83.9 F
Charlotte Amalie
Monday, December 4, 2023


Luis "Tito" Morales, president of the Central Labor Council, said Wednesday he is satisfied so far with Gov. Charles W. Turnbull's approach to the problems facing labor.
"He shows respect," Morales said. "He listens. We had a very good dialogue."
Morales was referring to a four-hour meeting Wednesday between Turnbull and labor leaders that the governor, in a release late Wednesday night, called "very positive" with "meaningful and healthy discussion of the areas of critical concern to the territory."
Members of labor unions had given Turnbull a 100-day "honeymoon" period after he took office in early January to get up to speed. This was the first meeting Turnbull has had with the Central Labor Council since taking office.
Turnbull told Radio One News that the labor leaders were candid and very helpful, making suggestions about cost- and expense-cutting that included curtailing use of government vehicles and better supervision.
Morales said he was sure government workers will be paid their retroactive wages, although specifics were not discussed at the meeting. The government owes unionized employees more than $100 million in back wages, and this has been a bone of contention for many years.
Labor leaders will meet Saturday morning to hammer out details of suggestions that will be submitted to Turnbull in a few weeks, according to Morales.
"We're going to work together to get this country back into good financial shape," he said.
Turnbull in his release said Wednesday's discussion focused not only on problems but solutions.
"I inherited a government that owes millions and millions of dollars to the people of the Virgin Islands," he said, but added he was confident that labor and government could find solutions together.
Turnbull said he would appoint people from labor to his economic recovery team and committed himself to keeping labor involved in developing the five-year economic recovery plan.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.