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Unions must not fight each other


EDITOR: I visited the Port Authority during last week to do business and was concerned with what I overheard.

It appears that the unions that played a significant role in the bringing down of the NDP and the election of the ULP are now fighting each other. What a shame!{{more}}

The concern I have is that when the unions fight one another the workers get weaker and management gets stronger.

Another concern is that some workers want to leave the NWM and join the CT&AWU. For whatever I know about the unions in St. Vincent and the Grenadines it will be like jumping from the frying pan into a furnace.

I used to be a member of both unions. The workers at my former workplace left the CT&AWU around 1989 to ’90 and joined the NWM; the representation was much better under the NWM up until I retired. There were times when we were not satisfied with the final outcome of some matters and all kinds of suggestions were made; some of my colleagues even resigned from the union; but Jackson proved to be correct over time.

Port workers must not be carried away by cheap and unrealistic promises. Knowing Brother Jackson I don’t believe that anyone in the CT&AWU can negotiate better than he. The thing about Brother Jackson’s leadership it is honest and straight forward, sometimes a little arrogant but better than what I experienced as a member of the CT&AWU.

After 15 years as a union member I think I know enough to share with you.

In 1985 the CT&AWU joined with the Mitchell (NDP) Administration and changed Labour Day to the first Monday in May (Fisherman’s Day) without the involvement of the other unions. The CT&AWU continued to support the NDP and eventually Burns Bonadie was sent away by Mitchell to Canada and left the union high and dry. All this time Brother Jackson stood up with the workers, he made some mistakes yes! but he has never turned his back on the workers. Jackson is a solid, trustworthy and stable leader. The workers at the Port Authority cannot trade that for a pot of gold.

Believe me, my retirement benefit was negotiated and secured by the NWM. We made a good move then; you don’t make a bad move now, not in 2006.

Retired Worker