Hospitality staff on the two inter-island ferries work under disheartening conditions, alleged cook Natasha Clarke at yesterday’s Joint Select Committee (JSC) probe into the service, but this was strongly denied by Seamen and Waterfront Workers Trade Union (SWWTU) head Michael Annisette whose union runs the hospitality firm.
Clark said staff are employed without contract, must buy their own requite uniforms and have maternity benefit paid by the National Insurance Scheme not the company. No extra pay is given for working unsocial hours such as weekends, and workers are not paid when they are off work, she alleged.
They are paid just $800 or $900 per fortnight, may be victimised and are not given respite between sailings. She said she had not been called for duty for seven months, even as women must regularly trek to the SWWTU Hall to find out if they have been given a duty.
Annisette in a short statement dismissed the remarks as “malicious and calculated.” Promising to elaborate at a future sitting of the JSC, Annisette vowed, “I’ll show you the connections.”