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Sunday 18 November 2018
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BIGWU denies reports of agreement on GML cuts

THE BANKING, Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU) says while an agreement has been reached with management of Guardian Media Limited (GML) on the use of last in, first out, for planned job cuts at the company, no agreement has been reached on any workers to be sent home.

GML is a subsidiary of the ANSA McAL Group of Companies (ANSA McAL).

The union was responding yesterday to a report published in Newsday last Saturday, in which ANSA McAl’s Group Human Resource Director and Media Sector Head, Teresa White, said, “The union has been informed of the names. We’ve agreed with the union (on) the process, the selection criteria. We’re doing it strictly on a LIFO (last in, first out) basis; as is deemed best practice.” White was responding to a question about the planned GML job cuts while addressing an August 10 press conference on the Group`s results for the six months ended June 30, 2017.

According to BIGWU, “While Ms White is correct in stating that the selection criteria of Last In, First Out (LIFO) was agreed on, Ms White who is not even directly involved in the consultation process but perhaps is pulling the strings behind the scenes, neglected to mention a few key points.” These are, “In the first phase of this restructuring exercise when 16 workers were retrenched, there was never any agreement on criteria and (GML) failed to follow the LIFO principle; No scientific evidence was ever produced to support surplus labour; No rationale or justification has been provided with respect to the second phase to support any proposed retrenchment; and the consultation process was scuttled by the Company on both occasions as evidenced by a letter to the Union dated August 7, 2017 indicating that the Company had compiled its list of employees “deemed surplus to its operations”.” Citing an article published in the Trinidad Guardian last Saturday, BIGWU said GML was quoted as saying “we remain committed to positive and fruitful dialogue with the union in search for the best possible long term outcome”.

“Similar sentiments were echoed by (GML’s) Managing Director (Lucio Mesquita) in an email to staff dated August 7, 2017, where he is quoted as saying: “We are continuing the consultation process with the union regarding the latest phase of our restructuring.

The consultation is going well, with both parties working in good faith and maintaining a spirit of open and honest dialogue”.

“These statements belies what has taken place by virtue of the (GML’s) calculated abortion of the consultation process,” BIGWU argued.

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