PHILIPSBURG:--- The President of The Windward Islands Civil Servants Union and Private Sector Union (WICSU-PSU), Sharon Cangieter, convened an urgent meeting with its members at Pan American Protective Services - Brinks on the morning of February 12, 2024, in response to numerous complaints received. During this meeting, members reiterated the issues affecting them on the job, documented their grievances, and issued a letter to President Cangieter demanding an urgent response within 24 hours from the employers located in Panama.
With a steadfast commitment to safeguarding the rights and interests of its members and the service they render to the public, President Cangieter promptly submitted a letter to management, once again expressing the grievances of the members.
President Cangieter recalled instances of members visiting the union office with complaints before her tenure and highlighted the decline in respect for workers during her term. Despite numerous meetings and discussions with members, management has continuously failed to address the issues raised. Despite submitting a Collective Labor Agreement (CLA) on behalf of members to management in March 2023, almost a year later, promises of discussions remain unfulfilled.
Members were commended for their loyalty and commitment to the company despite being paid below minimum wage in some cases, with salaries barely exceeding the minimum wage after decades of service. President Cangieter emphasized the incomprehensible nature of the company's lack of appreciation for honest and dedicated workers. Unilateral decisions by management have consistently negatively impacted members, with a lack of communication both with the union and workers.
WICSU-PSU stands as a staunch advocate for fair treatment and equitable working conditions, prioritizing health and safety above all else. President Cangieter praised the workers for finally standing up for their rights, despite inconveniences to the community, emphasizing the importance of recognizing the workers' honesty, loyalty, and right to comfortable work and living conditions.
A letter has been sent to Pan American Services management demanding a response within 24 hours, as instructed by the membership, with a timeline to address long-standing issues. WICSU-PSU remains hopeful for a timely and satisfactory resolution from management.