The UNI Liberty Latin America Trade Union Alliance composed of trade unions representing workers from Cable & Wireless, FLOW, and other corporate brands in the Caribbean are meeting in Kingston, Jamaica on April 9-10, 2019 to address the deteriorating working conditions throughout the company.
While the Company continues to roll out attractive products in the maket space, including Jamaica, the Alliance calls on management at Cable & Wireless, FLOW and other Liberty Latin America brands and companies to:
- Provide equal pay for work of equal value, and not use mergers and acquisitions as an excuse to lower standards;
- End outsourcing of core functions of the companies that takes good jobs out of the Caribbean to countries with lower working conditions and without protections of trade unions;
- Stop retrenchments and pay cuts that threaten the quality of service that customers expect, even when paying higher costs for services;
- Respect all national laws and labor practices in the countries where they operate;
- Engage in regional dialogue with the UNI Liberty Latin America Trade Union Alliance to resolve labor issues throughout the company.
Unions representing the company’s workers in Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, and St. Lucia are present at this first Liberty Latin America Trade Union Alliance meeting. The eight unions in the Alliance will carry a motion to the UNI ICTS World Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in August 2019 where unions representing 3 million communications, IT, and services workers from throughout the world will pledge support for the Alliance demands.
Liberty Latin America is using an aggressive program of contracting, outsourcing and offshoring to move work away from unionized, goodpaying jobs into low wage positions where workers have less protections of their fundamental worker rights. At a time when unemployment in Jamaica is trending in the correct direction, Liberty Latin America is reversing this advantageous position by outsourcing and offshoring to countries with lower labor standards.
In Jamaica, the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) represents Cable & Wireless and FLOW employees where, as in other Caribbean countries, the company is pursuing a strategy of operating two separate businesses and using the separation to hire new workers into the part of the business with less favorable pay and working conditions. This results in employees working side by side doing the same jobs but for less pay, reduced conditions of employment, and often on temporary, insecure contracts.
In addition, repeated retrenchments and lowering of pay and benefits is increasing network issues across the operations and threatening the quality of customer service.
The UNI Liberty Latin America Trade Union Alliance calls on the company to enter into good faith dialogue as had been the prior practice in Cable & Wireless before the acquisition by Liberty Latin America. Only through dialogue that promotes fair and stable jobs can Liberty Latin America retain high quality employees that provide the service that the public deserves.
UNI Global Union is a global federation of trade unions in the services sectors, including telecommunications, with more than 20 million members in 150 countries throughout the world.
The Bustamonte Industrial Trade Union (BITU) is the oldest and largest multi-industry trade union in the Caribbean. It represent workers in the telecommunications sector employed in Liberty Latin America companies Cable & Wireless and FLOW. It is affiliated to UNI Global Union.
Liberty Latin America is a multinational telecommunications company that operates in Latin America and the Caribbean since it acquired several companies including Cable & Wireless and FLOW.