Quarry workers are back on the job

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Officials within the Ministry of Works and Housing have until the end of the business day on Friday to make good on a promise to pay outstanding back pay to workers at the Bendals and Burma quarries.

The government department has to meet a similar obligation for workers at the asphalt plant at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium.

The commitment came during a meeting between officials from the ministry and shop stewards from all three government plants. The meeting was called after the workers staged a sit-in on Monday due to the ministry’s failure to settle the grievances.

About six weeks ago, workers at the three entities engaged in similar industrial action.

The group of over 30 workers are threatening to hold further action if the ministry does not follow through on its promise.

Michal Peters, the shop steward for workers at the Burma Quarry, said: “They say they will allocate the money to pay us by Thursday the latest. Most of the workers are owed the sum which dates back to 2004.

“The union gave them an ultimatum last Friday and they did not meet the deadline so we went on a go slow……we are watching to see what will happen,” Peters said.

When asked yesterday, by this reporter, to give an estimate of the outstanding figure, Peters said that he did not know the amount.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Works and Housing issued a statement yesterday indicating that the management of the ministry is doing everything possible to address the concerns that resulted in staff at both quarries participating in industrial action on Monday.

The release noted that recently the Antigua Trades and Labour Union (AT&LU), management and a member of staff at the quarry arrived at a grievance mechanism policy where it was agreed that the concerns of the staff will be addressed quickly.

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