Thursday 22 August, 2019

JPS warns customers could be in the dark today

The Jamaica Public Service (JPS) is cautioning that some customers could have their electricity supply disrupted on Tuesday as a result of industrial action taken by more than 200 employees.

The light and power company also said there may be delays in responding to customers' requests.

According to the JPS, the employees, who are represented by the Union of Clerical Administrative and Supervisory Employees (UCASE), have been calling in sick since Sunday night.

JPS said many of these employees work in critical areas of its operations, including the power plants.

"Despite a meeting at the Ministry of Labour Monday afternoon, employees have continued to stay off the job, with many calling in sick and not reporting for the night shift on Monday, or the day shift today," the JPS said in a news release.

It continued that "the company is anticipating that the situation could deteriorate further if the sick-out continues, and is therefore asking customers to be patient, as it seeks an early resolution to the outstanding issues.”

The electricity utility said its managers and other team members have been keeping the operations running. However, it said it can no longer guarantee normalcy.

The workers are protesting a proposed performance-based incentive programme and the withdrawal of the electricity discount discretionary benefit to pensioners.

The company said discussions on the incentive programme started in 2015, but its proposal has not been accepted by the unions.

It said the unions were advised of the impending withdrawal of the discretionary benefit for pensioners more than five years ago.

Another meeting is scheduled for today at the Ministry of Labour and the matter is now with the Industrial Disputes Tribunal.

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