DNA gives its backing to workers in KFC dispute

THE Democratic National Alliance has thrown its support behind the Kentucky Fried Chicken employees affected by recent negotiations with franchise owner Restaurants Bahamas Limited. As with the New Providence Road Improvement Project (NPRIP) workers a few months ago, DNA candidates and representatives said they are prepared to listen to the concerns of disfranchised employees and fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. It is unfortunate, the DNA said, that Labour Minister Dion Foulkes has proven to be "unable or unwilling" to swiftly address this issue in the best interest of concerned KFC employees. "Once again, Mr Foulkes has demonstrated his inability to protect the most vulnerable in our society, working families," said the party statement. Leader of the DNA Branville McCartney said: "The right of workers to organise and petition their working conditions is inherently Bahamian, it is a part of our fabric. The DNA is prepared to protect that right at all costs." The DNA strongly urged Mr Foulkes, the Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union and KFC owner, RBL, to reach a swift and immediate resolution that protects the interest of workers. The party said it will continue to champion workers' rights and map out the way forward for swiftly resolving union and management disputes. "A DNA government will be one where workers are seen as the beneficiaries instead of adversaries of government," the statement said. The DNA said it recognises that it is time the "diligent, mobile workers of this nation reap the benefits of their labour and, in doing that, a DNA-government will be their support system to facilitate this progression". On Tuesday, the Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union was certified as the official bargaining agent for KFC line staff by Minister Foulkes. This came in response to management's announcement that it was withdrawing recognition of the union as a dispute over wages and working conditions rages on. The move brought to an end a more than three-decades-old relationship. Although Mr Foulkes has maintained that there are no legal provisions that speak to the terms of voluntary recognition of a union, BHCAWU officials claim the decision disregarded due process and represented an outright attack on the 300 KFC workers.


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