PM tells port workers to follow chain of command

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has told striking port workers to follow the process within the organisation to air their grievances.
There was a stoppage of work on Friday morning when nearly 35 port workers marched up to the Office of the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister and Minister Molwyn Joseph had earlier met with a delegation of twelve workers and had listened to their grievances.
“The Prime Minister told the Cabinet that he cautioned the workers about not following the chain-of-command procedure when there is disagreement between workers and management,” according to a statement from the cabinet.
“The step-by-step process is to be abided, and it is inappropriate for the Prime Minister to be brought into the picture by those who have downed their tools,” the statement added.
The Port Manager and the Port Chairman addressed the concern and it was agreed that an expert in creating effective relationships between management and staff will be engaged by the Port, to conduct workshops and to utilize other successful methodologies.

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  1. The second paragraph which speaks about nearly 35 workers marched to the PM’s office is totally untrue. In my estimation 90% of the workers were there.

  2. Mr PM this what happens when your rhethoric over time leads people to believe you are all high and mighty that is why they thought they could have by pass proper procedures and get resolution. You to need to be cut down to size!

  3. Bird people a complain one bird man to another bird man
    Wha dem think he a go say??
    People dotish you see

  4. Let me give the PM some free unsolicited advise. I have dealt with situation like these before and my experience as a Business consultant and especially in re-structuring businesses is that this problem that shows it ugly head now, will turn up in the future as well. You need to protect the investment of the port. It is of utmost important. You cannot be at the whims and fancies of the workers at the port. And you know most of it is played political. What is the value that Darwin brings to the table and what is the value that the workers bring to the table. Who is more dispensable. The workers or Darwin. Note I say ‘more’. Because in the end everyone is dispensable. Given the qualification needed for the jobs I believe you will easier find replacement for the workers. Lower paid and less educated. So you can do two things.
    I hear you mentioned Training of the management. I have nothing against training but it has not always proven to bring the fruits we expect from it. Sometimes the saying you cannot teach an old dog new tricks is applicable in those situation. If Darwin has a problem in the manner of communicating with the staff than I would suggest you place a buffer between him and the staff. So in fact he will only directly interact with a much smaller group. The person that you than hire to be the face of management should be a people’s person but yet be stern enough to execute policies. That is why the COO position was created in big companies. This takes the pressure of the CEO. The CEO would than be more a strategic planner and a policy maker, together with the board. I know my country men and woman. And you do as well. They just do not like foreigners from the OECS or the wider Caribbean being in charge of them. They will protest this all the time. Remember how they cry down the Chief Immigration Officer, Mrs. Mack from St. Vincent. Anyway she resigned and went back to St. Vincent. Now they are trying to get rid of the Jamaican at the Airport. They do not like the two guys at ABS because they are not Antiguan. You name it. I remember when Stanford bought an Editor from Trinidad to run the paper and the printery they had the same problem. Especially the former speaker of the house who used to work at the Antigua Sun. In fact although we have a Caricom treaty of free movement, the gentleman Mr. Khelawan was forcefully removed from the Island. My people do welcome Caribbean nationals to Antigua but not to be their boss. So you have to keep that in the back of your mind.
    The other solution I would prefer is the restructure the entire Port Operation and make it ALL subcontracted jobs. Find then money and payoff everyone. Then rehire them as subcontractors. Self employed. They can form small groups of workers based on their trades and give them one or two year contracts. Give them better wages to account for the Pension Plan and the bonuses and other perks they may be missing. When that was done at the Stanford Group it brought entrepreneurial skill to some of the workers. Some are still around doing Maintenance work, Housekeeping and Construction Work as a business. This is not a new concept. Look at how the major ports operate. And they operate 24/7. You need staff on call, based on the need of the port. Just like the security workers you have down there.
    If you do not deal with this problem now you will one day get egg in your face. And as you did on each occasion you will call on the defense force to bail you out.
    You cannot have the tail wagging the dog. And you cannot have inmate running they asylum and you cannot have union/political parties playing politics and holding such a emergency service detriment to our survival at ransom.

    • I somehow get the feeling that you would like to fire all the people you think are UPP supporters and hire all labour supporters and non Antiguans. You want to put workers on contact so that they cannot get a loan or mortgage to buy a house. You want to take away their pension. Don’t talk about Stanford because he was an American and this is how workers are treated in North America resulting in high stress levels among contract workers because of job insecurity.
      There are not many high paying jobs in Antigua so why are so many non Antiguans in these positions? I guess labour supporters are so illiterate that they do not quality for these jobs and you have to be a labour supporter to get a job.
      Your advise to the PM is wicked but then you labour people are a wicked and vindictive bunch of people.
      Workers have rights and should be treated with respect.

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