Trade Unions Square Off Against Government With Job Cuts Imminent

Submitted by Anthony Davis

All of a sudden we have the union leaders running around like headless chickens, trying to do for their members what they should have been doing long ago – giving them proper representation, instead of hanky-pankying with Government, and the heads of the private sector bodies. They should have anticipated what is happening now, if they had not buried their heads in the sand, and forgotten that they had people’s livelihoods in their hands.

This Government has always operated by subterfuge, and that is why they should have known what is coming. Ranting and raving will NOT help, nor change the situation as they – especially Cedric Murrell, head of CTUSAB, with his statement that firing 3000 or more public servants is “unfortunate”, and saying that they should have “faith”, as if one can take faith to the supermarket or the bank – have sold their constituents down the river.

Ladies and gentlemen, you have closed the stable door long after the horse has bolted!

That is why people like Anne Reid, CEO of the Barbados Private Sector Association, can make the bold, callous statement that “Government should stop the consulting and start the implementing” of firing people. Her bread is buttered on both sides, so she doesn’t have to worry. If she were to be fired tomorrow, she would still have enough on her bank account to continue living among the upper echelons of our society. You have accepted posts in Board Rooms, and you must remember that he who pays the piper calls the tune, and you cannot hunt with the hounds and run with the hare!

Every one of you is guilty of reneging on those workers you are supposed to be leading, and now you are between a rock and a hard place – Government on one side, and the private sector on the other. I am waiting to see what the outcome of all the talks you are suddenly demanding – which you should have started eons ago – will be. I am not holding my breath that the Minister of Finance will back down from his stand your ground attitude towards the tax payers of this country!

I sincerely hope that some of the points you want to talk about will bear fruition for some of your members, but I’m not very optimistic about it. If this Minister of Finance says that 2 + 2 make 5, then it MUST be so. He is infallible, whereas not even the Pope is so any longer!

49 thoughts on “Trade Unions Square Off Against Government With Job Cuts Imminent

  1. Where were the workers when the entire leadership was selling out? Where were the enlightened workers when Trotman was accepting a knight hood? How can they explain the duplicity of Trotman, playing both sides, it seems? Where were the workers when, since 1994, some of us argued that this tripartite nonsense was a trick in the absence of land reform, increased worker participation in the ownership of enterprises, for example? Are these the same workers, anathema to their own interests, who marched up and down Barbados to bring down a government and then sold out to the new regime? Where were these workers for the last six years? Where were the workers when membership has been declining for decades and there is no initiative by the union to rectify membership loss? Where were the workers when the cost of living was killing Bajans for nearly 2 decades and not a word, in anger, could be heard?

    • Where were the workers when only 1000 voted in the last NUPW election of officers. A union reported to have a membership of 10,000 plus.

      Where were the workers when successive government were padding the damn public service and the whole damn country now has to pay because said unions are coming together to disrupt a country on life support. What a crock.

      On 3 January 2014 22:34, Barbados Underground


    the 2 persons listed , have a word and the ears of the people , If these 2 men would say the truth why and look into what the ROOTS to all of this is , then we may get some where. LAND
    Unless these 2 men have hand in what went on under MIA and Owen ,Looking to put out a FIRE by aiming the hoses at the smoke will not work.
    Aim at the roots of the fire then the smoke will leave on its own.
    More long talk and pay off , by Unions playing and acting like they doing work ,
    We await the pain , and when the PAIN comes We will watch , good and well before we give them relief .
    WE WILL see more Names and how it went down to make today so possible in the Life of Bajans ,

    Stay tuned , Names to be called and the truth will make most see the light to all the Fraud ,
    27 years is the 9 and the Nine is here , Look out PM , MOF , DPP and lawyer , Your lies and cover up is uncovered ,
    Yes We can ! Dam Sure did ,

  3. Where were the over 3000 BUT teachers today when only 295 turned up at Solidarity House. The answers could be that most of them are appointed and cant be bothered about their colleagues who are temporary or they do not want to hear Pedro but would prefer Mary Redman.

  4. When times are good mediocrity and incompetence are hidden in the melee of things.

    Who really gives a $hit if ten thousand dollars in VAT returns goes missing because a clerk is in cahoots with a supervisor and have been teifing for the last 20 years if VAT is raking in millions of dollars” but, when VAT drying up, and the IMF coming to do an audit, and that clerk gine get sen home, den the supervisor got to do something to protect her job, or he up $hit creek widout a paddle

    When all the workers were being paid as employees in the overweight public service, the respective General Secretaries did not give a flying fhuck about and worker rights and representation?

    You think Trotman or Murrell give a rat’s behind if 500 people going home, all this is about is pretending to look good, remember Trotman and the people at LIME? History has an uncanny way of repeating itself.

    That is the difference between Frank Walcott and Trotman – giving a $hite and representing workers rights instead of your salary and that of your outside woman.

    So here the Unions are, led by men and women who are now posturing to make people believe that they are doing their job.

    You ever see the “after shots” West Indies cricketers does mek when dem stumps pun the pitch? dese female rabbits pompasetting to make people beieve that them doing something.

    I would feel that know what was going on round Bulbados for some time now that these “shadows of workers union representatives” would have been in pro-active mode, long time ago, and not 9 days before Jan 15th

    Dem want replacing too at their respective ionstitutional general elections

  5. The workforce is dominated by WOMEN and most WOMEN dont fight for anything that would benefit everybody . They are basically responsive if it touches them directly . Many are not Militant like men. Women weak when it comes for standing up for certain things especially in industrial relations .

    A lot of them use promises of sex and sexual favours to get through University, the workplace and society and are selfish and self centred
    Some of them it is true work hard for what they want and are independent and I love them for it but all are not the same
    . Some of them in certain jobs would sacrifice motherhood, children , husband and anybody to get a doctorate, a degree or any qualification and they are not about making a contribution. They are about taking, grabbing and do not care about nuh man. They just want to head an organisation and grind people. Too many women bosses are lacking in empathy and pick on other women for nothing. This creates numerous problems in the workplace and in societies

    the worst that women and men

  6. Dennis Clarke and Leroy –together again ha
    They should both be sent home –Both o them
    Not because of age or anything bit because of failure to represent.
    Dennis Clarke barely masquerading and Leroy faking moves

  7. The posturing has begun.The next few weeks will develop into more of the same.The workers will push their representatives into further action.Words will fly back and forth.Politicians on the DLP side will run for the hills and the hills will tell them,there is no room here.Go hence you came.All will be lost and the final straw will be the marches.Lets hope Ronald Jones is proved wrong and the change will be peaceful.

  8. We are not in any situation like 1937 where person were killed for standing up for their rights. Barbados is highly recognized for its democratic governance. If there is to be change, let it come though the ballot box as was the case after adult suffrage.

    It makes no sense calling for marches where we have a very volatile group of young persons already terrorizing Barbados.
    Do you really want to see Ronald Jones outburst come to reality. Lots of persons will be hurt if this country ever explodes.

    In trying to enact change I hope we do not set this fair land back.
    Let’s stick with the Democracy

  9. Jason Price
    Mary Redman is the lone woman union leader who impresses me. She drives a hard bargain for her members.

  10. Gabriel; I think that your analysis and conclusions have a lot of merit but you do not appear to have factored in the influence of Freundal Jerome Stuart in your scenarios. What he says or does not say in public or actually does over the next week or so will impact this situation significantly.

  11. The WPB is a Barbadian political party for women like Mary Redman, Nalita Ghajadar ; Nefertari Caddle ; Irene Sandiford (not sure if she is still Mrs Garner–Boom Bye Bye in a Batty -boy head ) Maria Agard; Santia Bradshaw; Marissa Lindsay; Charmaine Dubois , Marilyn Rice Bowen; Lynette Holder; Lynette Eastmond; Lynette Armstrong ; Lynette Absalom . Lynette Cheeseman and the list continues………….

    Mary Redman
    Now here is a woman after my own heart. Talk—yuh talk Mary !!!

  12. Taken from Pudding and Souse.

    This is the great Mara Thompson’s daughter giving her gripe? Well it the “cry water” of the CLICO policy holders reaching you and your household.

    Forbidden friendship

    ONE OF THE children of a man who has gone to the great beyond is causing the family some concern.

    Sources told Pudding & Souse that the child is friendly with an individual who has been linked to an illegal activity.

    This state of affairs has not gone down well with the matriarch of the family who, we understand, has told the child to end the friendship.

    Some observers are extremely worried about this development since the father’s legacy was thought to be destined for this child. Now they are saying they may have to turn to another sibling to fill the late man’s big shoes.

  13. @ Clone
    “Mary Redman is the lone woman union leader who impresses me.”

    Because she loves the camera and herself?
    We talk about needing greater productivity in the public service but as a union leader Mary Redman should lead by example. Honest reports from those who have worked with her over the years is that this woman hardly dedicates herself to the task which she is paid by taxpayers to do – TEACH PEOPLE’S CHILDREN.


    • If Mary Redman is not teaching what is the Chief Education Officer doing about it? We come full circle haven’t we?

  15. when all is said and done, the workers will be sent home, the unions with huff and puff knowing that govt is not listening to them and not expecting them to but they do it so that the members would believe they are working on their behalf…what silly people. the BEST thing the members of the NUPW could do is remove their membership and put the NUPW of work.

  16. @Smooth Chocolate,
    Well said. These unions especially the NUPW is all wrapped up in the government, get all there duty free cars, travels all around the world, get jobs for their children and appointment too long before persons l the lady for has been working for 15 years. So I am not impress AT ALL. I wish I listen back to newscast of VOB sometime in May with Dennis Clarke.Hemming and hawing when Caswell first broke the news of pending layoffs. He, Dennis Clarke was very nonchalant in his response to Starcom/VOB. Bu all of a sudden he ‘mekking’ bare noise as if it is going to take him somewhere.

    • “These unions especially the NUPW is all wrapped up in the government.”

      Your assertion is certainly well founded.
      Why are the unions meeting with the MoF? Shouldn’t the unions be directing their concerns to the Ministry of the Civil Service which we know is fully apprised of the MoF’s non-negotiable ironclad arrangement with the IMF regarding the layoffs and pending privatization programme?

      The unions are just playing to the gallery and pulling wool over the faces of workers in a misleading games of false hope, blind man’s bluff and spinning tot in mud.
      There is absolutely nothing the government can do but play for time as the reality of the fiscal perfect storm sinks into the psyche of the workers. Things are too far gone with the only thing the moribund administration can see as worth fighting for is the futile attempt to protect the current peg of the local dollar to the ‘greenback’.

      The question to the unions is this: Where would the money come from to pay those workers if they are kept on? The fiscal situation is so dire that government will soon be forced to prioritize its monthly tax revenues through a process of expenditure rationing. The soon coming monthly cash-flow challenge will be as follows:
      ‘Do we pay pensioners, help out welfare recipients and make transfers to statutory entities to keep them afloat this month at the expense of paying salaries, meeting debt servicing obligations and keeping active the various overseas offices of representation (embassies, high commissions, UN presence, BTA, etc)?’
      The best thing the unions can do at this time is to demand that the deceiving Executive, which is primarily responsible for the current state of affairs, take some of the financial flak by commiseratively reducing its size to show commensurate empathy with the possible 6,000 workers about to be displaced.

  17. David at your 6.38am post you asked where the workers when only 1000members voted in the last NUPW elections —well their were given jobs at Drainage and N H C, taken to vote by buses ,and they voted for walter Maloney -have you heard Walter Maloney after they were sent home
    1 where were the workers when Walter Maloney was running up a $6000 and $18000 cell phone bill.
    2 where were the workers when Walter Maloney was running the Credit card that he was not authorised to use
    3 where were the workers when Dennis Clarke used they funds to buy an ipad for Walter Maloney
    4 were the workers when Dennis Clarke used they funds to buy a two hundred dollar car
    5 where were the workers when Walter Maloney when over seas change the Hotel for a cheaper hotel and did not refund the Union the difference
    6where are the workers when Dennis Clarke who is over 65 years of age and has refused to go home -when the retirement ago is 65,
    7)where was the union when Dennis Clarke sold them out at the Airport
    8 where were the workers when Dennis Clarke implied that the Customs workers don’t work collecting the government Revenue
    9 where were the workers when Dennis Clarke told Government not to give them increases in salaries 6(six) years ago and now that the cost of living has increase by 40 % says to the same Government to go an illegal cut there salaries
    10) where were the workers when Dennis Clarke miss lead the workers at the Q E H —
    Well David its a case of betrayal by the betrayers .
    We shall see how this new found love of B W U and the N U P W (remember that Dennis Clarke ,Walter Maloney and Cedric Murrell betrayed Sir Roy )goes forward will be the closing of ranks to save the Government like 1991 or will be the fall of the Government ‘
    The great Betrayers of the Betrayers vs the Lonely workers of this Country please take your $26 and buy food and pay bills ,don’t give it to B W u and N U P W ‘TO BETRAY YOU don’t pay your betrayers

  18. “Things are too far gone with the only thing the moribund administration can see as worth fighting for is the futile attempt to protect the current peg of the local dollar to the ‘greenback’.

    @Miller……………. you sent a chill down my spine in you 8:36 am post. Is there going to be a devaluation in truth? Stinkliar gave an assurance to Stetson Babb ob VOB on December 31 2013 when he was interviewed about his sexy video among other things that there will no devaluation.

  19. Erice

    You did not ask where were the workers when Dennis Clarke wrote to the Government in 2010 offering a wage freeze if Government gave the union a building at Newton to be used as a buyers’ club.

    • He did not say there will be no devaluation, he stated the policies which government is working to put in place should they work will stave of devaluation but we know that the government has struggled to date to implement policies that work. The elephant in the room is confidence. The middle and upper class with mean to sneak out forex have been doing so.

      On 4 January 2014 13:23, Barbados Underground

  20. Caswell thanks I will be back outside very cold –can you send me some Sun shine –you can used the CREDIT CARD but apply for permission please

  21. @Caswell and erice

    With all thsi information that is being on the blog, do you think the workers are aware of such? How can these things be happening and the workers continue to show faith and confidence in Dennis Clarke and his brigade.

    The other thing that amaze, is that, he knew that Donville Innis was packing the hospitals with Haynesville people and he did nothing about it as a union boss to protect the interest of the institutions and his his members. It is only now that the ship sinking and bullets flying all over the place that he is talking shit……………..e. what has given him the impetus, the drive now to the howling so. Probably he drank some marijuana tea out of Colorado.

  22. Stew Peas -yes they know but a lot of yardfowls around the Council Table refuses to do something about it —Dennis and Walter are one and the same don’t care about the workers only the uses of the Union funds by them along with Cedric Murrell

  23. Watch how this drama is unfolding.The DLP administration has consistently denied that the Government of Barbados is under heavy manners of a financial nature.In Parliament the Opposition Leader has been forceful and relentless in going after the MoF,and Cabinet,no confidence motion,rubbing shoulders,press conferences,the works.Seemingly getting no where fast enough,MAM calls for support of civil society,knowing that the axe will fall on Drainage workers before month end.MAM prepared the wicket and gone into silence mode because the stage has been set for the revolt of the trade union movement.Like a relay race the baton has been passed on to the actors called BWU and NUPW,the heads of which drive BMW’s and Audi’s.The small fry Shepherd and Redman have joined the chorus.As usual Redman is threatening the elected government of Barbados.Big mistake.She will be very surprised if she thinks Stuart is a jackass.All the other unions are going through the acting mode.This red woman is issuing serious threats to the elected Government of Barbados.A word to the wise.Play the game red woman or suffer like hell when the heat get turn up in your backside.Not an ounce of support you will get from anyone.Life is a game.You red woman better play the game.

    • Now that the tired Leroy (looking to build his legacy) and Dennis (the one foot swordsman) have tagged team what does it bode for CTUSAB and the heralded social partnership?

    • Gabriel; I think that not only have you been too harsh on Mary Redman but you might have misread the tea leaves as to the Government’s ability to punish Ms. Redman for her very principled approach to this current problem.

      First, she would be an idiot if she has not learnt from the Alexandra imbroglio. She is no idiot. She would have learned of the innate untrustworthiness of the PM and his party. Now is her time to deal with them when the stakes are much higher and they are much weaker and have shown that they are continuing to make serious mistakes in getting their publics on Board with their policies. I suspect Mary Redman has the upper hand this time. Her statement yesterday shows that she has covered all the bases. It was a shot across the bow of the Government. It was a call for all teacher’s unions to be led by her. It was a fearless statement that dared the Government to do what she seems to know it is planning to do. They know that she will not back down.

      Lef de red woman lone yuh!

  24. @Gabriel
    I think you are a bit too harsh on Mary Redman.


    Boy, this a hard one for the workers. Well, the other members that not been affected as yet should keep their dues because for sure they are going to need it.

    Thanks for the correction. However, if the middle and Upper class. are taking out thier money, will the policies being put in place work? So probably that is what Miler……………. is alluding to; that the devaluation will indeed come because some undermining is going on. This is a Jamaica and Guyana in the making where a loaf of bread cost $600

    • The same occurred in the 90s under Sandiford and we know what had to happen to signal the market to turn it around.

      Deju Vue.

    • David;
      It is good to make comparisons with the Sandiford bump. But this situation is times worse and is compounded by weak leadership on the Government’s part and severely diminished status and authority on the Union’s part. These factors may cancel out one another but I think that in this case weak and contrary leadership by the government might trump the Unions inherent problems and lead us further into no-man’s land.

      I suspect that eventually it will be clear to all that the dangers of the current situation are totally horrendous and looking to 1991 for guidance as to where we are likely to end up might not be totally on.

  25. Stew Peas don’t worry the govt. is not going to devalue the Barbados dollar….They are just going to upvalue the american one.

  26. @Lawson,

    You ‘tekking’ this thing for a joke yeh. You see what is happening in Jamaica? “rot” according to Donville Innis who tried to take on the Jamaica Gleaner Editorial recently.

  27. I don’t know this man but it seems he might be the person needed to help with the govt. downsizing……….since he would know those that are f$$$king the dog.

  28. The unions are areal joke, they waited until the economy was in junk status to offer a 10 point plan that will totally wipe the middle class in Barbados. This country is too small to have so many M. P’s get rid of half of them, cut their salaries, & all the travelling allowances, housing & entertainment allowances they get. This is real ridiculous, where was the union when all this was said. The last general election was a buy out, I would like the nation newspaper to print all that was said by the Prime Minister, because he is saying he never said about job cuts. Have anyone looked at the M. of F lately, he look everything like a bull frog, his neck & stomach is the same size. All the unions should be fired as well for being in bed with the politicians . This is such a sad situation.

  29. @David
    “what does it bode for CTUSAB ”

    Wait. CTUSAB still exist??

    “Why are the unions meeting with the MoF”

    Great point.

    and wait, Chris got a press conference Monday too. If this wasn’t so worrying it would be hilarious.

  30. All I got to say fuh now is that I agree wid Miller de self proclaimed annunaki. Or is it nuksie? Any way, I can’t see how we go get away from some kind of devaluation of we dollah. I just can’t see it base on how this govment operating. Mind you, I feel a reevaluation of de currency is needed as a long term restructuring stategy. This lie that we dollah is 1-2 in regards to de US dollah is a fundamental flaw in we macro structure. Even de IMF intimate such.

    I know Sandi does get nuff praise fuh not devaluing in de 1990s but a devaluation back then might ah prove a better strategy fuh de long term development of de cuntry. I can say more but I saving some fuh anotha time.

  31. How come that Ms Redman from the BSTU is always given the assurance, presumably from on high, that she and the secondary school teachers,she represents are untouchable.

    • Teachers were given the assurance by the MoF across the board. Pedro Shepherd stated the same things and he represents the BUT.

      On 4 January 2014 20:15, Barbados Underground

  32. @ Colonel Buggy

    Mary Redman talking bare S……not a fella who ent appointed tenure secure….wait till phase II and III….when Lagrasse say jump….d only ting she wanna hear is how high bredds….dey gone pass cap in hand days now…from here on is “Yes please”

  33. David -I am here in the cold U S A,-but Dennis Clarke will betray Trotman again ,Dennis Clarke will go with his crooked friends Murrell ,DePeiza,and Maloney ,just remember that they sold him out for a government paid trip to Geneva
    JUST ASKING -do you recall that the yardfowl Walter Maloney came out stating that his masters Government should cut loose the middle class,well there is no middle class to cut loose ,Government has destroyed it already with the help of Dennis Clarke and Walter Maloney and Cedric Murrell from CTUSAB ,BY the way why did Walter Maloney had to park his car to the back of Government Head Quarters ,when he went to that private meeting with chris and Jepthor—-but some reports are that a meeting among them was held at Maloney’s wife house .

  34. Has the trajectory changed enough with the assurances from Ministers and Senior Public servants that the full complement of Teachers have been retained and that the MoF and MOE’s earlier assurances were sound.

    One should not look an apparent gift horse in the mouth but I can’t help wondering:

    1) Why would the Ministry have been very actively and urgently seeking statistics on temporary staff at the schools just before the end of the year if there were no plans for laying off some of them?
    2) Did Mary Redman’s forthright statements cause them pause? i.e is it possible that there were indeed plans to layoff some of the temps and that Mary Redman’s strong statement, that hinted at the arrant stupidity of sending off temps in the second term, compelled them to change their plans and pull back any planned layoffs at this time?
    3) Whose was the wiser head that made the decision (if such a putative decision was indeed taken)? Surely not CS or the MoE who was reportedly overseas while all the action was going on? Could it have been the indeciderer? Nah
    3) Is it only a pyrrhic victory for the temps? Will the Government come back at them in full force, in the third term?

  35. The fact of the matter is that if you look at the DOW of late its going through the roof.With low interest rates,investors are getting good returns from US government paper so that unfortunately for Barbados,an inept administration guided by a pig headed GoCB and a Quisling MoS in the MoF have allowed the economy to slide to the extent that no investor other than the mafia or loan sharks,are willing to invest their funds in a junk status economy.Everybody know that Junk status mean there is a possibility you won’t get back your investment let alone an ROI.So it appears that a standby arrangement with the IMF is on the cards regardless of whether Sinckler say it or not.They will tell you that Jamaica,Antigua,Grenada and St Kitts had to do it so Barbados isn’t any different.The significant factor is going to be the conditionalities laid down by the IMF.The first condition will be to reduce unproductive,recurring expenditure.That translates into more public sector cuts than the 3000.More like what the one foot soldier let slip:6000.When you cut 6000 its going to have a multiplier effect and it will cost the economy to shrink further,so look for a GDP returning to ’90’s levels.Look for stringent visa controls by the US.Hope that Canada don’t shut the door too.Expect more stringent revenue gathering laws and techniques to be employed.Expect the current GoCB to resign quietly and get lost.I believe this present administration will be forced to go to the people again.

  36. David | 04/01/2014 at 4:29 pm |

    Teachers were given the assurance by the MoF across the board. Pedro Shepherd stated the same things and he represents the BUT
    I know of one primary school teacher who was given a letter days before Christmas.

    • The Minister of Finance in not in place to give any assurances about the security of tenure of any public employee. The Prime Minister is the minister with responsibility for the Public Service. When you consider that the PM makes it his business to repudiate all of Sinckler’s policy statements, I will only take that assurance from the PM and then only with a pinch of salt.


  37. Wait David, what happened to the “Reply” tool. Has it gone the same way as the Drainage People tools? Put on the back of a truck.

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