Workers Misrepresentation, Who Benefits?

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

Recently the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Dale Marshall, accused the National Union of Public Workers of playing politics. That caused me to reflect on the state of trade union representation in this country and wonder if the accusation was true for other unions. A comparison of the roles played by the unions during different political administrations would suggest that Marshall had justifiable reasons to come to his conclusion. During the DLP administration, you tend to get the impression that unions are bending over backward to accommodate the Government. When the BLP is in office, unions tend to be a bit more active which can be attributed to the fact that most union leaders appear to favour the DLP.

From inception workers have been complaining that the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) has not been acting in the best interest of workers, and that it has been used to keep workers quiet while the employers and Government, as the other members of the so called Social Partnership, gained at the expense of the workers. The list below which speaks for itself represents most of the major actors who played pivotal roles in the formation and continued existence of CTUSAB, and others who were active in their individual unions:

Leroy Trotman Knighthood
Cedric Murrell Chairman, Constituency Council/ Chief Air Traffic Control Officer
Walter Maloney Constituency Council Member/ Senior Manager at NHC
Joseph Goddard Ambassador to United Nations
Bobby Morris Ambassador to Caricom
Ronald Jones Minister of Education
Harry Husbands Parliamentary Secretary
Karen Best Deputy Chief Education Officer
Derek Alleyne Director, UDC on four yearsโ€™ leave from NUPW
Dennis Depeiza Seconded from teaching to CTUSAB
Jeff Broomes Principal, Alexandra School
Hartley Reid Retired/ DLP General Council
Patrick Frost Retired
Keith Yearwood Retired/ BLP; made redundant and not paid his pension

This list is by no means exhaustive but to the cynical among us it speaks volumes. This is not to say that that any person mentioned did anything underhanded, and was subsequently rewarded for their betrayal of the workers. It might very well be a case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease.

It is clear that only a small group of workers benefitted from the formation of the congress

39 thoughts on “Workers Misrepresentation, Who Benefits?

  1. Have always maintained the position the Leroy Trotman or any trade unionist should be wary of Greeks bearing gifts while still active, maybe when they retire.

    Those who work in the public service must operate in a transparent manner at all times.

  2. chuspe! A self-serving expose by a cynical union/political hack who has found himself on the fringes of unionism and political patronage. No sincerity at all. LOL!
    The political marriage of union and party politics as been good for Union members and bad for taxpayers; So much so that the infestation of the worst of Union labour has a permanent stranglehold on the civil service and the private sector were laziness and fear of hard work, is left largely unchallenged as corporate leaders run rough shod over their workers. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Carson

    I agree that it is bare foolishness when you have the DLP infiltrating all unions and your operatives take control of the workers’ movement to the detriment of the workers. It is bare foolishness and needs to stop.

    By way of example, as far as I am aware only one of the NUPW’s executive is an active DLP member or supporter. They in turn make sure that any DLP administration gets an easy time. Of course when these same executive members run foul of the law, the DLP is there to support and protect them. Case in point, a while ago, an NUPW executive member slapped a woman on her behind in the workplace and said to her, “I want a piece a dat”. The woman complained and the pervert’s DLP colleagues settled it by promoting the woman where her salary was increased by three increments. Bare foolishness indeed.

  4. These things will happen because nowadays people frighten, they have no courage.

    A big set of frighten people, frighten to do anything about anything, afraid to challenge anything. Accept everything.

    Too Proud to let people see them pounding the pavements and protesting, mounting a Soap Box in Hero’s Square and talking to the people.

    If you people were really serious, having gotten some attention on the blog , you all would have moved to the next level and get out there and agitate for change and for good Governance -a la Eric Sealy

    Let me ask a Question , you know that I am JUST ASKING
    Who you all think is going to do it for you ??


  5. Gabby said that this Country is ripe for Riots.

    Gabby is man with Vision. Do not dismiss him. If DLP wins Government and privatize when they say they are not going to even though they know that it must be done—RESULT :-RIOTS !

    If DLP wins and dont privatize only to keep a bogus promise, access to funds to support entities like Transport Board and CBC will be cut—RESULTS : -RIOTS

    Now when Gabby and most artistes speak, they are dismissed by jackasses. The master usually speaks through the artistes, that is why they have God given talent

  6. QUESTION: |When was the last pay increase granted to public workers,(to offset the average 35% pa cost of living) who are largely represented by Mr. Walter Maloney’s NUPW?

  7. Is the same Walter Maloney that after Janauary 15 2008 became Customer Services Manager once the Sales & Marketing Manager post was abolished and the officer made redundant?

    • Enuff

      Your query was not directed to me but I think that I can shed some light.

      Roger Coppin was the sales and marketing manager whose post was abolished. He was a member of NUPW and sought assistance from that union. The General Secretary handled that matter. No further work was done on Coppin’s grievance when Maloney, president of NUPW, was given the new job. Maloney claims to be the chief shop steward and he essentially got the job of the man he should have been representing. Carson you still think that this is bare foolishness.

  8. Just asking
    Mr. Franklyn was you part of any union while you were involved in politics?
    The history of Barbados shows that the labour movement provided the impetus for the formation of political parties
    Labour leaders like Samuel Jackman Prescod and Charles Duncan
    O’Neal pre 1937 and Grantley Adams post 1937 all were involved with politics.
    The passing of the Trade Union Act in 1939, which came into force in 1940, provided legal sanction for the Barbados Workers’ Union to be founded on 4th October, 1941.Hugh Springer ,Grantley Adams and Frank Walcott entered the House of Assembly because of the workers union.

    This is nothing new Mr.Franklyn

  9. Clone

    The only difference is that the people you mentioned were not also employed by the same employer as the workers that they were representing.

    You have public officers who are also union leaders negotiating with the Government who achieve nothing substantial for the workers but they quickly get promoted. Name three persons in the history of BUT who were on the executive of that union who were not promoted or gained political office. That union is a stepping stone for promotion in the teaching service.

    By the way, NUPW is currently negotiating with government for a new wages contract: could you tell me if the negotiations were sanctioned by the National Council of that union. As a matter of fact, they were not and further, according to the rules only the National Council or a general meeting of members could sanctioned such a move. But Maloney and his merry band have taken it upon themselves to ignore the union’s rules to give the appearance of normalcy in public sector wage negotiations leading up to a general election.

  10. My argument is not about the details of who represent who and where but that politics and trade unions were always connected in Barbados and across the world

    • Clone

      It is true that trade unionist have been involved in politics historically, however they always observed the boundaries between the two. Now trade unionist have aligned themselves to political parties and the interests of the party always seem to prevail to the detriment of the workers. You should recall that it was the General Secretary of NUPW, Dennis Clarke who first made the call for a wage freeze. That should have been a proposal from the Government side and the union should have responded by seeking to improve other non monetary conditions of service.

  11. man just give the job to the Chinese.
    dem would do what you all can not.
    dont mind dem communist and murder their own people by running them over with steam rollers.
    bring dem in.
    oh i just remembered also they dont like niggerians.

  12. Caswell Franklyn | November 24, 2012 at 4:25 PM | Enuff

    Your query was not directed to me but I think that I can shed some light.

    Roger Coppin was the sales and marketing manager whose post was abolished. He was a member of NUPW and sought assistance from that union. The General Secretary handled that matter. No further work was done on Coppinโ€™s grievance when Maloney, president of NUPW, was given the new job.
    It was a political JOB and when the Government changed, it went throught he eddoes. Bjans too phucking weak.
    Bob Marley sang: “Never make a politician grant you a favour; he will want to control you for iver”

    Bajans got to stop being mendicant and putting politiicans on a pedestal. Bajans got to be resourceful. It is time for the small businesses to reemerge: the small village shops, the equivalent to the blacksmith shops , the tailors, the seamtresses and such things.

  13. @caswell
    “You have public officers who are also union leaders negotiating with the Government who achieve nothing substantial for the workers but they quickly get promoted. ”

    What are they supposed to (have) achieve(d)?

    and, now that you’ve unearthed this bombshell….now what?
    Will you and Unity take up the fight in all corners with no quarter given for all these misrepresented workers? Will you fire a shot across the bow of those who have “sold their soul for sole promotion?”

    Or will you do nothing as was stated in another blog because the “status quo” political and fraternal hierarchy will render it futile?

    Just Observing

  14. NO -he will not
    He and his UNION do not do publicity stunts
    That would be too much publicity

    If ever there was need for a Pressure Group in Barbados, IT IS NOW but these mudda phuckers bout here just talking all the rahsole time and dont have the intestinal fortitude for action. I agree with somebody who wrote that Bajan men get weak. That is why we cricket gone through the eddoes and the World Cup T20 Team had no Bajans in it–totally unheard of until recent times.
    Bajan men get weak that is why shite happening in this country.

    Where are the fighters for justice ?
    Where are the Agitators?
    Where are the articulate grassroot persons ?
    Where are the innovators ?


  15. I have been firing shots across the bow for some time. My next set will be aimed below the waterline.

    The leadership of the trade union movement is full of self-serving people who join and seek office for only one goal, and that is what I can achieve. Government tolerates a situation where the members of the executives of public service unions choose to meet weekly during working hours. As a result, very few of them ever put in an honest days work. The relationship between Government and public sector unions is one which is characterised by you scratch my back and I will scratch yours. The most successful union in this regard is the Barbados Union of Teachers. If you want to be promoted in the teaching service all you have to do is become an executive member of that union: you can even become Deputy Chief Education Officer.

    NUPW has learnt from the way BUT operates and the same thing is becoming prevalent there too.

    It now seems that the role of those unions is to secure promotion and perks for the executive members. Additionally,the object of their loyalty seem to be situated at George Street.

  16. “The leadership of the trade union movement is full os self-serving people”

    But wait, Caswell, ain’t you a leader of the trade union movement??? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Observing

      I never said that all of them are self-serving: there are a few, and only a few, with honest intent left. Most of them use the trade union movement for advancement in their jobs and as a travel agency. For example there is one union leader, who shall remain nameless for the time being, who did not make it out of the third form at a leading secondary school and without any post birth qualification but he managed to make it to senior management at his workplace.

  17. @ David
    “You should consider video blogging.”
    …..why don’t you leave Caswell to Bushie nuh?
    What video blogging what?!?
    1 – Caswell is not CUTE. Who wants to see that fat face?
    2 – He needs to lose that suit and go back to shirtjac…
    3 – Caswell is NOT Bushie or Lowdown. You expect him to be able to wash his mouth on every subject under the sun – and talk sense…?
    4 – Right now he is actually talking TOO MUCH about some topics on which he should seek guidance. It started with AX.

    Caswell is a special gift to Barbados. That is why he has so many detractors. BUT it is NOT as a journalist. He is meant to be in a position nationally, where he can monitor, expose, pursue and correct the lotta thieving, bribery, nepotism, kickbacks, incompetence and graft currently in national life. You think men like Onions and other yard fowls will like that…?

    Only a fearless bajan with balls and knowledge and experience in this field can possibly address this plague. CASWELL HAS ALL THAT IS NEEDED.

    After years of seeing the bushman bang on with his prescriptions David, how is it that you doubt Bushie in this particular matter?

    If Wanna don’t take Bushie’s advice that is wunna business. ๐Ÿ™

  18. Whats with Caswell Franklyn and the suit thing ?
    Caswell disappoints in a suit, not radical enough, playing to the establishment. Tut Tut, methinks the boy has lost it
    Get back to Shirt jacs or army fatigues if you are serious

    • @Bush Tea

      It is about being able to widely circulate his message in a form which resonates with all segments. Forv example the Youtube which BU posted of the Duguid fracas has 20,708 views so far and climbing every day. There is a nother which has 17,783. Do you see the point?

  19. Bushie see your point David, however it could do with some sharpening… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Such exposure is a two-edged sword.
    Now because Bushie knows Caswell so well, Bushie knows that his intentions are really good and upright.

    HOWEVER Bushie ALSO knows that Caswell can get himself into some really ….errrr ….ahhhh …ammm ….alright… some STUPID positions from time to time. NO ONE IS PERFECT.
    ….Why do you think Bushie urged him UP FRONT to stay away from AX? …the boy is hard ears….always was! That comes with the personality that is needed for his role in governance, but it is not good for PR.

    ….why do you think Moses needed Aaron? ….identical situation. Moses was a hot head.

    Our best plan is as follows:

    1- Either Caswell forms the BUP (Barbados Unity Party) or YOU form the BUP(Barbados Underground Party)

    2- Elect a National Council of 24 top community LEADERS from / business/ Church/ Youth/ Sport/BARP/ etc (practically elects itself)

    3 – Compose a full Business plan for Barbados

    4 – Advertise for 24 BUP Ministers (managers) to implement the plan

    5- interview and select the best 24 (could be B’s D’s or I’s)

    6- Collect undated letters of resignation from each one of these 24

    7- enter them as BUP candidates when Stuart rings the bell

    8- The community leaders on the National Council canvas and lobby their members to support BUP

    9- Properly done, the result will be obvious. The current system has 80% of Bajans pissed off.

    10- once the majority of BUP candidates win their seats, the FULL cabinet of managers are appointed.

    11- Any nonsense, or thieving, or incompetence, or lack of results will require the National Council to “date and accept” the resignation of the culprit and to initiate INTERVIEWS for a replacement.

    12- BTW. The resignation is both from the job and from parliament.

    QED – let Bushie hear a better plan.

  20. @david
    Caswell’s nature means he would never resonate with all segments. He’s a potential catalyst for change which means he’d have to inspire others to shake up and reform many of those segments! Tough job needing much testicles, objectivity and martyr like qualities!!

    A woman tell me she tink Caswell cute for a “old boy”. Lol. He might still hold he own pun video!

    I get ya and I feel ya. Just that sometimes you go off message and muddy your general trumpet calls. Den again, after some of your experiences that shud be expected. If you truly want to effect what you proclaim listen to Bushie. Keep ya vision, pick ya battles, put on d blinkers and hit hard where its needed for the people that need it most without fear or fervour. Everything else is just an unnecessary intermission sideshow. There are many that would join ya, but temperance and discretion are as critical as courage and knowledge. Sun tzu would make great reading. Take care!!!

  21. @ Observing
    A woman tell me she tink Caswell cute for a โ€œold boyโ€. …
    …had to be a woman. One thing bout Caswell, you will find that it is usually men that does cuss he…. Somehow he does got the women tricked….

    …as man Observing! look at that picture…
    …you see the smirky smile?
    …the chubby, well fed look?
    …the “I know-something-that-you-don’t” look?
    …..the man look like a POLITICIAN then!

    He has to lose the suit. ๐Ÿ™‚ in the shirt jac, Casie used to look like a radical….something like George Belle before he got a big belly..LOL.

    …ANYWAY, NOT TO WORRY Bushie will be his Aaron….

  22. Bro caswell because you went to Cawmere wid Mammoney you playing diplomat giving a piece and keeping back some. Walter is the one who is a Senior Manager without qualifications, the same one who is called Khaki general having spent his school life no further than third form. And who now further carry the correct nickname of Wuk fuh house. Cha

    • Even if Maloney left school in third form surely he would have been able to access the many opportunities for continuing education?

  23. David

    I happen to be passing and two document fell off of a truck. I picked them up and to my surprise one was entitled, PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION PLAN: ESTABLISHMENT OF A CENTRAL REVENUE AUTHORITY prepared by the Special Projects Units of the Ministry of Finance; and the other simply entitled: BARBADOS REVENUE AUTHORITY prepared by Lewiston Smith, Deputy Comptroller of Customs (Operations).

    The most surprising, unconscionable and dastardly revelation on both documents is, and I quote:

    “All persons will be required to apply for positions in the BRA. Persons are advised to first apply for their current positions and after that they may apply for any other position within the BRA for which they are qualified to fill”.

    This shows the absolute contempt in which this Government holds the workers in the Public Service. If something like this occurred in the private sector, all those workers would be entitled to severance pay in accordance with the Severance Payments Act. Now this intellectually challenged and morally bankrupt Government is taking steps to fire workers without compensation or blackmail them into accepting inferior working conditions of service.

  24. @ Caswell:

    It was said the Leroy Trotman sold out the CBC with back pay in the 90’s, the workers never got that money.

    Caswell: To reinforce your point of the Unions close relations with politicians and Government in power at the expense of the workers kindly highlight the CBC, BTA (workers posted overseas retired, recalled Petra Roach survived under the BWU, oh and wasn’t a leader allowed to complete Master’s degree overseas before being appointed), BIDC similar situation with one being allowed to complete degree post left vacant for person and Union remained dormant.

    If Carson et al consider this foolishness then the workers paying Union dues must just foolish especially when they realize they are not getting results but have representation by trade unions.

    My affiliation with a party does not prevent me from stating the facts that keep workers at a disadvantage.

    Under union representation unqualified and inexperience people got positions and the qualified remain in junior posts.

  25. Barbadians have to negotiate with Government and ensure they get a return on investment and do not allow the Government relieve the temporary workers.

    Government should relieve the consultants, recall the underutilized ambassadors (savings on housing, travel, clothing allowance), Ministers should give up their entertainment allowance which is used for personal gratification and not for building business relationships.

    Barbadians can now show that they are in control and as the PM requires and requests, quite sensibly, dialogue – we will dialogue and negotiate at a different level not the same old thing that is not bringing benefit to the minimum wage.

    The Unions have to stop behaving like they owe Government for their revenue. If a junior employee is not productive it reflects on management and the management should be penalized whilst coaching and mentoring should be offer to the employee. Many sheep without shepherds in our workplace.

  26. Caswell
    How would you go about creating this single entity instead?

    If you or the other unions think it can be business as usual wunna in for a REALLY big shock…

    Best plan is to GET IN THERE and guide the jackass politicians (who will be ordinary unemployed citizens in a few short years anyway and mostly don’t give a shit) to take the FAIREST and most EFFICIENT decisions in resolving these difficult issues.

    Fighting 1970’s union battles at this time is like pissing into the wind……

    …of course the VERY BEST solution is BUP…
    ….but you hard ears as shiite….

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