Foulkes: Morton jobs deal reached
Labour Minister Dion Foulkes has revealed that 50 percent of Morton Salt’s staff may not spend the next three months out of work after all, as a deal has been reached that could keep employees at the salt company working on a rotational basis.
Speaking in the Senate yesterday, Foulkes said the agreement was reached after a seven-hour meeting between the company and the Bahamas Industrial Manufacturing and Allied Workers Union(BIMAWU)at the Department of Labour on Thursday.
“The union made several proposals so as to make it more equitable among all of the staff members during this lay-off period as opposed to laying off 50 percent or 60 percent of the staff and keeping the other 40 percent,”Foulkes said.
Foulkes said the details of the proposal would be worked out next week Saturday in Inagua.
Last month Morton Salt announced the temporary staff reductions after excessive rainfall reduced supply at the plant.
Morton Bahamas currently employs 144 people.
The company relies on Inagua’s dry climate to produce salt. Excessive rain dissolves salt crystals in evaporation ponds, leaving the facility without a product to harvest.
Foulkes said there was also some movement from both sides on a new three-year industrial agreement.
Morton has reportedly improved its offer to the union regarding an employee health plan. Foulkes said the union will discuss the matter with its members and decide whether or not to accept the offer within 14 days.
Foulkes said if the union accepts the offer, a contract would be signed by Christmas.
The last contract between Morton and its line-staff expired in April.