Are Public Workers Being Sold Out?

Submitted by GoWEB Caribbean – Writer Caswell Franklyn


Caswell Franklyn - Head of Unity Workers Union

In an ideal world there would be no place for trade unions. Employers would observe the golden rule, and treat their workers as they would like to be treated if they were in the employee’s place. Also, there would be no need for labour legislation.

But this is not an ideal world and even with trade unions and labour laws, workers in this country continue to suffer under the domination of tyrannical bosses. Very often, even though the worker has right on his side, he is denied proper representation by the unions and the Labour Department. The following might help to explain how things work in this country.

Last year, the General Secretary of the National Union of Public Workers, Dennis Clarke, while on vacation, went into the office and unknown to the acting General Secretary, Roslyn Smith, wrote a letter to Government offering to forgo a salary increase for public servants if Government gave the union a building at Newton, Christ Church to be used for a buyers’ club. When I saw a copy of the letter, I immediately brought it to the attention of Mrs. Smith who retrieved it from Government and notified the President, Walter Maloney.

My information is that even though Mrs. Smith was able to retrieve the letter: the union has acquired the property rent free for eighteen months, and we all know the level of increase that has been achieved on behalf public servants.

If that were all it would be bad enough, but there is more. Under the Customs Tariff (Amendment)(No9) Order, 2009 the NUPW is exempt from the payment of customs duties on:

“Educational materials and articles, including paper, furniture, equipment, office machinery, films, books, pamphlets, audio-visual aids and charts imported by or on behalf of the National Union of Public Workers for use exclusively by that Union for the promotion of education of its members in matters relating to trade union affairs, on the certificate to that effect of the General Secretary of the Trade Union subject to such conditions as to the keeping or rendering of accounts in respect of the use or disposal of the goods as the Comptroller requires”.

Notwithstanding the foregoing the union has acquired an Audi motor car duty free for the exclusive use of the General Secretary. These are the facts: readers will have to form their own conclusions.

81 thoughts on “Are Public Workers Being Sold Out?

  1. Yes, this too have been going on for a very long time. Leaders of Trade Unions, selling out paying members to the highest bidder for their own personal gain.
    I had an experience with that Dennis Clarke when I worked in Barbados.
    I went the the Union for assistance & met with Dennis Clarke. I was experiencing sexual harassment, bullying & harassment on the job. After speaking to Dennis Clarke about the problems I faced, he had the gall to ask me if the man that I was experiencing the sexual harassment with still doing that nonsense. He also told me of the various complaints the Union had from Staff members regarding sexual harassment dating back to when I was in high school. He even told me of a staff member who resorted to walking around with a knife dipped in garlic for this man.
    This same man remains an employee of this organization & is SECOND in command there. He also held a high position in another Union.
    After my meeting with Dennis Clarke, I realize that he broke protocol & divulged privileged information by repeating everything to those people, putting me at a greater risk.
    In doing so, this man broke my trust by revealing confidential information which he should not have. I was very young then, but this taught me a good lesson. I lost all confidence in Dennis Clarke & the Union which he represented. I left that Union & joined another, but I never had the need to approach any union in Barbados for assistance again, as I realize all are the same. I fought my own battles with these people & my sheer determination allowed me to leave that organization for greener pastures.
    It is also in the UK. Unions are selling out their members to keep in good stead with government. I can give several examples of Unions up here selling out people of ethnic origin, who approach certain Unions with cases of racism etc.
    They are just like banks & insurance companies.
    Some people ask why I am so out spoken. I am this way because I have had many hard lessons in life. I believe in being honest & straight. I am not perfect, but expect those who make promises to follow through with them, especially if you are paying for a service.
    You will never have change if you do not do something to enforce/ implement it.
    I will continue to speak out even if it kills me!

    • Let the record show this link was posted on FB in a place where head of the news room Stetson Babb, fellow reporter Ryan Gilkes and Roy Morris are aware. It is up to them to take it home.

      There is the interesting story unfolding in Wisconsin, USA where the government is attempting to pass legislation to kick unions to the curb, very sad.

  2. This business where Sir Roy drives a Merk and now we understand Dennis Clarke driving a luxury Audi has always been a puzzle to BU. One would think an agency representing the people (mainly working class) especially in austere times would reflect a more sympathetic image.

    Even if these cars were had duty free given that they are luxury cars it means they will attract a higher level of maintenance then if it were a less luxurious vehicle.

  3. Just like in a perfect world all union bosses would be honest, fair and free from guile, in a perfect world the workers, that the unions are quick to represent based on gossip, rumor and unsubstantiated evidence against hardworking managers in the public service trying to manager those who feel an entitlement to pay without work, would be schooled in their responsibilities to their employers and to Barbados to do their fair share of work and stop riding on the coat tails of the Audi-driving Union bosses.




  5. I am a civil servant and have cease membership of the NUPW for over 15 years. i know they DO NOT and never have work on behalf of the employee. they also ‘seek’ wage increases falsely but do nothing about conditions of work etct. they do tho, alot of lip service making the gullible believe they are working on their behalf…stupseeeee……

  6. Just to know. This union boss seems to want everything for himself. Luxury cars and their children threatening the Union with court action for underserved big monies, yet when members are in dire need every excuse is used not to assist. Example: last year I wanted some assistance to meet fees at the BCC. Expecting my PAYE refund I approached Mr Clarke explaining that I would repay all money I had borrowed. Knowing that government gives to te Union funds to assist with training courses I could not believe it when without questionmy request was flatly refused because “if I did it for you and others heard about it there would be an exodus” (Clarke) now I see why. The money is there for the purchase of luxury cars and payment for unfinished website designs. Is this why we pay our money to the unions? We really have to think…….
    Mr. Caswell, thank you for enlightening us

  7. @AYard | February 27, 2011 at 1:50 PM |

    u would have to be a jackass and some political pundit. i HAVE never seen any of my bosses work for the benefit of their department, i have seen them undermine their staff, staff who cannot go against them. i have seen them send good reports to Personnel administration and also see them pick up the phone to call personnel adm. telling them to ignore a report about ‘such and such’. the workers at the bottom or middle who come to work on time, leave after working hours, work diligently never get noticed, in fact i am one who love working in the civil service and have been overlooked for promotion. i have ALL my qualifications yet they are people who have come AFTER me and have been promoted twice since me. one day i decide to go to personnel adm to voice my concern, by the time i reached back at my work place, the entire personnel section at my dept knew i went there and ridicule me for it. up to this day i am still at the bottom and inspite of them promoting people, i am still ignored. now people would want to say that it must be something i did. yes i did something, i got myself qualified, i work more than 10 hrs most days, i DO NOT belong to a political party and there lies my answer. i have a degree and am on the verge of leaving the service. i deserve better

  8. David wrote, “This business where Sir Roy drives a Merk and now we understand Dennis Clarke driving a luxury Audi has always been a puzzle to BU.”

    If they are doing a good job then the workers should have no problem with the Union bosses living in luxury.

    This is Capitalism.

  9. @ Hants & David- Sir Roy does not drive a Merk. He drives a 5 Series BWM. This replaced the 7 Series; so perhaps he has become “humble”.

  10. Giselle,
    There is nothing humble about swapping a 7 for a 5.

    I don’t think Sir Roy is concerned about optics.

    Anyway I can’t criticise cause I drive a so called luxury car an I en nuhbody.

  11. I just want to ask one question, if Caswell’s contract was renewed would he be saying the things that he is now saying?

  12. I am a ‘drop-out’ from the NUPW since 1996 & i honestly have never regretted it;there are too many instances in B’dos where influential persons in our unions are affiliated with this gov’t especially & make compromising decisions against the well-being of the people they ”rob” monthly…this has been going on for soooo long that it brings back to memory the salary negotiations when Bree St John was the PM of this country…the then gov’t offered up to 11% salary increase for public workers & the union said ‘NO’….they wanted something like 30% if my memory serves me correctly…the rest is history…Bree got back raised by Richie & the DLP & in the ensuing negotiations…the unions accepted around 6% or so in the fastest negotiations on record in the history of them in B’dos;they are also instances with the BLP people but the point i’m trying to make is clear….’they always sell we out’ & that will never change…may GOD bless our souls cause the unions will destroy them!

  13. Carson C. Cadogan asked,
    “If Caswell’s contract was renewed would he be saying the things that he is now saying?” And “(W)ould Caswell have started his own union”.
    My contract was up for discussion when I discovered that the General Secretary had secretly sent the letter. I did not keep quiet, I objected and immediately reported the matter to the Acting General Secretary. I pointed out that Clarke had no authority to do such, and worse yet, while on vacation and suggested to her that she should report the matter to the President and try to retrieve the letter. This happened just before the contract was to be renewed, with the Clarke making the following statements to the Executive Committee:

    “There is no doubt that Mr. Franklyn has brought considerable value to this organization on his employment. He is second to none in the industrial relations arena in Barbados in relation to the legal rights of workers in the public service and the private sector. His vast knowledge of employment law and its application has caused him to be sought after for advice by many an attorney on an almost daily basis”.
    “To date, the quality and thoroughness of his work has placed him head and shoulders above the industrial relations officers at this institution. He is always ready and willing to give advice and to assist them in their work”.

    I objected to his behaviour and he then opposed the renewal of my contract. I could have kept quiet and my contract might have been renewed after such a glowing recommendation.
    Mr. Cadogan please don’t judge me by your standards, I cannot get that low down.

    I wrote in the Nation on January 5, 1996: “A union must not only be independent but it must appear to be independent. It cannot sacrifice its independence in the eyes of the workers it seeks to represent”.
    “If the union is not financially strong to carry out its vision, it should attempt to acquire its wealth by using its own devices and from the contributions of members”.

    My position has not changed.

    Additionally, I did not form my own union. I responded to the request of a section of disaffected union members who did not want to lose the quality representation that I provided. According to the laws of Barbados one person cannot form a union. Please do not show your ignorance just because you have some opposition to me.

    • @Caswell

      If all that you state is true it seems there is good grounds to question the integrity of Clarke. What is the next move? Is this something that would have to be taken to the general body?

  14. articles relating to the selling out of anything always make juicy reading and capture the imagination of a battered public service especially those non-partisan ones who are eagerly awaiting with bated breath a belated announcement from their unions as to the truthfulness of the statement from the minister of finance that he had met with the unions and the unions had agreed to forego salary increases. as a high ranking member of one of the unions representing the majority of public workers in this country, i take issue with the statement of the finance minister from the point of view that no decision on wage negotiations or anything affecting the membership of the union can be a done deal unless it is approved and sanctioned according to the rules by the council of the union. i state categorically that the council has never so directed. the question of the union boss writing the government to forego salary negotiations in exchange for a building to house a buying club which might not see the light of day seems ludicrous to me and simply does not have any merit inasmuch as the particular union boss does not have the authority to engage the government on such matters without the permission of council. for instance, the union boss did not take up the union’s money on his own volition and buy a car, the council of the union decided many years ago that the use of a suitable vehicle within certain parameters would be attached to the post of union boss and the former union boss had one which was sold after he left unceremoniously’ so, why all the fuss about a car? i am therefore asking the blogger to elucidate further on how have public workers been sold out? i fault my union for its tardiness in not engaging its membership on the union’s position with respect to the outstanding salary negotiations with government. i hope that members will remember the lack of representation of the current executive whose role is to represent these issues to council on their behalf and vote them out of office in the coming elections.

  15. Caswell and everyone else reading this blog, know quite well that the major decisions do not get made in the Board Rooms. By the time the matter reaches it for discussion, the Board/Council only has the power to rubber stamp the decision. For “transparency”, the minutes will show that the matter was discussed before “a decision was made”. Therefore, it is not difficult for even the non conspiracy-theorists to believe in what Caswell is saying.

    The saying, “the more things change, the more they remain the same” holds true. Maybe this question should be put to past and current members of the executive, “What personal benefits do you gain from being elected to office?” If the ordinary members are naive to believe that they do it for the love of fellow workers, then they, the workers, are doomed.

    The solution is that the members of the executive need to be reminded of why they are in office, that is, to serve and not to live off of the sweat and tears of their comrades.

    The saga of house slave and field slave continues……….

  16. trinity, i do not believe that all persons who offer themselves for service do so for personal benefit and i have no difficulty with rewarding persons who give of their time and talent to the running of an organisation when other persons are not prepared to find the time to assist in the business of the organisation but prefer to spend their time on other interests. no this is grossly unfair and as far as i am aware the stipend to exexcutive officers of the union was not that attractive until now.what the membership must get up off their lazy backsides and ensure is that they get quality service for their money. replace the executive at the next elections and vote for new talent.

  17. @David,
    This business where Sir Roy drives a Merk and now we understand Dennis Clarke driving a luxury Audi has always been a puzzle to BU. One would think an agency representing the people (mainly working class) especially in austere times would reflect a more sympathetic image.
    Perhaps we should look at these people who drive about on “big” cars as saving the taxpayers good money and saving valuable foreign exchange. Sir Roy’s predecessor was driving about a Mercedes Benz, which Sir Roy eventually inherited. Such cars could last some 10 to 15 years, and during this period, using the Police, Sanitation Service and many other Government Department as yard sticks, Four or Five vehicles would have been changed out.

  18. Ruth Arnetta
    You seem to have some knowledge about NUPW, but you are selective in your recollection.
    The car that was purchased for the former General Secretary was sold after Mr. Clarke said that he did not want a car. He preferred to be paid a travelling allowance since he had just purchased a Land Rover. It proved to be a lemon and was at the mechanic more than it was on the road. At this point, he started to complain that the post of General Secretary should come with a car. I took the minutes at the meeting where the matter was discussed. The National Council agreed in principle that the General Secretary should get a car. However, before funds were allocated in the budget, the General Secretary ordered the Audi unknown to the Executive. When the car was delivered, the Treasurer initially refused to pay, but was persuaded to sign the cheque to save the union from a law suit.

    You are right when you say that the Council never made a decision about salaries before the General Secretary wrote and made the offer of the wage freeze in exchange for the building.

    David is right. The matter should be referred to the general body. I know of one case where workers at the airport signed a petition with the required signatures. They refused to comply with the rules. Instead, the President wrote to the workers concerned and said to them that the petition should have been addressed to him. The members resubmitted the petition, addressed to the President, The union then referred the second petition to Attorney -at-Law, Douglas Trotman, who advised the union that the petition was not in order because it should have been addressed to the General Secretary. The petition was seeking a no-confidence motion in the General Secretary. To date the President has not summoned the meeting.

    Ruth, please tell the whole truth: right now you are hovering around a 1/4 to 1/2 truth

  19. Caswell re. your post of 5:53 pm;

    With respect, I’m trying to understand the rationale for; and your strategy in; publishing these detailed matters that paint the NUPW current officers in such bad light, in this forum? You seem to be using a sledge hammer when a scalpel might do the trick even better.

  20. David;

    I respect Caswell Franklyn and I really think he is telling the truth about these matters but something within me recoils from the manner and apparent “viciousness”, for lack of a better word, with which these revelations are being made. It seems that Caswell brings out these “facts” without thinking of the innocent bystanders who might be hurt in the skirmish. e.g. He mentions by name and post the sources of some of his information. Has he considered the effect that such clear uneering mention might have on their relationships with the hierarchy of the Union and indeed their very future in the Union and elsewhere? Or is that the strategy?

    Of course he is speaking the truth, at least I believe so. But the way it is being done, can be read as sour grapes or poaching union membership, big time, especially since we aren’t seeing the other side of the story. Indeed, it would be very useful if someone could bring this blog to the notice of the people mentioned with a view to eliciting their side of the story. But of course that is all wishful thinking. It will never happen.

  21. Checkit-out
    I have done nothing to harm any innocent bystander: there are none. Also, I did not mention the names of any sources: I have none. I wrote of things of which I have personal knowledge.

    I mentioned the Name of Roslyn Smith. Read my post carefully and you would see that I reported the conduct to Roslyn Smith, who was acting General Secretary and who took immediate steps to protect NUPW. She is not my source, as a matter of fact, I was hers.
    I mentioned an attorney-at-law by name. He merely advised the union based on the partial information that was presented to him.

    I also mentioned the Treasurer. It was me who advised him to sign the cheque to prevent the law suit since I could be argued that the General Secretary would have ostensible authority to bind the union, and that a third party would would more than likely prevail against the union in court.

    I am doing nothing wrong: I am only attempting to illuminate the dark recesses of this society, just like David, only that I have chosen to reveal my name, since I know that I am teling the “absolute” truth which I can prove if called upon to do so.
    When I told my story to individuals most thought that I was making things up. This is my way of showing that I am telling the truth , the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God.

  22. as far as i am aware the granting of a car to the gen sec of the nupw is a policy decision taken way back long before the present gen sec became gen sec. perhaps the way he went about the issue of obtaining a car on the assumption of office might have cast him in a bad light but that does not detract from the fact that the gen sec of the union was entitled to car. i would also frown on the union boss writng a letter to govt requesting a building for a workers buying club as trade-off for forgoing salary negotiations for public workers; but the fact of the matter is that the gen sec has no such power without the authority of council(am i wrong?) and the letter would have no substance if council does not sanction. if one wants to query the gensec’s competence, that is another matter but i would like to know how the public workers would have been sold out on the strength of the contents of a letter which has no legality. over to you cas.

  23. Ruth Arnella
    It appears that you are obtuse or being deliberately dishonest.
    On assumption of office there was a car available for the General Secretary. Instead, Mr. Clarke came to an agreement with his employer to pay him a travelling allowance. As a result the car was sold. After his personal vehicle turner out to be a lemon, and was costing him significant sums sending to England for parts, he started to agitate for a car.

    The car that was available, for the General Secretary, was a Toyota valued at $70,000. He went and ordered an Audi, without the approval of the Executive. That car is valued in excess of $230,000.
    Some months the NUPW does not have enough money to pay salaries. Several times in two years, I had to go to the union’s bank with my salary cheque and wait while the bank’s staff made calls before I could get my money.

    You asked, “(H)ow the public workers would have been sold out on the strength of the contents of a letter which has no legality”.
    The General Secretary is the Chief Executive Officer of NUPW. Even though he does not have authority in accordance with the rules and practices of the union, when he is dealing with a third party, it would appear to them that he has authority to commit the Union. He is said to have ostensible authority to bind the union. Put simply, he does not have the authority but it appears so. The person who he wrote to would not know that he did not have the necessary authority and could rely on the General Secretary’s word. The union could not assert against a third party that its CEO does not have authority to bind the union. Business would grind to a halt if every time someone writes on behalf of a company the recipient had to check with the board to see if the employee, especially a employee, had authority to do so.

    Please speak of what you know.

  24. bro cas, that is why i refrain from debate and i suppose well intentioned people are afraid to enter politics less they be labelled or accused of this and that. i have no axe to grind one way or the other, just trying to get to the bottom of the facts. i would not dare to label you obtuse or dishonest just because our positions do not mesh at this juncture. however, i would have heard all that you have heard and mentioned on the blog about the reasoning behind the gensec acquiring the vehicle but is that reliable or mere speculation? the truth is i do not know, what i do know is that the cost of the gensec’s car to the union duty free did not exceed the amount mandated by council. the value of the car on the market might very well be $230.000 and the cost to the union would neccessary increase because of loan arrangements but i do not that know incoming ceo’s are duty bound to to take over vehicles used by former ceo’s. i have continued with the debate because after all the nupw with all its shortcomings is still my union and any ill-informed negative comment could further impact on the ability of the organisation to effectively represent the membership as you yourself have been, it is important that we get the facts straight. by the way, even though check-it-outhas accepted your explanation i still share his view that name calling could sow further seeds of discord in an already battered organisation. i think despite your erudite explanation that you made a slip-up there

    • It is standard in the private sector if there is a company car that is attached to a position the successor takes possession of the car unless an arrangement is made to sell the car as part of the redundancy/resignation package.

  25. Did the current President of NUPW benefited from the ‘amalgamation’ of two departments at the NHC post-elections while the previous boss was sent home?

  26. “the value of the car on the market might very well be $230.000.”
    Boss man has to “cut style”.

    That is only the yearly wages of 20 shop assistants.

  27. Ruth Arnetta
    You are mixing up cost and value. The car is valued at $230,000, check the agent. The union obtained the car duty free, whatever the dollar value, it cost the union significantly more. You should be asking what did the NUPW have to give up in order to get the duty waived. NUPW does not qualify for duty free status on vehicles.
    The union had to get a favour done in order to get a duty free car. It really looks bad when the union begs the Government for favours and then have to negotiate with the same Government on behalf of members.

    • They are some trade unionists who will think long and hard before they accept even a glass of water from any party who will have to sit across the negotiating table.

      The revelations that the NUPW has been a little ‘friendly’ with government should provoke concerns, especially from the membership.

  28. bro cas- doesn’t the union by the nature of it’s relationship with government have to beg government for favours all the time? none more so than the guarantee of a loan for the construction of a building ; who negotiates salary agreements for govt with the union? not the same public servants who benefit from the increases gained by the union? are you inferring that somebody in the ministry of finance breached the polcy/regulations to enable the obtain a duty free car and do you agree that the car did not cost the union$230.000? do not get flustered, just engaging you in debate




  30. Ruth Arnetta
    I get flustered when supposedly intelligent people attempt to justify unethical conduct.

    It looks really bad when the union resorts to accepting favours from the employer whether that employer is Government or private. The union should be independent of the employer. Any appearance to the contrary would tend to destroy the confidence that members should have in their representative. The union should live within its resources and not set up situations where it can be accused of selling out.

    It is conceivable to believe that the union failed to adequately represent its members so that Government would give the guarantee that you spesk of. You would recall that the guarantee of the loan for the new building was on the Order Paper of the House of Assembly for an inordinate period. I happen to know that it was used as leverage so that NUPW would not oppose the Government’s agenda.

    You asked, “Are you inferring that somebody in the Ministry of Finance breached the policy/regulations to enable the (union to) obtain a duty free car…?
    The simple answer is YES! Under Section 25 of the Customs Act, the Minister may by order published in the Official Gazette exempt persons from the payment of duty. Did you see or hear of any such order published in the Official Gazette? Also, the Customs Tariff (Amendment ) (No. 9) Order, 2009, at Part 2 sets out the “List of items on which the Minister responsible for Finance may grant conditional duty exemptions” and the “Table of Exemptions” neither of which exempts the NUPW from the payment of Customs duty on vehicles.
    My understanding is that NUPW paid less than $230,000 for the car. My question is what did it cost the union? What did it have to turn a blind eye to?
    A year has passed and the union has not provided the funds to take the Urban Development Commission to Court for terminating thirteen workers, as promised.
    Also, the Union did not adequately represent the workers affected by the formation of the Financial Services Commission. I can state categorically that the union only discussed the matter with the workers after it had given its blessing to Government. I can provide more examples.

  31. @ruth anthea and Check-it-out

    u r 2 fools. all the crap u put on this blog has only caused most to see the truth of what Caswell Franklyn is say. Ruth sounds like someone blinded by the truth and afraid of doing nothing as she might lose her pick. Check-it-out needs maturity and common sense, he lacks both. we all know that the union DOES NOT negotiate on behalf of its workers it robs them. that is y I do not belong to any. i have known from day one how much salary increase we the public servants would receive, when the unions were holding so-called salary negotiations. they have found a way to get rich quick and will exploit it for all its worth. workers need to open their eyes

  32. smooth chocolate- thanks for the compliment, but give me one instance where “they have found a way to get rich”. i hate to see people’s names tarnished because of ill-conceived notions by others. i am blind , that is why i want to see the benefits to clarke from writing the letter foregoing negotiations in exchange for a building. just let the intelligent bro cas deal with that issue for the moment. if the confidence in the union is undermined,then for all of its deficiencies, public workers might be worse off. i do not want that.

  33. Smooth Chocolate; re. your comments on me above. “Check-it-out needs maturity and common sense, he lacks both.”

    I am unlikely to achieve a state of significantly more maturity than what I have now. My next stage is doddering old age. Common sense is another matter. perhaps I’ve never had enough of that.

    But I think I have much more maturity and common sense even now than anything you have evinced in your posts on this and other matters on this blog.

    Read my posts again and see where they justify your comment above. Or do you think that one should not question Caswell even if one accepts his explanations for his actions?

  34. ‘A year has passed and the union has not provided the funds to take the Urban Development Commission to Court for terminating thirteen workers, as promised.’

    Those workers need to find their own lawyer(s), as I doubt the Union interested in this case.

    • @enuff

      Should we blame the union alone?

      What about the shop stewards and union members?

      Don’t they care about fellow workers?

  35. I think that Caswell is playing out a personal vendetta against Dennis Clarke, but in the same breath Clarke has to answer some intrusive questions. I know more than I will state in a blog so I will ask a few ? for the benefit of the spectators.
    1. Why did Clarke bring Caswell back at the NUPW to work after his turbulent past with the organisation?
    2.What is the state of the NUPW’s buying Club and Medical Centre and how soon do you think it will come on stream. (Is it true that some staff members got a subtle warning after a staff meeting for asking questions about the projects?)
    3.What is the membership of the Unity Workers Union?
    4. Why does the President of the NUPW make statements that can be interpreted as being partisan and continues without censure?
    5. Will the NUPW be able to find competent public officers to come forward to sit on the Executive Committee and national Council.
    6.What is the state on the NUPW’s website?

    I can think of more ?s but we can discuss these for now! Come Caswell or anybody else who cares to join in!!

    Magnum P-eye

  36. Magnum P-eye
    Personal vendetta my foot! If it appears so, I am sorry. I am only seeking to expose the corruption in the trade union movement. Like you, I know more than I can state in a blog especially since I use my name. I have proof of all that I have written on this blog.

    Your first question made a false assumption. Clarke did not bring me back anywhere. He was given instructions to re-employ me and he did all in his power to prevent it. As a matter of fact, it was Derek Alleyne, as Deputy General Secretary, who acted upon those instructions. Clarke was satisfied to increasingly use my services on an ad hoc basis, and where possible present my work as his, for example, I did all the work required by the NUPW on the QEH contract and Clarke passed it on as his work. To date I have not seen his promised payment for that work.

    Why was I re-employed? The simple answer is that I am good at what I do. Below is an exerpt from a report on me to the Executive, written by Clarke, in December 2009, after two years on the job:

    There is no doubt that Mr. Franklyn has brought considerable value to this organization on his employment. He is second to none in the industrial relations arena in Barbados in relation to the legal rights of workers in the public service and the private sector. His vast knowledge of employment law and its application has caused him to be sought after for advice by many an attorney on an almost daily basis.
    To date, the quality and thoroughness of his work has placed him head and shoulders above the industrial relations officers at this institution. He is always ready and willing to give advice and to assist them in their work.

    Even after that I was fired because I would not play ball. I would not back off when politely asked to do so.

    You asked, “What is the membership of Unity Workers Union?” I can answer that with two questions: What is the membership of BWU? What is the membership of NUPW?

    I can answer other questions but I usually stick to what I can prove. Over to You Magnum P-eye.

  37. Enuff (March 4, 2011)
    You asked, “What happened to the Shop Steward?”
    Her name was not on the original list of persons to be terminated. As a matter of fact, she had only recently been appointed to act in a senior position. Rather than revert her to the old job, the Urban Development Commission dismissed her for acting as a shop steward.
    I suggested to the General Secretary that the union should institute criminal proceedings against the Board of the UDC since it had breached Section 40A of the Trade Union Act by terminating a shop steward under these circumstances. Instead, the union took the path of least resistance: they hired her.

  38. @ Caswell
    Thank you, BU would more believe you than me.

    @ Magnum
    Can be interpreted? What was his post at the NHC prior to January 15, 2008 and what is it now?

  39. bro cas- there is a saying that what you sow is what you reap’ was it not mr clarke who facilitated your return to the precincts of the union by indicating to a general conference that you were a member in good standing? moreover, i am still awaiting your response to my query as to how public workers were sold out by the gen sec writing a letter to govt which was later retrieved promising to forego salary negotiations in return for a building to house a building club for the same workers ?

  40. Bro. Ruth
    You got it all wrong, Mr. Clarke never facilitated my return to the Union. I was offered a job by the then Treasurer Charles (Buddy) Skeete. I will repeat for your benefit Clarke tried everything to keep me out. He preferred me to do his work for him and not let the rest of the secretariat know that I was making him look good.

    If you don’t understand how the offer, to forego a salary increase in exchange for the building, was a betrayal of public workers then I can’t help you. I am an industrial relations person, I have no skills in remedial education.

  41. bro cas- i know that these are funny days with men winning the right to marry men and women thr right to marry women and so on but i would be grateful if you refer to me as sisruth and not elevate me to male status just yet. however, i just came back from remedial classes and i learned that a null and void act has no locus standi in the eyes of the court and the most mr clarke could be guilty of is ignorance or incompetence.

  42. Sis Ruth
    I will try one last time.
    The employer is liable for the wrongful acts of an employee that were committted in the course of his employment. The employer is said to be vicariously liable, and as far as I am aware, is liable in respect of:
    1. “A wrongful act or omission expressly or inpliedly authorized by the employer”; or
    2. “A wrongful act or omission which is an unauthorized manner of doing something authorized by the employer”

    The Government can therefore rely on the General Secretary’s letter especially since the employer did not repudiate the General Secretary’s action.

  43. Hi Caswell. A few days have passed but we need to get back to our exercise in question and answer. I like to pick your brain!
    1. Are you still a member of the NUPW?
    2. If yes to ? 1, will you be attending the Annual General Conference at the NUPW?
    3. Will you be contesting a seat on the NUPW’s Executive in the coming elections?
    4. What do you think about the proposed Buying Club and Medical Centre?

    Lets go Caz!!

  44. Magnum
    I am entitled to associate membership of NUPW, since I am no longer employed in the Public Service or by any of the other entities where NUPW has membership. I am therefore not entitled to hold office in the union.
    As an associate member, I am entitled to attend and participate in the conference. However, I will not be doing so since I would only be a distraction. NUPW has too many problems that they need to sorted out. Unfortunately, I know what is likely to happen. The meeting will be delayed dealing with the minutes and other peripheral nonsense for the best part of the day: they will lose a quorum and nothing substantial would happen.

    The buyers’ club is a good idea. But like all other money making ventures the crooks will take over. Already, the Treasurer is fighting against run away expenditure on this project, some of which have not been properly incurred. Word is that there is a faction in the union that is hell bent on removing the Treasurer since he is reported to be too tight fisted with the union’s money. Apparently, he insists on too much paper work and “would not let anybody get a cent”. One example, the President incurred cell phone charges in excess of $6,000 over two months. The Treasurer is insisting that the union be reimbursed. That is one reason why they are seeking to remove the Treasurer, Ken Dash.

  45. bro cas just for my education- if what you say is true- then am i to understand the persons outside of the public service can be associate members of the nupw; if this is so-then the name “national union of public workers” is a misnomer and should be changed to reflect reality. i think the bdos public workers co-operative credit union is in a similar state since it caters to all segments of the society.

  46. bro cas- i smell a red herring but my understanding is that last year the treasurer refused to sign cheques which he felt were not in the interest of the union. very noble indeed. the matter was referred to the inept council who to the best of my knowledge referred some payments for further investigation and instucted the treasurer to sign those free of bias. along the way, the treasurer was suspended by the inept council of the union and later reinstated. elections are around the corner and nomination papers are out. there is no limit to the length of time paid up public servants can run for office; so according to the rules the treasurer is free to run again as long as he is bonafide member. no faction hellbent on removing the treasurer can stop the treasurer from seeking office and holding office if he wins the election. i think the whole executive ought to have resigned every since there were bickering among themselves and install an interim executive until elections were held because there is nothing except for the increase in their allowances that this current executive has done to move the union forward in the six years they were elected.

  47. bro cas- for my information and the benefit of the public since i do not have a rule book to hand- how does one attain associate membership which would allow one to participate in the union’s activities through associate membership. i assume you are paying dues or you are exempted from paying dues as an associate member. clarify for me because this associate membership thing seems rather complicated.

  48. @ruth arnette
    are you at odds with term ‘associate member’ ? are you not privy to sucha term being used by past members of NUPW. B TW carswell also said that he was “entitled” to be an associate member.

  49. Bro Caswell you do a good job of answering my questions eventhough I believe that you are holding back on me. Caz for the benefit of all members of the NUPW repeat for me the value of the telephone bill incurred by the President of the NUPW (Walter Maloney). Who he was calling to get that kind of phone-bill? Do you realise that theat kind of money a month puts a fella in the S-Scales

    It is said, “absolute power corrupts absolutely”. The brother seems to be acting like he is a ‘big maguffy”. I blame the many competent public officers who selfishly and sheepishly shy away from giving service to the Unions. Maloney is a bluffer! Caz maybe you can tell me what is Maloney’s record of achievement before becoming president of the NUPW. I can hear him now spouting about the buying club!! IT CANNOT HAPPEN IN BRABADOS!! its easier to milk a mouse in boxing gloves!!

    I want ppl to know that since Maloney talked of a buying club about 4 years ago nothing has happened. the only thing that the NUPW has to show is the burnt-out building at Newton supposed to be on lease.

    Maloney really is a political operative. Remember he said the nupw supports the constituency councils, the nupw agreed to a wage freeze even before it was tabled in negotiations. Tell Dennis clarke he needs to restrain him until April when the members of the Union will allow him to run free.

  50. to magnum- are you sure that maloney will be booted from office? i doubt. his competition in the elections are all has beens like himself. his advantage is that he is known. i wish that an entire new slate without anty baggage could be elected to on the executive to provide able and genuine leadership to the organisation. the last executive hasd nothing to show except a hefty increase in stipend and blackberry phones at the union expense.

  51. Has maloney paid back any of the$6000 cell phone bill as yet and has Dennis Clarke declared the car benefits on his tax returns ?

  52. Grant funding what will it cost the NUPW which only has about $1.5million in subs per year ? what is the catch ?and has this God Father been check out to ensure that all is above board and when was the agreement signed -will the General Secretary be in charge of these funds or maloney —Members becareful of loosing your Organisation –remember the Treasurer was indicating about not having Documents yet Dennis ,Walter and a Council with no Financial knowledge wanted him to sign cheques -he must stand stand up for good Governance . I am told there are more cheques that he has noy signed –what about the wed site ?

  53. Cas-you very quiet on these did he repay any of the money ?its union members funds and should have been repaid ,we have a big expensive car and the non repayment of cell phone calls by d Maloney -did the depty treasure paid her excess phone bill ?

  54. Roy
    You must agree that I can’t be seen to be naking noise on every issue. I know that there is rampant corruption at NUPW, but that is for their members to deal with. I know about the big expensive car and I don’t envy anyone who drives one. My only concern is that the Inland Revenue Department refuses to collect the $23,000 tax on the vehicle while they are hounding down some very small defenceless people for taxes.

    What do you want me to say about the $6000 dollar phone bill that was incurred by the President. If you want I can give you copies and let you say something. Incidentally, the President was never authorised by the National Council of the union to have a cell phone at the union’s expence, But he has connections that insulate and protect him. In any event, those matters are for the NUPW’s membership and the Inland Revenue.

    One thing that continues to trouble me however, is Maloney’s promotion at the National Housing Corporation. I remember a former employee of NHC (I think his name is Coppin, but I could be wrong) who went to NUPW for representation after he was dismissed for no apparent when the DLP to office in 2008. I understand that the matter was resolved by changing the job title and promoting Maloney to it. You should be concerned too.

  55. mr.cas -where r the proof of thses cell phone bills you said that u had it lets see the proof and was d Maloney on NUPW BUSINESS when this bill was incured . (2) how come that Dennis and Walter are so closed now (3) why is Dennis and Walter so opposed to d Treasurer now . A year ago Walter AND Dennis were crying that there wanted back they money how come that they donot want to get back d unions money from d cell phone bills .

    Well i hope that the voters dont allow this corrupt Maloney to win again .

  56. Maloney and Clkarke are ‘brothers” they are bound to be close. Regardless of what the believe they will reach an accommodation that will suit both of them. Wunna get on as though maloney is the first political stouge, and he will not be the last. Clarke appears to have reached a point where the nupw is not his main interest and could not care less about the staff (except for his chosen few), the progresss of the organisation.

    What will be his legacy? another building? the vision continues!! who is sharing in that vision? how and when will the nupw be able to repay the loan on such a hefty investment??

    people mad! which organisation during these economic times can be involved in two major projects. where is the funding coming?

  57. I feel that better things are to come! hold ya hat, the seas going to be ruff.. Caz its time to exposed the truth about Maloney’s phone bill. I hope you can show what kinds of call he made and to who. I am interested!
    I agree with the past comments about the quality of persons standing foir office? We need quality persons!

    Clarke and inland revenue will have their day soon, from what I hear he has about half of the outstanding debt to the IRD compliments one of his children.
    hold ya hat!!

  58. how did d conference pass a motion to pay $10,000. to clarke son ? i was very ashame to see that Maloney refuse to allow the Treasure’s demand that the letters of exchange between lawyers (haynes and Jonnie )be read to the conference and s president refuse —-it was only after the meeting that i over herd d president saying that to allow d request would have destroy he and dennis –so u see what is happening to that organisation

    lies and more lies —a family connection( clarke,maloney)and clarke ,mitchy Beckles who move the motion ) maloney have to paid back d money as yet —-i see why maloney ,clarke and Beckles need to see d back of the Treasure ,he stands in their way and he is protecting the FUNDS – i was maloney friend and also clarke but i will tell all my friends to VOTE against Maloney and his TEAM all lies .

  59. And what’s this now about the Nation newspaper terminating 9 persons? That company is not making a loss, it is simply down on PROFIT. Last year they wanted to forego a negotiated pay increase due to staff but were pushed back by the union. That was only because the union found out that the amount they were looking to “save” (about 5% of labour costs) was actually going to be paid to 4 new managers they were bringing in. That too was pushed back; for a while.
    Unfortunately when some women get into powerful positions they have to prove that their balls are bigger than anybody elses.
    I am fed up with how things are going in Barbados. Corruption all around. I don’t know Caswell to be dishonest & frankly I believe what he says about NUPW. I shudder to think of the possibility of BWU also being anything remotely like the guys by the Garrison, behind the walls.
    Who is going to stand up for Barbados’ workers & give them hope?

  60. All public workers woke up to the welcome news, on the front page of the Nation (May 19, 2011) that NUPW’s wages proposal was before Government.
    However, they should take time out to thank Barbados Underground for exposing the secret proposal where the union was trying to get a building, for the buyer’s club, in exchange for a wage freeze. I say that they should thank BU because no one else had the courage to publish the story. Here is the relevant exerpt that appeared on February 28, 2011:

    Last year, the General Secretary of the National Union of Public Workers, Dennis Clarke, while on vacation, went into the office and unknown to the acting General Secretary, Roslyn Smith, wrote a letter to Government offering to forgo a salary increase for public servants if Government gave the union a building at Newton, Christ Church to be used for a buyers’ club. When I saw a copy of the letter, I immediately brought it to the attention of Mrs. Smith who retrieved it from Government and notified the President, Walter Maloney.

    My information is that even though Mrs. Smith was able to retrieve the letter: the union has acquired the property rent free for eighteen months, and we all know the level of increase that has been achieved on behalf public servants.

    The members of the union should still be concerned because this proposal is also secret. There should have been a meeting of the membership so that they could have instructed the Executive on what to seek in the proposals. The tail is wagging the dog!

  61. Man wunna like it so
    Talkers and not do-ers
    Caswell is a do-er
    You too David is a do-er
    But the two of you need to go further


    The Union sell out the people and the DBLP sell out the people , Nothing more to buy , but good bye.
    Monkey in the Middle are the people , Once you have a Sir at the head of any thing in Barbados you have to know they are the inside MAN for them.”SPY”.
    Let them go home in shame , but on the other side they will say JOB well done My Sir,
    dont forget the land fraud of Barbados , next step

  63. I don’t know why we waste time, typing, or effort on this topic. Unions are some of the most corrupt entities today. We know this. They do not represent the people, their leaders are crusing through life like corporate CEOs while selling out their members. The Bdos unions need to feel the reality like the US ones have, with a declining base of maybe 1/3 of membership from 20 years ago. Maybe they will then wake up, but it is wishful thinking.

  64. @Konkieman, you are 100% correct. union membership sat back and allowed union presidents/general secretaries and their executives to function in a manner similar to CEOs and managements in the private sector businesses. The unions in the U.S.A. are now basically nothing more than a campaign financing arm of the Democratic Party. Bajans will be well advised to light a fire under the backsides of the incoming inexperience leadership of the BWU and NUPW in an effort to safeguard their pensions from potential cuts in a manner similar to the folks in Detroit.

Leave a comment, join the discussion.