Today, Mr. Luke Palacio touched on some of the Government’s responses, beginning with the Occupational Health and Safety Bill.
“In relation to the national issues that we have been championing, you will note that there has been some kind of a response. some type of action has been taken. We look firstly at the Occupational and Safety Bill that is something that we along with the Trade Union Congress pushing. We know that that has been introduced, and through the Trade Union Congress continue to engage the public by doing the media rounds because you will note that in the presentation of the OSH Bill, they have already made some holes that they presented. The Prime Minister at the House tried to include. So, we from the Trade Union Congress, they have engaged the first two persons who were involved from the beginning in the preparation of the Bill. Up to now, they have quite a bit of information and as soon as they give us the other details on the district consultations as it relates to the OSH Bill , we will ask you again to remain on Board”.
Consultations led by the Union are expected. The BNTU believes that not enough is being done to punish elected officials like Minister Edmund Castro and Mr. Elvin Penner for their part in various corruption scandals while “small fries” are feeling the pinch.
Mr. Palacio also commented about the proposed increase in water rates announced yesterday by the Public Utilities Commission.
Mr. Luke Palacio: “The water rate, we have not really looked at that in any extension. It is something that we will need to review. In light of what is going on, are going to look what the arguments are that have been presented, we will need to get from our members in other districts that will be affected as to where the service BWS has proposed that they will be providing even though it has been provided. Of course we will not be given up until 17th, but we mean that we can still make submissions”..
But on the issue of negotiations, the Union was adamant that it did not wish to speak – at least, not yet.
Reporter: “Can you say if it seems promising if you are getting a decent salary?
Mr. Luke Palacio: “My brother, we are not speaking on that issue, so please respect our position. The proposal was for a salary increase was for a 5% , but as we prepare to negotiate, they have been adamant that there will be none, but we are here asking for one. That is the point”.
This coming Friday is National Green Solidarity Day where the BNTU’s supporters are asked to wear green countrywide. The Union intends to keep up the pressure with more national consultations and events in the coming weeks.