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Union Still Seeking City Markets Talks

By NATARIO McKENZIE Tribune Business Reporter nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net TRADE union executives up to last night were still attempting to arrange a meeting with the principal of the City Markets foodstore chain to discuss the fate of the stores and its employees. Jennifer Isaacs-Dotson, head of the National Congress of Trade Unions (NCTU), of which the Bahamas Commercial Stores, Supermarkets and Warehouse Workers Union (BCSWWU) is an affiliate, told Tribune Business the latter had written a letter to City Markets' principal, Mark Finlayson, in an attempt to have a meeting over the fate of the embattled store chain and its employees. Mrs Isaacs-Dotson told Tribune Business: "We are still just trying to get a meeting with him, the minister and, in particular, the Department of Labour to look at what's really happening and to look at what we can do to make sure that the workers are not disenfranchised by any decision that is made. I'm sure that meeting will come off." Labour minister Dion Foulkes, in a recent interview, told Tribune Business that he was "very concerned" about the job security for City Markets' remaining 400 employees, telling Tribune Business he hoped to meet the supermarket chain's principal by today after staff filed a trade dispute with the Department of Labour. Speculation that the five-store supermarket chain may shut its locations by Friday this week continues, although there has not yet been any formal confirmation on this move by 78 per cent majority owners, the Finlayson family. City Markets employees have filed a trade dispute at the Department of Labour, seeking to safeguard their compensation, pensions and other benefits. Mark Finlayson, principal of 78 per cent majority shareholder, Finlayson family vehicle Trans-Island Traders, recently told Tribune Business he was negotiating with two separate international groups over the purchase of a majority stake in the struggling five-store chain.

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