China Harbour faces union dispute in Jamaica

| 17/12/2012

(Jamaican Observer): A dispute is brewing between China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) and the two major trade unions — the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU), and the National Workers Union (NWU) — which could create industrial relations problems when construction on the North-South link of Highway 2000 starts next year. On Friday, the two unions wrote to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security seeking its intervention to resolve the main issue of whether CHEC will observe the provisions of the labour agreement adopted by the Joint Industrial Council (JIC) for the building and construction industry. Specifically, they need to know if the Chinese firm will agree to pay workers a 16 per cent end-ofproject bonus.

Their concerns emerged after CHEC refused to pay the bonus to unionised workers who were employed in the construction of the Rio Grande Bridge in St Margaret’s Bay, Portland, which was opened in October.

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