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Elegant row now with labour dept


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by MIKE KINGTALKS have broken down between the Barbados Workers Union and the Barbados Employers Confederation (BEC) over the sacking of about a dozen employees from the Elegant Hotels group.And at a hastily called press conference that followed the breakdown of negotiations, BWU General Secretary Sir Roy Trotman said the Chief Labour Officer (CLO) must now intervene.Sir Roy lambasted both the hotel chain and the BEC. He said the BEC’s stance showed that it cared “nothing about workers interests and workers welfare” and added that he was afraid of what Elegant Hotels group was striving to impose on the working class of this country.“The labour movement requires a discontinuation of these acts of aggression that are being taken more and more by employers in this country, at the same time, we are preaching partnership.”Sir Roy said the BEC had openly and defiantly declared that it supported the position of Elegant Hotels chain to terminate workers by merely giving them four weeks notice, or more pertinently by giving them one month pay in lieu of notice.He said that some of the laid off employees had served as many as 16, 20 and 22 years.The veteran trade unionist said he found the behaviour of the hotel chain “reprehensible” and not in keeping with the collective agreement which required that when a worker was terminated, the employer was supposed to give just cause.“It is ironical that the leadership of the BEC has sat down with Government officials and members of the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations (CTUSAB), and we have agreed to a draft employment rights bill in which an employer is to give just notice and is required to give just cause why anyone should be terminated,” he said.Sir Roy said he wondered if the shareholders of Elegant Hotels were aware of “this atrocious behaviour.”Sir Roy said the Elegant Hotels were unwilling to tell the union the reason for the sacking of the workers.

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