Hotel unionĀ 'expeditiously' moves on industrial deals


Tribune Business Reporter

The hotel union Union is moving "expeditiously" in its bid to conclude negotiations on a number of agreements before year's end, its president said yesterday.

Darren Woods, who assumed the Bahamas Hotel, Catering and Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU) leadership post earlier this year, said: "Things are progressing slowly but they are moving. We have had one or two employers who have indicated that they are prepared to commence or recommence negotiations with a view to complete them.

"As it relates to the master agreement, or the agreement between the union and the Bahamas Hotel Employers Association (BHEA), we are setting up to start official preliminary talks in that regard. Up to two weeks ago we had received two letters from two separate properties that we were negotiating with who wanted to complete that exercise. We are trying to nail down dates."

Mr Woods added: "We would like to conclude those before the end of the year, and also commence a new agreement for the major hotels before the end of the year. Everything is moving simultaneously. We have about five contracts outstanding and we are trying to see how best we can get those negotiations jump started and completed. I think that because it's been such a long time we have to take this approach. We are trying to make up for the time that has lapsed and deal with those issues as expeditiously as possible."

Mr Woods previously stated that negotiating and registering a new industrial agreement with the BHEA was "paramount" for the hotel union. Both the Bahamas Hotel and Restaurant Employers Association and the union have previously confirmed they are behaving as if the terms of the industrial agreement that expired in January 2013 are still in effect.

The hotel industry has been without such a deal since 2013, after the previous union leadership failed to submit a new proposal by the specified deadline.