Jan 07, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Workers of the Guyana Oil Company Limited (GuyOil) will be receiving their long-disputed salary increases in the second quarter of 2021, according to the President of the Clerical and Commercial Workers Union (CCWU), Sherwood Clarke.
Clarke who spoke to Kaieteur News yesterday said that on December 29 last year, the union met with the Ministry of Labour, which had intervened in the matter and the management of GuyOil for deferral of the payments.
The meeting came after about 300 workers from the company decided to strike over Guyoil’s refusal to pay them their bonuses and salary increases for the year. Upon hearing that they would not be receiving their payments, workers at GuyOil stations all across Guyana conducted a sit-in protest exercise, demanding their long-awaited payments. It was stated that the company had agreed last year to pay the workers their bonuses and give a salary increase of eight percent but failed to do so.
The industrial action was supported by the CCWU and Clarke was quoted as saying that the previous board of the company had agreed to pay salary increases based on a performance appraisal system, but a new board was installed by the current administration and that board pulled out from the agreement.
The Chief Labour Officer, Charles Ogle, had condemned the strike action while stating that it breached protocols and labour laws. Days after the protest he was quoted as saying, “We had a meeting and we are at a stalemate presently, the company is offering nothing and the Union is asking for something…I wrote the union for them to come in…they didn’t inform me or they didn’t inform management. The Union is saying it is a sit-in and the management is saying it is a strike.”
In light of the meeting between the Union, the Ministry and management of GuyOil, Clarke revealed yesterday that the payments will be expected to be made by March 31.
He disclosed that it was also agreed that if the workers were to resume industrial action, they would not be dismissed or discriminated in any way, as threats to do so was made when the workers conducted a strike in December.
This newspaper previously reported that it was alleged that management at some locations threatened to fire workers if they did not work and continued to strike. It was reported that they will be replaced with persons who have pending applications in the company’s system. Clarke made reference to the threats yesterday stating that he was still concerned because he was informed that a station manager was sent on administrative leave by the company’s management after she supported the industrial action.
Kaieteur News understands that the CCWU and GuyOil have been in negotiations since July of last year to get the workers their benefits.
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