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Hotel union protests in wage fight with Atlantis

PRESIDENT of the Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU) Darren Woods speaks to supporters at the Sidney Poitier Bridge where members of the BHCAWU staged a protest yesterday.
Photo: Dante Carrer

PRESIDENT of the Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU) Darren Woods speaks to supporters at the Sidney Poitier Bridge where members of the BHCAWU staged a protest yesterday. Photo: Dante Carrer

By JADE RUSSELL

Tribune Staf Reporter

jrussell@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMAS Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union’s (BHCAWU) president Darrin Woods said union members who receive tips are tired of fighting for a pay increase, declaring: “Enough is enough.”

His comment came as union members staged a protest at the Sidney Poitier Bridge. Mr Woods said negotiations with The Bahamas Hotel and Restaurant Employers Association for employees in the tipping category to get a salary increase were going poorly, promoting the protest. 

 “We found out that the association wants to discriminate against the tipping category persons in terms of not wanting to give them an increase,” he said. “We are in the contract negotiations, where we have negotiated a percentage across the board. But they’re saying their position is because they would have received the minimum wage last year, they’re not prepared to give them an increase this year.” 

 Mr Woods noted that his union is fighting for all members to receive a pay increase, saying no category of employees should be disenfranchised. He said more than 5,000 employees have been affected by the association’s failure to give a pay increase. 

 “We are here now, where our people have said enough is enough,” he said. “We’ve been compromising with them over time trying to get this agreement done. Every time they look, they want to take something away from them, and so they are no longer going to stand for them to continue taking stuff away from them.”

 Russell Miller, president of The Bahamas Hotel and Restaurant Employers Association, said he was surprised by the BHCAWU’s protest. He said the association and the union already agreed to all of the financial conditions in the contract. 

 “Given that we were in the final stages of completing these negotiations with the Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union “BHCAWU,” we are surprised and disappointed by the statements made by BHCAWU’s president, Darrin Woods,” Mr Russell said in a statement. “Both sides had already agreed to all financial and non-financial terms and conditions in the new agreement, and we were in the process of vetting and binding documents for signature.”

 “This unexpected, eleventh-hour impasse is incredibly unfair to our bargaining unit team members, who have worked without an agreement since 2013 due to the union’s failure to put a new contract forward. We have continued to honour and operate under the terms of the expired agreement without fail. We will not allow today to derail our commitment to finalising a new agreement as soon as possible.”

Comments

bobby2 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Give all employees same wage increase & ban all tipping by Customers. Trust me, customers will be estatic!!!!!!

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