Marpin's office in Roseau

Marpin’s office in Roseau

Staff of telecommunication provider, Marpin 2K4, have been asked to take a pay cut, sources have informed Dominica News Online.

Reports indicate members of staff have received letters from the financially troubled company asking them to sign a letter for a 10 percent pay cut.

According to a well placed source the pay cut is expected to take effect within days.

“All I can say to you is that very soon it will happen either pay cut or staff will be sent home,” the source stated.

Kertiste Augustus said WAWU will not accept a permanent wage deduction

Kertiste Augustus said WAWU will not accept a permanent wage deduction

But the Waterfront and Allied Workers Union (WAWU), which is representing the workers, appears to be taken off guard by the delivery of the letters to the workers saying it was never informed, despite the fact that discussions were already held with Marpin on the matter.

“In our letter to management we did inform them that they cannot unilaterally just deduct 10 percent from the workers’ salaries without their consent and we pointed to them to the provisions of Protection of Wages Act,” Kertiste Augustus, general secretary of WAWU, told Dominica News Online. “So I suspect that they have in fact done that by letter but they have not informed the representative bargaining agent, that is WAWU in that regard.”

According to Augustus, in discussion with Marpin, WAWU made it clear it was not against the 10 percent deduction, but it must be done within a specific timeline.

“We did indicate that if by the end of the year the expectations were not achieved then we will get back and have further discussion with them,” he explained.

He said the union had also proposed that Marpin use the 10 percent deduction to allow the workers to buy shares in the company but this was to be based also on the end of the year timeline.

Augustus pointed out that it appears Marpin is making moves to make the 10 percent deduction a permanent one, which he said cannot be supported by WAWU.

“If they are moving towards a permanent deduction, they will have to discuss that with us because you cannot reduce benefits that workers have already enjoyed without discussion and agreement with their bargaining agent,” he stated.

For the time being Augustus said the union is awaiting correspondence from Marpin on the situation in order to chart the way forward.

“We are going to wait and see what happens and then determine how we are going to proceed,” he said. “We will have to look at the content of the letter first and determine what is our reaction.”