PR – The unionized workers of Republic Bank Grenada Ltd. who is represented by the Bank and General Workers Union today June 29th, 2023 commenced strike action at the Bank’s various branches on the island.
The action is a result of the management of the Bank’s unwillingness to conclude Negotiations for a New Collective Agreement for the period January 1st, 2020 to December 31st, 2022. The workers are frustrated with their employer for not showing any willingness to resolve this outstanding matter.
Negotiation for a New Collective Agreement commenced on April 13th, 2022. Ten (10) rounds of negotiations were held at a bilateral level. During these sitting a number of Fringe Benefit articles were agreed between both parties.
Notwithstanding, there were three (3) articles that parties were unable to resolve at the bilateral level including salary increases for the period 2020 – 2022
The three (3) articles were referred to the former Labour Commissioner Ms. Valerie Thomas for conciliation. Two (2) rounds of conciliation meeting were held on November 30th, 2022 and December 9th, 2022. The Company did not move from their position on salaries of 5% for three (3) years or 7% for four (4) years.
(i.e. Year 1- 1%, Year 2 – 1%, Year 3 – 3%, Year 4 – 2%)
The matter was subsequently referred to the Minister of Labour Hon. Claudette Joseph for mediation. Three (3) rounds of mediations were held on January 24th, 2023, February 28th, 2023 and March 13th, 2023.
At the commencement of mediation, the Union position for salary increases was 15% over the three (3) year period, the Bank remained at their position.
At the close of mediation on March 13th, 2023, the Minister of Labour Hon. Claudette Joseph recommended 12.25% over a four (4) year period.
The Union informed the Bank that we are accepting the Minister’s recommendation. The Union had not been able to secure a settlement from the Bank on this matter.
Additionally, the Union requested the Bank to meet with the Union to sign off on Fringe Benefit articles that were agreed at the bilateral level. There has been no response from the Bank.
The Bank continues to be a highly profitable financial institution in Grenada, making over 24 million dollars after Tax Profit between 2020-2022. The workers last salary increase was January 1st, 2019. Workers continue to endure the escalating high cost of living.
The Bank and General Workers Union calls on the management of Republic Bank Grenada Limited to do all it can to resolve this trade dispute now.