EWARTON: Workers protest for pay increase reportedly promised

Workers at the West Indies Alumina Company (WINDALCO) in Ewarton, St Catherine, yesterday protested over what they said is the company’s failure to increase the funds usually paid in the form of productivity incentive.

They said the productivity incentive currently amounts to 10 percent of each worker’s pay, but WINDALCO had promised to increase it by an additional 5 percent.

The promised increase is now the bone of contention because the company is refusing to pay it up, said Garth Cheese, representative of the Union of Clerical, Administrative and Supervisory Employees.

He added that the workers’ position is supported by a ruling from the Industrial Disputes Tribunal (IDT).

“The company said they didn’t say that [they would pay the 5 percent increase]. So, we went to the IDT for clarification, and the IDT sent us a letter stating that it needs no clarification as the company had already agreed to it (the increase) at the local level…” Cheese said.

He added that the IDT instructed the workers to hold further discussions with WINDALCO, but the company, owned by the overseas-based UC RUSAL, is not accommodating such talks.

“They said they are not talking about anything, and so the workers got restive,” Cheese said.

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