UNI Global Union and its post and logistics affiliates worldwide are standing up for postal workers in Trinidad & Tobago as they fight for a pay rise after a decade of wage stagnation.
UNI affiliates from Germany to Japan have written to the management of TTPost and to the government authorities in support of the Trinidad and Tobago Postal Workers Union (TTPWU) backing workers’ demands for a 36 per cent wage increase in the face of soaring inflation in the country.
The government is offering a 4 per cent wage increase for all public sector employees, including postal workers who have not had a pay rise since 2013 nor an increase in allowances since 2007. The union is seeking compensation for multiple bargaining periods dating back to 2014, which the government has repeatedly dodged and ignored.
David Forbes, General Secretary of TTPWU said:
“The government has shunned collective bargaining and is trying to enforce a blanket wage increase which is simply unrealistic and unjust. A pay rise is long overdue and now with galloping inflation and rising costs, workers are suffering. Many are having to borrow money to make ends meet, and our union is also supporting members in financial distress. We greatly appreciate this show of solidarity from our comrades around the world, which is boost to our campaign and our members.”
The average monthly salary for postal workers in Trinidad & Tobago is 6,500 TTD (US$ 940), while a living wage in the Caribbean country is regarded by unions as around 10,000 TTD (US$ 1,445) a month. An independent review of postal workers’ salaries recommended a 36 per cent pay increase back in 2010, but now the government is proposing another salary review, which unions argue is unnecessary and delay wage negotiations further.
UNI General Secretary, Christy Hoffman, said:
“Together with UNI post and logistics affiliates around the world, we stand with postal workers in Trinidad & Tobago who have waited long enough for a pay rise. Your fight is our fight and we are united in solidarity with you. We call on the government to stop stalling and enter into serious negotiations with TTPWU without delay so that postal workers get the wages and recognition they deserve.”
So far affiliates in ten countries have sent letters to the Trinidadian authorities in support of TTPWU, including: