Union cries foul after 11 positions made redundant at Morton Bahamas

Union cries foul after 11 positions made redundant at Morton Bahamas
The Morton Salt Plant on Inagua.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Morton Salt said last night that after a comprehensive evaluation of operating efficiency and production levels at its Inagua facility, it was “forced” to make 11 positions redundant in order to sustain the company’s long-term viability, with the union representing the company’s line staff crying foul over the move.

Jennifer Brown, president of the Bahamas Industrial Manufacturers and Allied Workers Union (BIMAWU), which represents more than 100 of the salt manufacturer’s line staff, told Eyewitness News the union was informed by management of Morton Bahamas last Friday that 11 positions were being made redundant, with 10 union members being affected.

“They had four persons as plant operators and they want to reduce it to two,” said Brown.

“They singled out some other persons in different areas. These were persons they had transferred to different areas last year. I thought they were trying to get rid of those persons, believing that when they transferred them to these various areas they would have quit, but they didn’t.

“Now they claim that because of production and not meeting their goals, they had to make positions redundant. I personally feel that that is ridiculous.”

She added: “If the production goal wasn’t met, that’s not on the employees but management. We got a letter stating that the redundancies take effect on January 15. That is a breach of our industrial agreement, which says we should be notified 45 days prior to any redundancy.

“I believe they are just trying to reduce the number of persons in the bargaining unit and not placing the blame where it is supposed to go.”

The company said, in the letter obtained by Eyewitness News: “As result of the prevailing circumstances, particularly those associated with plant efficiencies and associated with recent production levels, it is necessary to make the employees redundant as the requirement of MBL for employees to carry out work done by the employees have diminished and are not expected to return for the foreseeable future.”

The company said in a statement responding to Eyewitness News’ inquiries: “We can confirm Morton Salt made the difficult decision to reduce staff at its salt production facility located in Inagua, Bahamas.”

It added: “This was not a decision we took lightly, but after a comprehensive evaluation of our facility’s recent operating efficiency and production levels, the staff reduction was the only solution to sustain the long-term viability of our Inagua facility, where we have operated since 1954.”