NWC workers strike over health insurance coverage
National Water Commission (NWC) workers gather outside the company's Marescaux Road offices in Kingston in May 2010. (file photo)

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Over 1200 National Water Commission (NWC) workers stopped working islandwide this morning, further threatening the poor water supply caused by months of drought.

A spokesman for the workers told OBSERVER ONLINE this morning that they are protesting in favour of a change in health insurance coverage from Sagicor to Medecus.

The workers are represented by four trade unions – the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU), the National Workers Union (NWU), the Jamaica Association of Local Government Officers (JALGO) and the Jamaica Union of Public Officers and Public Employees (JUPOPE) - as well as a staff association representing managers.

The unions and the management of the NWC met for several hours yesterday, but failed to resolve the issue despite an offer by the management to refer the matter to a board meeting scheduled for Thursday.

The strike could seriously hamper the commission's efforts to meet the public's demand for water, in the midst of one of the island's worst drought in many years.

Balford Henry

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