Submitted by Mahogany Coconut Think Tank and Watchdog Group
We are not surprised that the workers of Barbados in particular and the Caribbean in general, are being accused of being “lazy” and basically non-productive. It is not unusual for those who have built up fortunes on the backs of the workers, to unleash their venom on the same workers. It demonstrates that the employer class in the Caribbean is functioning as masters and is not interested in anything other than their bottom lines.
The entire Caribbean was built on the backs of cheap labour (slavery) and those who have inherited this wealth believe it is their divine right. Unfortunately, the Black political managerial class is so spineless, that it refuses to put the historical facts of our development on the front burner of national discourse.
We note progressive citizens, who entire mainstream politics, quickly distance themselves from their activist platform and become consumed by petty party politics. This allows the inheritors of the wealth to continue their focus on building financial empires without being concerned with broad national development policy or goals.
Those who “have made it”, understandably, do not want to rock the boat. The truth is that in terms of real poverty, the poorest workers/people in the Caribbean are the descendants of slaves. This means that Afro Caribbean citizens although the majority in places such as Barbados, do not control the commanding heights of the economy. The current onslaught on the workers and the unions is a direct effort, in our opinion, to exploit the workers and eventually destroy the trade union movement. The current economic health of the region is fertile ground for such machinations.
We maintain those earning wages below $350. BDS. (175 USD) per week, are at the poverty level, taking into consideration the cost of living in most Caribbean countries. Coupled with these low wages, we still have many households without proper indoor plumbing facilities. In at least one country, we are aware that some schools don’t have what are commonly known as “water toilets”. This means some children have no access to a proper health environment at home or school.
Furthermore there have been no considerable efforts at progressive worker participation and the hopes of economic enfranchisement have not materialized.
When we examine the above, the Mahogany Coconut Group is obligated to speak the uncomfortable truth. Workers of the Caribbean unite!