MORTON Salt (Bahamas) yesterday said it has “well-defined contingency plans” to cope with any industrial action after unionised line staff voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike.
Jennifer Brown, president of the Bahamas Industrial, Manufacturers & Allied Workers Union (BIMAWU), speaking on the Tuesday strike poll, said: “We had 68 persons who voted ‘yes’ and two who voted ‘no’.
“Now we wait for our strike certificate, and we will do what we have to do. Based on our last meeting with them they were not prepared to move on their offer, which to us is unacceptable. I could see if they were not making any money but they are.”
John Pinder, director of labour, confirmed the strike poll results and told Tribune Business: “As long as their matter is not before the Industrial Tribunal they can go ahead and do what they have to do, once they get the strike certificate, which is issued by the Minister of Labour.”
Morton Bahamas, responding to Tribune Business inquiries, warned that any industrial action threatened to undermine its competitiveness. Inagua’s largest employer said in a statement: “At Morton Bahamas, we’re committed to building productive working relationships with our employees. That’s why we are disappointed that we have not reached an agreement with the union despite our good-faith negotiations to provide a comprehensive and competitive package.”
The company added: “Since February, Morton Bahamas met with union representatives in four separate sessions, with multiple meetings per session, in an effort to reach a new agreement and we’ve also worked together with the conciliator to help resolve the differences.
“Despite our many requests, the union has not presented a counter proposal to our offer and instead moved to a strike vote. This undermines our goal to remain a vibrant and competitive employer on the island, an economic engine in the region and a good corporate citizen as we’ve been for generations.”
Morton Salt said it has plans in place to minimise disruptions that might result from a work stoppage. “No one likes a work stoppage, but as the trusted authority on salt in North America with one of the largest production and distribution networks in the industry, Morton has the footprint and flexibility to continue delivering high quality products to our customers and consumers,” it added.
“We have very solid supply plan in place that leverages the broader Morton network, giving us the flexibility to adjust our production and distribution processes as appropriate. Across all of the company’s facilities we have well-defined contingency plans in place to sustain our operations in the event of a work stoppage.”