There’s still no word from the Holness administration this afternoon as tensions increase between unions and the state-owned Chinese company, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).

The Union of Clerical Administrative and Supervisory Employees, UCASE, the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union, BITU, and the National Workers Union, NWU are angry about the treatment of workers on CHEC construction sites.

Talks between the three unions and CHEC have broken down.

Last week, the unions called on the government to intervene in the dispute.

When our news centre contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade last week, we were directed to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.

Labour Minister, Shahine Robinson, responded this afternoon saying she wasn’t able to contact us before.

However, she has directed us to her Permanent Secretary.

The dispute between the unions and CHEC is worsening, with the unions raising more concerns about what they say are poor wages and working conditions, among other issues.

Senior Vice President of the BITU, Alden Brown, says CHEC is the only construction company that does not adhere to the principles of the Joint Industrial Council, which governs wages and conditions of work.

He says the unions walked out of a meeting two weeks ago with representatives of CHEC.

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