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Settlement may be close in sugar workers wage dispute

Published:Tuesday | April 1, 2014 | 9:02 AM

Jerome Reynolds, Gleaner Writer



KINGSTON, Jamaica:

A possible resolution may be on the horizon for more than 4,000 sugar workers who have been in a wage dispute with the island’s sugar factories.




The Sugar Producers Federation has reportedly offered a new deal to the workers which unions say is more favourable.



The sugar workers are represented by the University and Allied Workers Union (UAWU), the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union, and the National Workers' Union.



The UAWU's First Vice-president, Clifton Grant, says the parties moved closer to reaching a settlement during another marathon meeting at the Ministry of Labour yesterday.



Grant says the parties are to return to the labour ministry on Thursday.



The unions and the federation have been negotiating a compensation package for a new contract period since last December.



The federation had proposed to pay sugar workers an increase of seven per cent in year one and three per cent in year two.



However, sugar workers and their unions want a 13 per cent increase in the first year of the contract and an eight and a half per cent increase in the second.



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