Customs Shift System Halted

Friday 02nd, March 2012 / 11:10 Published by

Following a meeting with Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, union officials ordered Customs and Immigration officers in the Bahamas to revert to a standard public servant work schedule of 9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday.

BCIAWU President Shandokan Wilson insists the officers are not happy and wants to sensitize and inform the public about the outcome.

The lack of guidelines or regulation to organize and evenly distribute overtime in the workshift system has been a longstanding contentious issue for customs and immigration workers.

The BCIAWU is the official bargaining agent for both departments, executives say, pointing out that no other union can legally represent the two departments.

The Tribune reported that labour officials, union representatives and staff met with Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham on Saturday to discuss the trade dispute stemming from the 2005 Industrial Agreement, which was negotiated by the Bahamas Public Services Union.

Mr Smith said: “The Prime Minister essentially said [at the meeting] that particular document has no value, that document was used to place the staff on a shift system, so if the document has no value why in fact was the staff placed on a shift system?”

Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes said, “The Prime Minister accepted the fact that the shift system came in to effect under the Progressive Liberal Party. He acknowledged that anybody that works beyond that would be paid pursuant to the employment act.”

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