Industrial action averted, State Insurance workers return to normal duties

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The Board of Directors and management of the State Insurance Corporation (SIC) averted prolonged industrial action by workers yesterday when they met with the disgruntled party’s  bargaining agent,   Antigua Trades and Labour Union (AT&LU).
More than 30 employees from SIC’s Redcliffe Street headquarters and the Southwall branch in Jennings stopped working to demand updated information regarding stalled salary negotiations and other work-related matters.
They reported to work on Monday but refrained from performing their normal duties. Instead, they looked on as members of senior management rushed to assist waiting customers while others milled around as if they were on their lunch break.
When OBSERVER media visited the Redcliffe Street offices, we were informed that the board members at State were locked in talks to discuss the workers’ demands.
Shortly after midday, the staff agreed to return to work and complete their shift that ended at 4:30 p.m.
Ralph Potter, industrial relations officer at the AT&LU, said the matter arose after the management of SIC failed to meet several deadlines to finalise outstanding matters.
Following yesterday’s meeting, he said both parties agreed that the talks would continue next week Wednesday, and the workers were informed of the agreement.
Robert Joshua, shop steward at the insurance company, said the talks began more than a year ago, and the most recent meeting with SIC’s management was held in April.
He said no form of communication was forthcoming about the delay.
“This has been going on for a few months, and we need to get this rolling. We keep waiting, waiting,” Joshua said.
OBSERVER media tried unsuccessfully to contact Lyndell Francis-Butler, general manager of the corporation for a comment.

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