Submitted by GoWEB Caribbean – Writer Caswell Franklyn
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.