Workers said they have not been paid for four fortnights

Workers said they have not been paid for four fortnights

Protest action by staff of the Public Works Corporation (PWC) has officially come to an end.

The protest, which lasted for up to two days at the PWC’s Goodwill Road location, was over the late payment of salaries spanning four fortnights and other issues currently affecting staff.

The protest began on Wednesday when workers locked the gate to the facility and on Thursday afternoon the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU), management and board of directors of the PWC met to discuss the matter.

Another meeting, which included staff of the PWC, was held on Friday at the DPSU’s building on Valley Road.

Following the meeting General Secretary of the DPSU, Thomas Letang, said it was agreed that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be signed between the union and the board no later than Tuesday next week.

He noted that the MOU will entail the issues discussed at the meeting and will spell out a time frame in which some of them can be resolved “where possible.”

He said many of the issues raised were beyond the PWC’s management and directors; one of them being $700,000 that is being owed to the Dominica Social Security (DSS) from 2011.

“Can they give a commitment that this money will be paid by next month or whatever? That may not be possible but in that MOU we will have an undertaking as to what will be done within a specified period of time,” Letang said on state-owned DBS Radio.

Meantime Chairman of the Board of the PWC, Titus Francis, said the meeting was a “very good” one and they heard how the workers felt.

“I think in the end we had a very good understanding that moving forward one, that the protest action will end, the employees do not prevent management access to the work place,” he said. “We are going to sit down together with the Union and establish some kind of understanding as to how we are going to get these issues addressed. So basically that’s the way forward.”

He said some level of normalcy will be seen at the PWC on Monday morning and the board will meet by Tuesday to chart a way forward in solving the challenges.

He stated discussions have been held with government to make outstanding payments to the employees “at least some time in the course of next week.”