The Ministry of Labour has confirmed that China Harbour Engineering Company, CHEC, does not pay workers based on rates agreed by the Joint Industrial Council for the Building and Construction Industry.

Local trade unions have complained bitterly, saying CHEC is the only company which is allowed defy the JIC agreement. The Ministry says CHEC has advised it’s not a member of the JIC.

At the same time, it says CHEC pays its labourers above the national minimum wage. The Labour Ministry made the claims in a statement to our news centre last evening.

It says it’s ‘in dialogue’ with the Chinese state-owned company to address concerns about what’s said to be poor working conditions and unfair labour relations practices on CHEC construction sites.

The Labour Ministry is being accused by the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union, BITU, of gross dishonesty.

The Ministry this week issued a report to Nationwide News, saying CHEC is complying with local regulations for the provision of sanitary conveniences and drinking water.

However, Vice President of the BITU, Alden Brown, continues to berate the Shahine Robinson-led Ministry, saying its report is ‘despicable’ and ‘concocted’.

In the meantime, the Labour Ministry has also confirmed that workers are not given pay slips. It says they’re paid a flat hourly rate.

The Ministry says it wants to ensure industrial harmony as it continues talks with CHEC.