KFC row ends as deal signed

By SANCHESKA BROWN Tribune Staff Reporter sbrown@tribunemedia.net UNION Executives and KFC Management signed an industrial agreement yesterday signaling an end to five months of contentious negotiations. Darren Woods, vice-president of the Bahamas Hotel, Catering and Allied Worker's Union (BHCAWU), which represents 300-plus line staff at KFC said employees were able to retain most of the benefits they currently enjoy. He said: "We were able to more or less hold on to a lot of the benefits. We did not have to give up any, but some of them were reduced with a view of reinstatement in the fifth year of the contract. There were concessions and they have lifespan. We were able to come up with something that was favourable to both sides, where the company was able to get relief and the employees could still maintain, in particular, their current rates of pay, their hours of work, and guaranteed days of work. We agreed to a two-tier system where new employees coming in for a period would be able to work during peak time between lunch and dinner, so that these persons won't be exploited." Last month, tensions escalated after the fast food chain cancelled its voluntary recognition of the union. Following the announcement, staff staged a sit-down, leading to the closure of the company's nine New Providence locations. Later that evening, Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes certified BHCAWU as the official bargaining agent. The labour agreement between the two parties expired on September 24, 2011, and negotiations on a new agreement began in December. KFC has argued that its current wage and benefits package is "two times higher than all other fast food brands." Staff salaries were said to be between 79 to 92.5 per cent higher than its fast food industry competitors.


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