The Cable Technical Staff takes industrial action

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The Cable, St Kitts

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS – Technical staff at The Cable downed tools for the third day of industrial action to force management over salary increase and other issues. However industrial action has not affected programming to date.

Employees at the company’s head end are also up in arms over the hiring of a family member of the Chairman of the Board to understudy an expatriate.

“There are local persons already on staff who can fill that position,” an employee said Wednesday.

Another said: “We hear that the new directors could be raking in thousands of dollars monthly in increased directors’ fees, more than what some workers are taking home combined. Where is the fair share promised?”

Local media house WINNFM reported Tuesday that several workers at the head end located at Buckley’s turned up to work Monday and Tuesday but staged a sit in and staff at the office on Cayon Street in Basseterre are carrying out normal duties.

WINN FM disclosed that staffers learned in December that the Board, appointed by the Government of Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris, approved a substantial increase for its members, while according to one employee, staff had not received an increase in salary in about nine years. Government is the majority shareholder in the 35-year-old company.

The staff wrote to the Board on January 17 listing a number of concerns the workers wanted to have addressed, including varying degrees of salary increases across the different pay scales within the company, and the reinstatement of the loan facility for employees.

The Board met with employees last Thursday and asked that they be given until March 31 to respond to the employee requests, however the employees were not satisfied that their concerns, which they say have been raised with the Board over the years, were being addressed.

While the Board did meet briefly with the employees on Monday, the industrial action continues.

WINN FM understands that the employees intend to continue the industrial action until there is some resolution of the issues. Information is that so far the industrial action has not affected the cable company’s operations.

Since taking office in February 16th 2015 and the appointment of new Board members to statutory corporations fees for directors have reportedly doubled and tripled at the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank, National Caribbean Insurance, National Bank Trust Co; the St. Kitts Electricity Company (SKELC), the St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA) and ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).

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