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Workers at Spice vote against management proposal

Andre Lewis - President of the Technical & Allied Workers Union

Workers at Spice Island Beach Resort (SIBR) who are out of employment with the award winning hotel for the next year, have voted against a move by the management to try and change the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which would have severed them with a lower compensation package.

President of the Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU), Andre Lewis told THE NEW TODAY that this was the decision taken by SIBR employees after a meeting held with them.

“We met with the workers and the workers have instructed that we should keep to within the Collective Agreement by whatever it is going forward,” he said.

“The directives of the workers is that we should follow the articles as laid out in the Collective Agreement and look at other options,” he added.

According to Lewis, TAWU has already met with the management of the hotel for a second time to convey the position of the workers.

Referring to the current uncertainty in the tourism sector due to the coronavirus pandemic as “unchartered course” and “unusual times”, the trade union leader said the main focus at the moment “is the preservation of jobs and we still continue to operate on that mantra”.

“In everything that we are doing is to ensure that in this particular period that we preserve jobs as much as it is possible. The unemployment challenges outside there is very dire – extremely dire,” he remarked.

TAWU was due to meet with SIBR employees on Wednesday to take fresh instructions and “to get better directives” from them on the way forward with the discussions now taking place with management of Spice.

Lewis appeared to be upbeat with the second round of talks held with the hotel owners since the two sides were able to discuss a range of pertinent issues related to the industry.

He said: “… We spent a long time …outside of what one will call the central issue (CBA) looking at the whole issue of the current environment as it relates to the hotel, tourism sector etc., the possibilities of reopening and the different challenges.

“So both the union and the company sat in an extended meeting that the unions have been calling for with employers as we confront the current challenges and the future challenges,” he added.

Grenada is looking at the re-opening of hotels to provide employment for thousands of workers who were laid off from March due to Covid-19.

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