The Central Bank has placed the responsibility of voluntary separation package (VSEP) negotiations for workers at insurance giant CLICO with the company’s board, after which it will review accordingly, the bank said in a statement yesterday.
The bank’s statement follows protest action by CLICO workers, supported by their union, the Banking, Insurance and General Workers’ Union (BIGWU), yesterday outside the Central Bank in Port of Spain.
CLICO agent Kerry Ramjag told the Express in a telephone interview on Thursday the Central Bank and CLICO’s management had not committed anything in writing regarding the VSEP proposal; because of the company’s “hemming and hawing”, the union has initiated the protest action. “As agents, for example, because they have not committed, we have to fight for what we are entitled to as workers. We have our expectations, but (the Central Bank) is of the view that the company is insolvent so they cannot give us our benefits,” he said.
The Central Bank said on June 13 it authorised the management of CLICO to begin negotiations with BIGWU for VSEP for all CLICO employees. “Central Bank wishes to inform the public that it is not party to the VSEP negotiations between CLICO and BIGWU. Central Bank will, however, review and approve the final agreement on VSEP terms and conditions submitted by CLICO’s board,” the bank said. The next round of negotiations is scheduled for Wednesday. —Carla Bridglal