DPSU advises FLOW employees not to sign contracts

FLOW employees met with senior management to discuss their concerns

General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU), Thomas Letang, has advised employees at FLOW Dominica who are part of the collective bargaining unit, not to sign individual contracts.

Employees of FLOW met with top management of that company on Wednesday, Dec the 5th, to discuss matters of concern to them.

According to Letang, a major issue of concern for the DPSU with FLOW, has to do with the treatment of  employees who are supposed to be part of the bargaining unit. He says in the case of the employees at the FLOW Retail Shop in Roseau, this matter, which should have been resolved in January 2018, is still outstanding.

Another related issue, he says, concerns the technical staff who, as members of the bargaining unit, were issued with individual contracts instead of letters of employment which the Union has recommended.

DPSU General Secretary, Thomas Letang

Letang maintains that the terms and conditions of the individual contracts are different from what would obtain if they were all treated as part of one collective bargaining unit.

“The management team met with the employees. We advised them to meet to discuss all matters that affect them except the matters to deal with the employees at the retail shop and the technical staff, because this matter, we felt, needed to be handled by the union,” he told DNO during an interview on Thursday.

He said he briefly joined the staff meeting with FLOW management on Tuesday, where he explained the situation and the employees were advised not to sign any contracts.

“We advised them against signing contracts because it falls within the bargaining unit,” he stated.

He further explained the union’s position with regard to the employees at the retail shop and the technical staff pointing out that the terms and conditions of employment of anyone who falls within the collective bargaining unit has to be the agreement between the union and the institution.

“And what we are saying, their terms and conditions of employment has to be what is obtained in the collective bargaining agreement, and you cannot issue them with individual contracts.”

He also mentioned that the Labour Commissioner has requested to meet with the union for conciliation next week Wednesday [December 12].

Letang also said that management has not addressed an outstanding salary matter which should have been settled on February the 5th.

 He accused management of applying pressure on technical staff to sign the contracts, “and we see this as a means to undermine the union in providing effective representation.”

DNO contacted General Manager of FLOW, Jeffrey Baptiste, who said he has no comment at this time.

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10 Comments

  1. Man bites dogs
    December 10, 2018

    This guy Letang does really freak me out with his madness, just like Linton I’m sure those two guys are twins if not the same person.

  2. Joseph John
    December 10, 2018

    Of course they can accept the contract. The union may withdraw their support for those who accept the contract. The union can discourage them, but cannot prevent them from exercising their freedom of choice or their freedom of movement.
    Latang is protecting his financial interest ( he has a right to do so). The contract will weaken his influence.
    Because of Latang’s track record the company see a threat to their interest. Latang is attempting to cause disunity between workers and employers, so he can rule, divide and rule . So the company have to take defensive action to protect their employees jobs ,but mostly to protect their investments (their right of survival). But Latang sees it as a lose or win contest, not a negotiation phase.
    Can the employees reject the contracts and still remain employed ?.

  3. ferbrese
    December 9, 2018

    Boos you just like a toilet. all you do is collect ….. don’t sign the contract that government offer you and then you can talk

  4. Birdie
    December 9, 2018

    With a mentality like yours, no wonder Dominica is in the state it is now.
    Stand for what is right… stand for what is rightfully yours.
    … get up stand up… stand up for your rights…

  5. Birdie
    December 9, 2018

    I am hearing a lot of comments from people who are not familiar with the law and this situation. Allow me to put this in perspective.
    1: It is against the labor laws to issue a contact to any employee that falls under the category of nonmanagerial staff represented by a union.
    2: It is against the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) signed by management and the Union and its representatives, which clearly states that no contract should be issued to any employee represented by the union with out its consent and approval, and in which the terms and conditions are less favorable.
    3. In the case of the retail staff, Management has aggreged in writing that contracts should not be issues and the that benefits and remuneration should be regularized in accordance with the CBA.
    4. Having aggreged to the above, notwithstanding the labor laws, management has set a precedent in this matter hence the same should be afforded the Technical Staff.
    These points were made by the DPSU head…

    • Joseph John
      December 10, 2018

      Bir-die “It is the law” what law. Quote the section and paragraphs of the Labour Laws of Dominica. There can be no law that deprives you of your fundermental freedom of choice and freedom of movement. Labours laws go all the way to the UN. That is why the US pulled out of the UNILO because the 1% of the rich wanted to control employees. That is why the US 1% keep the unions near death. Yes they still exist but in a very weak state.
      Employees in Dominica saw how a security officer lost his job because he was illegally accommodating opposition forces. They also see how people lost their jobs when Latang closed down the Public works because he wanted to display his arrogance as an agent of opposition forces. I wonder what help he could give them when they became unemployed.
      When Flow employees lose their jobs because of his political highhandedness he and opposition forces will give them jobs. Flow is not doing anything illegal, Letang is.

      • Birdie
        December 11, 2018

        Joseph John,
        I just don’t come on this forum and make blanket statements for the sake of making them. This is serious business.

        Labor laws of Dominica
        Labor Contracts
        Chap. 89: 4
        Section 5: (4) 6: (1)

        6. (l) Where(a) a trade union is recognised by an employer as the bargaining agent for a category of employees; and (b) an industrial agreement has been concluded and is in force between the trade union and the employer respecting that category of employees,
        alabour contract in respect of the employment of an employee included in that category of employees is void except in so far as it confers any benefit on the employee that is more favourable to him than that contained in the industrial agreement.

        Joseph John, shut up and go to the back of the class!

  6. Zandoli
    December 8, 2018

    I don’t understand how an employer can present contacts to employees who are represented by a union. I am surprised the law even allows that. If there is a certified union the company should be obligated to negotiate with the union. There is no other way.

    I am not a union type of guy, but you ought to work through the proper channels. That type of behavior would trigger a work stoppage at my company.

  7. Bob Denis
    December 8, 2018

    Mr Latang may want to show a brave face , at the end of the day the workers will be manipulated by Flow in the name of having a job . when push come to shove, the gov’t , in the name of having foreign investments , is going to take the side of Flow . Globalization and free markets goes hand in hand , and would rather not having to deal with no bargaining party .UNIONS as we use to know them, have been broken both inside and out . The workers at Flow have been given a choice , one that will definitely be detrimental long term , but Dominica have little to go around .

  8. Kermit
    December 8, 2018

    Well I would advise you guys to sign the contract. Having a job is better than not having a job at all. You guys don’t sign the contract and then what? Is there another job waiting for you if they choose to dismiss you guys??? Letang well happy where he is there. Do what will benefit YOUR PRESENT at the time.

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