Memorandum of understanding for cement workers

Memorandum of understanding for cement workers
Published: 23 February 2004

The management and staff of the Caribbean Cement Company will this week meet with trade unions to begin working out details for a Memorandum of Understanding.

The National Workers’ Union, the Union of Clerical and Supervisory Employees, and the Caribbean Cement Company Staff Association - which represent more than 150 workers - will be the players at this week’s meeting.

The plans for the MOU were announced last week, on the heels of the historic signing of a similar pact between the Government and the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions.

NWU vice-president, Danny Roberts, said, however, that the MOU between the unions and the Cement Company would not contain features of wage restraint (as outlined in the government/JCTU pact) but would tie variable payments to improved performance at the manufacturing company. He said the unions were committed to pursuing the MOU with the full participation of the workforce, recognising that there are going to be paradigm shifts for both employers and workers if the process is to work.

Speaking specifically to the agreement being brokered with the Cement Company, Roberts said the union had initiated the proposal so that they could partner with the company to achieve global competitiveness, maintain market access and preserve jobs, while at the same time improving the economic well-being of the workers through the value-added benefits derived from the efforts of the workers.

Dr Rollin Bertrand, CEO of the TCL Group (Carib Cement’s parent company), said management fully supported the view that a ’partnership team’ was the only way for companies and workers to survive in this global environment. The ’old style’ of managing, he said, where managers did the ’thinking’ and employees did the ’working’ was long gone. He also stressed the need for both employees and managers to form a committed partnership, which would benefit both sides which were stakeholders in the survival of the company.