Protest action by workers untenable

TSTT management condemns the protest action taken today by some of the company’s workers at its Head Office and views it as irresponsible and premature.

Bi-lateral negotiations between the company and the recognized majority union the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) have broken down after over seven months of meetings for contracts dating back to 2003. The matter is currently before the Ministry of Labour with conciliation sessions due to begin later this week.

The company continues to maintain an open door policy with the CWU. Notwithstanding the matter being accepted by the Minister of Labour as per the Industrial Relations Act, we will continue to work diligently towards a mutually satisfactory resolution of negotiations and a new collective agreement with the CWU as we continue to observe the principles and practices of good industrial relations.

Upon hearing of the illegal activity today a team from the company comprising the Vice President, Human Resources and Administration, the Head Industrial Relations and an Industrial Relations Officer met with the executive of the Union and some of the protesting workers to ascertain the nature and reasons for the protest action. The Union presented the company with a list of 16 items, inclusive of the current negotiations and a number of matters that are either currently before the courts or have been already documented and presented by the company. The company advised the Union that the list of items was no proper basis for illegal industrial action and expressed its willingness to continue the dialog with the union.

The CEO has also advised that while unable to meet with the representatives today, a date will be issued for a further meeting with a formal agenda.

We recognize the role of the Communication Workers’ Union as the sole Bargaining Agent for Senior and Junior Staff employees in striking a balance however the Company is insisting that during this negotiation period as responsible bodies established principles and practice of proper industrial relations be maintained at all times. Our customers must not be made to suffer any harm as a result of internal negotiations and we will ensure our service levels to them are maintained.

TSTT as a company is in a fiercely competitive environment. The company has abided by all the due processes as guided by best industrial relations practices. TSTT hopes that the Union will do the same to seek the best interests of all the employees.