Trade union leader Thomas Letang has responded to suggestions that Dominica’s Labor movement has lost its militancy, resulting in a serious reduction in industrial action in the country.
Letang’s Dominica Public Service Union has in recent times been doing a bit of sabre rattling, warning that the DPSU could embark on industrial action if specific concerns are not addressed by the government which employs the majority of the union’s 2400 members.
However the union has not been involved in any strike action so far this year.
“Whenever we have threatened to take industrial action, before we have embarked on it we see results,” the union leader said, indicating that the threats have been enough to get its demands met.
“Not too long ago we had the statement that was made by the Government Productivity Consultant, and we issued a statement saying if that statement wasn’t retracted, if Government did not disassociate itself (with the statement) we would have embarked on industrial action, and that was in the making,” Letang told DNO.
He says the proposed strike was averted because Productivity Consultant Parry Bellot formally apologized to the union, retracting his suggestion that 80 per cent of the country’s public officers were not pulling their weight and slacking on the job.
Letang says he is convinced that if a strike is called by the DPSU, its members will rally to the cause because the union has been carrying out mobilization activity among its members over the past few months.
Salary negotiations is one of the matters the union is involved in at the moment.
Letang says his union wants to ensure that if it embarks on industrial action it has public support.
“We’d want to make sure that the public understands what you are doing. So it’s not a matter of just getting up one day and decide that you are going to call a strike,” he explained.
He says very often while some member call for more militancy, the union does not act hastily because it wants to ensure that it has the public on its side in a bid to obtain successful results.
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