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Almond Resorts Recognition Issue Resolved

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Friday, August 25, 2006 - The recognition impasse between the Saint Lucia Seamen and Waterfront General Workers Union (SWGWU) and Almond Bay Resorts has been resolved. This follows a late-evening meeting yesterday featuring individual discussions between representatives of the two parties and Prime Minister Dr Kenny D. Anthony.

At the end of last night’s meeting, Almond Resorts agreed to formally recognize the SWGWU as the bargaining agent for its workers.

However, the parties have also both agreed to submit to arbitration the question of whether the collective agreement between the union and the previous owners of the resort, Saint James Club, is binding on Almond Bay by virtue of Section 44 of the Trade Union Recognition Act.

The parties have agreed that both sides will be bound by the decision of the sole arbitrator, who will be appointed by the Government of Saint Lucia from a list to be submitted by the parties.

The union and the resort’s owners said they agreed to adopt the route of arbitration, as it was recognized that to pursue legal action would not only be costly, but would lead to considerable delay.

Prime Minister Anthony says he is “extremely pleased that the issue has been resolved, as Saint Lucia cannot afford unstable relations in our vital tourism sector.”

The Prime Minister added that he is “also pleased that both sides have taken a sensible approach to this issue and have yielded to the best interests of the workers and management of the hotel.”

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