Negotiations continue to end Grenada Brewery stand-off
ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, Wednesday December 21, 2011 – Late night negotiations were held Tuesday to end an ongoing industrial stand-off at the Grenada Brewery, which trade unionist Senator Chester Humphrey said has left the country on the “brink of a national strike.”
Earlier in the day, Humphrey, the President of the powerful Technical and Allied Workers Union (TAWU), was arrested and charged by police after he and others blocked the brewery driveway, bringing a halt to traffic on the Maurice Bishop Highway.
He was charged with obstruction and failing to comply with a police order and is now on EC$3,000 (US$1, 111) bail.
The employees, numbering more than a hundred, claimed they were “locked out” by management when they attempted to return to work yesterday after a week-long strike over salary increases.
They also accused the management of using outside labour to continue operations.
The workers had agreed to return to work while negotiations continued between TAWU, the government and senior executives from the brewery’s Trinidad-based parent company, the Ansa McAL group.
The union is demanding a seven per cent salary increase for workers, while the company is offering 2.7 per cent.
Minister of Labour Glynis Roberts said she is hopeful the situation does not develop into “a full-blown strike” following the arrest of the trade unionist.
Grenadian workers have received support from the President of the Caribbean Congress of Labour Antiguan Senator David Massiah.