From left to right – Laurent Meffre, Managing Director, West Indian Tobacco presents a token of appreciation to Michael Annisette, President General, SWWTU. (Image courtesy West Indian Tobacco Company Limited)

The West Indian Tobacco Company Limited has completed its negotiations with the Seamen and Waterfront Workers’ Trade Union (SWWTU) for the period 2020 to 2022 and has finalized the Collective Bargaining Agreements for both hourly rated workers and monthly paid staff.

Confirmation came in an official statement issued by the company, this morning.

Managing Director of The West Indian Tobacco Company Limited, Laurent Meffre, described the process as unprecedented, observing that negotiations on the new collective bargaining period took only four meetings—between September 22nd and November 26th 2020.

He said this was one of the swiftest negotiation closures in the company’s history.

“West Indian Tobacco continues to see its 200 plus employees as the lifeline of its sustainable operations.  The new collective agreement ensures we adhere to the global standards in terms of our Environmental, Health and Safety standards and that our employee working conditions and benefits are competitive and comparable with best-in-class companies,” Laurent Meffre said.

Signing the New 2020-2022 Collective Agreement: From left to right (seated) – Luke Gittens, Head of HR Operations, West Indian Tobacco; Amy Lazzari, Head of HR Caribbean, West Indian Tobacco, Laurent Meffre, Managing Director, West Indian Tobacco; Michael Annisette, President General, SWWTU; Ricardo Hackett, Branch Chairman and Aaron Chance, Branch Vice Chairman. Left to right (standing) – Josche Nestor, HR Analyst, Santal Babwahsingh, Branch Secretary and David Forte, Branch Officer. (Image courtesy West Indian Tobacco Company Limited)

At the official signing ceremony for the new agreement, SWWTU President General Michael Annisette was recognized for his thirty (30) years of service to the collective bargaining process, working in collaboration with the organization.

The SWTTU negotiation team was led by its President General Michael Annisette, while the team from The West Indian Tobacco Company Limited was led by HR Operations Luke Gittens, as well as Amy Lazzari, Head of HR Caribbean.

The signing of both agreements took place on Tuesday 1st December 2020 at the Desperadoes Meeting Room at the company’s head office.

Both the union and company have reinforced their commitment to continue to build a positive industrial relations climate, which has been established over the years to the mutual benefit of employees and the organization.