Jamaican electricity workers wildcat strike

Jamaican electricity workers wildcat strike

Wildcat industrial action by employees of the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) yesterday led to power cuts affecting some 58,000 customers in seven parishes around the country.

The JPS reported last night that customers in sections of Clarendon, Manchester, St Ann, St Catherine, St Elizabeth, St James and St Thomas had lost their supply up to last night because of the action.

However, the unions agreed to instruct a resumption of work to facilitate a continuation of the ministry's conciliatory efforts today. Minister of Labour Pearnel Charles said he will be meeting again with unions at 10am today at Jamaica House to attempt to resolve all the issues surrounding the controversial reclassification issue which dates back to 2001.

The strike was triggered by the company's decision to terminate the services of two teams of consultants working on a job evaluation and compensation review project - Trevor Hamilton and Associates and FocalPoint Consulting Limited. The consultants had been engaged over the last few months in the computation of amounts due to individual JPS employees for the period 2001 - 2007 under the reclassification exercise. For seven years the workers have not been paid the now $2 billion owed to them.

Strikes by workers in the essential services, including the JPS, are illegal under the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act.

Posted By

May 5 2008 09:30


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Sean Siberio
May 7 2008 01:24

This might be a dumb question, but wouldn't it be better to do things that don't involve cutting service? Its how I feel about transportation strikes; keep the trains and buses running, but smash the fucking fareboxes. Same here; just ignore the meter readings.

May 8 2008 00:10

Sean, ignoring meter readings for a couple of days won't do anything - and that part of the job would only rest on a tiny number of workers. With transport strikes, most tickets are pre-sold travelcards so workers have to shut it down to achieve anything.