Politicians and Labour Issues

First Published: 2003-04-13

Government Ministers of successive governments have become involved in the contract between Morton Salt and their employees. Politicians welcome the opportunity to promote themselves as protectors of the common man, and in the process intimidate the employer to enhance this image. The courts, the government, employers and employees all have roles to play and the government’s responsibility is to ensure an environment conducive to economic progress and living in peace.

Now that the staff at Morton Salt is again threatening strike action, the Minister of Immigration and Labour seems to believe it is his job to direct a settlement by Morton in an effort to pacify the unionised employees. Direct involvement by the Minister does not go unnoticed by investors…Bahamian and foreign alike…when considering investment in this economy. Having established the laws on how business and employees should cooperate with each other, that is where the Minister’s role in the process ends.

Their mutually agreed contract and the Employment Act must guide all parties involved. If either party is dissatisfied the employees can go on strike or the employer can lock them out. Sooner or later a compromise will be made, which may mean Morton will leave the country rather than have their internal affairs directed by government officials.

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