The state-owned Gravel & Concrete Corporation has agreed to rehire a worker who was dismissed following an altercation with another employee in order to avert strike action.
Informed sources told THE NEW TODAY that the Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU), headed by its President-General Andre Lewis informed the worker of the agreement reached after it brokered a deal with the management of the company.
A source close to the union said that as part of the agreement, the worker will be reassigned to another area of work in the Mining Section where he used to work as a bulldozer operator.
He spoke of the salary of the employee having to be adjusted and that he would be getting a bigger monthly compensation package as management had lowered it when he was initially removed from the Mining Department a few years ago.
According to the source, TAWU was refusing to back down because it felt that the worker was wrongfully dismissed by Management as the employee did not hit the worker as alleged and that the incident took place outside of the compound of Gravel & Concrete.
He said the union took the position that the incident was a private affair between the two employees and that it should have attracted the attention of the police and not the management of Gravel & Concrete.
He spoke of Senator Lewis asking the worker if he wanted back the job or was prepared to accept the dismissal package offered by the company and he chose to continue working.
Workers had already met a few weeks ago and took the decision to strike in support of the dismissed employee once TAWU gave them the nod to do so.
However, the union chose to engage Management on the matter before taking any decision to allow the workers to engage in a possible full blown strike.
Several workers at Gravel & Concrete have described the situation as “toxic” as the Board of Directors is known to be divided and Management has been described as “very weak.”
THE NEW TODAY understands that the government has hired a private sector company to do a strategic plan on the way forward for the state body and most of the workers who have been surveyed are calling for the firing of both the current Management and the Board of Directors headed by Congress Chairman Sylvester Quarless.
Speculation is rife that the Board is planning to replace the Acting General Manager Arthur Olivierre on the grounds that he has demonstrated “too many weaknesses” at Board meetings.
One insider said that most of the time Oliverre cannot give a positive answer to questions asked of him about the operations of the company by the Board Members.
Workers have also been accusing the Board of mishandling the finances of the company including the purchase of two trucks to pour ready mix Concrete which cannot be put into operation more than three months after arriving on the island.
Fingers are pointing at two Members of the Board and a Senior member of the Management staff as the persons who were responsible for negotiating the purchase of the trucks overseas.
THE NEW TODAY cannot confirm reports that Gravel & Concrete is having difficulties sourcing spare parts for the concrete trucks to put them into production.