JMEA not in favour of members suing gov't following NWC strike

John Mahfood
President of the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA), John Mahfood, says he would not recommend that his members sue the Government for loss of productivity during the two days of industrial action by workers of the National Water Commission (NWC).
Mr. Mahfood says unless members can prove they suffered significant losses, the move would be counterproductive.
He says the country would be better served knowing that the government has a plan in the event another strike by public sector workers causes national disruption.
"What preparation are they going to make to protect the country in terms of JDF going in and taking over the control of water? I think that's very important," he suggested.
"This 100,000 employees, did [the government] do a good enough job in communicating what they were supposed to do? Did they respect the union and the employees sufficiently?" Mr. Mahfood questioned.  
While suggesting that the government should be "more sensitive to the unions and the employees", the JMEA president acknowledged that trade unions representing NWC workers should share blame for last week's protest. 
Mr. Mahfood, who was a guest Tuesday on the Morning Agenda on Power 106, argued that the government's change in posture has facilitated the change of heart by unions who have decided they will not take further industrial action for the next six months while negotiations take place. 
But he argued that since union leaders have "heard from the public of how much they've hurt the country," they need to now reflect and "be more mature in how they they do these kinds of actions". 
Thousands of Jamaicans were left without water supply for two days because of the strike.
Air Traffic Controllers also walked off the job for several hours last week resulting in the temporary closure of Jamaica's airspace.

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