News, Top Story

What’s Going On At LUCELEC?

Image of LUCELEC Castries offices
LUCELEC Castries offices

The likelihood of a full-blown industrial impasse between Saint Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) and employees may very well come into being despite the company’s status as an essential service.

Earlier this week, a LUCLEC release informed customers of a temporary cut back in the company’s operations, due to “the absence of a number of key team members”. Customers were advised to be aware that there may be service delays with the online processing of service requests and transactions.

Clients are also urged to utilise options for conducting business with LUCELEC, including SurePay and other available channels. The release adds that bill payments, including reconnection payments and inquiries can be accessed at all SurePay locations island wide.

But an official source told THE VOICE that there are some outstanding matters to be resolved, relating to wage negotiations and other factors.

Efforts to get LUCELEC or the trade unions representing the employees to speak on the matters hampering the full settlement of the 2018 – 2021 Collective Agreement have been futile. Also on the table is the 2021 – 2024 Collective Agreement.

The seeds of a possible industrial action seem to have been sown in October when Grade 4 – 9 employees, represented by the National Workers Union (NWU), notified LUCELEC of an impending strike action on November 17.

LUCELEC confirmed that it did receive a copy of the notice of strike action by the NWU in October of this year.

LUCELEC, on November 7, in a press release stated that, “it has taken all steps in accordance with the requirements of the Labour Act Cap.16.04 of the revised laws of Saint Lucia to resolve all known grievances raised by the Union.

These include the two cited in the notice of strike action, namely:

  1. The failure  on part of the management of St. Lucia Electricity Services Ltd (LUCELEC) to bring to speedily resolve  outstanding grievances.
  2. The non-resolution of long outstanding industrial relations matters including:
    • The ECUPS Pension Plan
    • 30% Shift Allowance

Additionally, LUCELEC and the Union were advised on Friday, November 03, 2023, that the issues cited in number 2 have since been sent to the Labour Tribunal for resolution. This prevents the company from taking further action on these matters until that body has met and issued a judgement.

LUCELEC awaits the response from the Union to the Minister’s letter.

LUCELEC advises its customers and the general public that the company is prepared to take all necessary actions to minimize the impact of the proposed strike action on its operations on the stated day and going forward.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend