legislated quickly and amended after.

“In fact August 1, as Emancipation Day, was selected for the launching and introduction of the Labour Code.

“Some of us may not pay now, but our children will reap the whirlwind,” Maynard added.

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