Workers speak up as NWC, union and labour ministry meet | Loop Jamaica

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NWC workers protest salary review

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The National Water Commission (NWC) says it is working to maintain water supply to customers as it negotiates amid Tuesday’s industrial action by its staff, who are protesting the process of their salary review.

The negotiations, which are underway at an emergency meeting at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security offices in Kingston, started at 12:30pm.

Pointing out in a tweet that it is also negotiating through the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, NWC acknowledged that the industrial action has caused islandwide disruption of water supply to customers.

At least one examination depot had to shutter its operations on Tuesday afternoon, with the Island Traffic Authority issuing an advisory that its Swallowfield Examination Depot has been closed due to a water lock-off at the premises.

Despite the disruptions, the workers say they are prepared to continue their industrial action until the issue is resolved.

In the meantime, the Opposition Spokesman on Agriculture and Water, Lothan Cousins, said that had the Government responded to the management and staff on this long outstanding issue instead of ignoring them, the situation could’ve been avoided.

“The result of this is that many Jamaicans woke up to dry pipes and disruption of their lives which the Government had the power to prevent,” he said.

Cousins said, too, that “it was a grave error for the ministry to announce its restructuring plans without due consideration to the over 2,000 critical NWC employees, who are now neither fish nor fowl”.

With a clear pathway to settlement, he urged the workers to resume normal work as quickly as possible.

On Tuesday, NWC also promised to provide regular updates as it worked to restore water supply in the shortest possible time.

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