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CSA General Secretary says: Unity of Action Brings Results!

THE General Secretary of the Saint Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA), Claude Paul, has asserted that the only thing employers understand is resistance, as exemplified in the announcement that the government has revoked the controversial cabinet conclusion establishing the proposed Border Management Authority.

Paul was responding to a reporter’s question about whether the CSA expected the government to ‘walk back’.

“It just shows what can happen when we come together in a collective force and it points again to the only thing employers understand is resistance,” the CSA official stated.

“When workers come together and show unity as the Customs Officers have done and they resist the actions of the employer, in this case, the government, it brings results,” Paul declared in an interview last week.

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He expressed the view that the recent development is a good example for the other agencies that the CSA has to engage with.

Paul said this week the CSA will be ‘stepping up the game’ in respect of the Owen King EU Hospital and making sure that the interests of workers are protected in the same way as the Customs Officers.

“For us it is not a victory, but a step in the right direction,” he explained.

Paul said the CSA hopes that the government will keep its word about consulting with the trade union on the proposed Border Management Authority.

“In the past we have questioned the sincerity of consultation. We want consultation to be an issue of more than merely providing information, but where we can participate meaningfully and help to shape the outcome,” he stated.

Cabinet conclusion No 247 of 2018 on April 16, 2018, which the government said last week had been revoked, approved the establishment of the Saint Lucia Border Management Authority as a Statutory Corporation, sparking widespread expressions of concern by Customs Officers who recently staged a sick-out in protest.

The officers have expressed fears for their job security, asserting that with the creation of a statutory body, they would be forced to resign their current employment and apply to the new entity with no guarantee of employment.

“We have a cabinet conclusion that has been revoked but we have not been given information about a new cabinet conclusion number,” the CSA General Secretary pointed out.

He also noted that no information has been provided about the composition of the team what would engage all stakeholders in consultation on the way forward for the proposed border control agency which is expected to merge the Customs Department, the Marine Police, Immigration and the Quarantine services.

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