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Union to picket Caricom summit


CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

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The Grenada Trade Union Council (TUC) said it will picket the 22nd Inter-sessional meeting of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders in Grenada this weekend, to urge them to take decisive measures to ensure swift compensation of policyholders of the failed British American and CLICO Insurance companies.
President of the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) David Massiah, who travelled from Antigua for the picket, said he has spoken with Chairman of CARICOM, Grenada’s Prime Minister Tillman Thomas who has assured him of his commitment to seek compensation for affected policyholders.
“I am quite sure that we would not have any of the other Prime Ministers not giving the kind of support. I am quite sure they would join with us in this particular move because it is a very serious and touching issue for them in their various local jurisdictions,” Massiah said.
“Our aim is to continue this appeal over and over. We’re not going to allow it die somewhere in the back room…we are going to keep it on the front burner, because we think the importance about this is that the workers’ money, that they have invested.”
Meantime, CCL General Secretary Chester Humphrey, who also heads the Grenada Technical and Allied Workers Union, said agitating for compensation for policyholders and investors was only one action.
He said the other step would be the enactment of regional legislation to ensure the protection of other policyholders and investors against similar collapses.
“Now it would be up to the governments and parliaments, beyond making that call and agitating for it, and demanding it, it would require the governments to draft the legislation through their respective ministries of Legal Affairs or from the CARICOM Secretariat, and to bring that legislation to parliament to be enacted into law,” he said.
The future of British American and CLICO as well as compensation for policyholders are agenda items down for discussion at the weekend meeting.
A businessman affected by the British American/CLICO collapse, Kent Joseph, said the length of time they have been waiting for information as to what is happening regarding the company is unbearable.
“The time has been too long and the policyholders have been suffering and I think more communication would have been wiser.” (CMC)
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