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.
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.