Executives of the Sandals Resort are in breach of the Industrial Relations Act for failing to recognize the union as its bargaining agent according to Labour Director John Pinder.
The Bahamas Hotel Maintenance and Allied Workers Union (BHMAWU), which falls under the Trade Union Congress, has since 2009 been seeking to negotiate an industrial agreement. The matter event went as far as the Privy Council with a ruling made in the Union’s favour.
Pinder, however, told Eyewitness News Sunday that despite the ruling and amendments to the law demanding employers to come to the table within a 60-day timeframe, Sandals executives have refused to comply.
“There is still a problem with getting the employer (Sandals) to the table,” Pinder said.
“We need to again give the law more teeth to not only say you have to the table but also have regular meetings. They have not met the 60-day mark and so they are now in violation of the Industrial Relations Act.”
When asked about penalties for failure to comply, the Labor Director said he is preparing to communicate the breeches and cause them to come to the table through the National Tripartite Council, headed by former Labour Director, Robert Farquharson.
“We can only follow the law,” Pinder expressed.
“I wish the Director of Labor had the power outside of the minister so when an employer is summoned he can be fined.”
Pinder added that in many respects major companies attempt to frustrate the process, refusing to come to the table and then taking the matter to court knowing that employees do not have the financial back to continue with the matter.
He said a number of recommendations are now being formalized.