A new wages and fringe benefits agreement has been signed between the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) and the unions representing stevedores employed by the association at the Port of Kingston.
The new agreement, covering the period November 1, 2016, to October 31, 2019, was signed on November 30 after five meetings — marking the wage negotiations as the shortest in the association's history.
Kim Clarke, President of the SAJ, noted that a shared interest in the port's prosperity presented hope for continued stability of labour at the port, which the association improved through an expansion that addressed issues surrounding the ports efficiency in serving the global shipping community.
Granville Valentine, National Workers' Union VP, said: “If SAJ loses, we all lose, so as a team, we must have one objective, and with a continuation of the current spirit and genuine nature of our deliberations, then there is no mountain that we cannot climb together.”
His sentiments were echoed by Wesley Nelson, VP of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union, who reconfirmed the commitment of his organisation to the growth of the Port of Kingston. He emphasised that growth should benefit of the country in hand with fairness to workers.