Minister of Labour speaks on CWU / PBL situation
And as it relates to the CWU’s call for the PBL to adhere to the ruling handed down by the Essential Services Arbitration Tribunal, the Minister of Labor says enforcement is left up to the courts. In 2021, the tribunal ruled that the two would meet and discuss an amicable way forward. However, the CWU claimed that PBL was not open to meeting and discussing a possible ex-gratia payment. Minister of Labor, Oscar Requena, says that while his ministry was responsible for overseeing the matter, the tribunal was not obligated to enforce the ruling.
Oscar Requena, Minister of Labour: “Under the Settlement of Essential Services Dispute Act that there is a clear mechanism. Under the grievance mechanism section which makes it absolutely clear that if there is a grievance between the parties that there is a process through which the Ministry of Labor is going to be engaged so that was clearly outlined. I think this is where we need to make the clarification that the matter of enforcement is not a matter for the Ministry of Labour. The matter of enforcement is a matter for the High Court so if you have an aggrieved party who is not happy in terms of how the ruling is being complied with then they have an obligation to take the matter to the High Court for enforcement.”
Reporter: Do you see any ending insight for this loggerhead between those two parties?
Oscar Requena, Minister of Labour: “Well I’ll tell you what this is a process, we have to understand that this is a process and I believe that you know as the ministry we have contrary to the reports that were made we have been engaged, we have been speaking to both sides. Last week you know we brought both sides to the table today that process continues we must continue to be engaged. What I can say is that the ruling of the Essential Services Tribunal was very clear that both sides must come to the table and engage in negotiations and I’m going to stick at that.”