The National Workers Movement (NWM) and the East Caribbean Group of Companies (ECGC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that would see increased benefits for workers at two units within the company.
A release from ECGC states that as of May 11, new benefits, including a pay rise for unionised workers, were rolled out for workers at East Caribbean Feed Mill (ECFM) and East Caribbean Flour Mills Ltd (ECFML) under the new agreement which runs for the period 2022-2024.
The new benefits for ECFM employees also include birthday leave and paternity leave.
The MOU, signed at ECGC headquarters by J. Robert Cato, CEO of East Caribbean Group of Companies, NWM General Secretary, Noel Jackson and Labour Commissioner Racquel Lawrence marks 30 years of corporate and trade union partnership, the release states.
“We appreciate the harmonious relationship with the union over the years and this new agreement is testament to the company continuing to create better working environments, which foster greater productivity and better work-life balance,” Cato said.
“We the company will do whatever we can to ensure our teams are comfortable and empowered, as we strive to continue providing the best quality products for our community.”
Meanwhile, general secretary of the NWM Noel Jackson, said “We are pleased to be here to sign this collective agreement, which represents weeks of discussion and negotiations. There is an established industrial relations between ECGC and the NWM that would have made it easier to reach this point. The agreement is for a three-year period, and we look forward to continuing the relationship with ECGC”.
The Labour Commissioner congratulated the ECFML and the NWM stating that it is important to uphold the international labour standard of freedom of association, collective bargaining, and industrial relations. She noted that this is in keeping with the United Nations goal of decent work for all employees and sustained and inclusive economic growth which drives progress and improves the standard of living.
The process of implementing the new agreement was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.