Toni Moore and Akanni McDowall: No More Licks!

Submitted by William Skinner
Toni Moore, General Secretary, BWU and Akanni Mc Dowall, President, NUPW

Toni Moore, General Secretary, BWU and Akanni Mc Dowall, President, NUPW

Refreshingly, the new young leadership of the two major trade unions has made its collective presence felt. This is good because we all know that the old guard had become soft and was not prepared to take on the current administration.


Both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party have always been well served by our union leadership. The history is there and those who were involved in trade unions going back to the sixties know the script.

I can only hope that these new young and vibrant trade unionists are not in the pockets already of either the Government or Her Majesty’s Opposition. We all know how the political opportunists operate: when in opposition you march with the workers; when in government you simply do not. Bet your bottom dollar that those who are so much in love with the unions today, may not be that romantic when they are calling the shots!

The question as asked by Smokey Burke in one of his popular love songs is :Where do we go from here…he continued : I am not trying to discourage you in any way my dear/but I have had so many broken hearts in my life time before /that I am afraid I can’t take on any more. And finally: Falling in love is not a game at all / You may be out for kicks but I can’t take no licks because my heart is not a ball…”

For the better part of forty years the workers in Barbados have been given the short end of the stick. I am speaking of ALL workers. In terms of the professional bodies, they have not feared too well: nurses, teachers , police, junior doctors have all been fighting uphill battles. We have seen employers bluntly refuse to recognize unions; workers being fired without any compassion. In recent times, the so-called Social Partnership was used as a sophisticated public relations tool . This partnership became so “successful” that, it was impossible to tell the difference between the unionists and the workers. Just like the pigs and the farmers, after a while, on Animal Farm.

So, I score round one for the unions and their forthright stance. Now, I await, with guarded optimism, to see what will the rest of the struggle look like. I refuse to be a pessimist and castigate young leaders for making use of the opportunities to be useful agents of social change. They are to be complimented .I hope they rely on real on independent thinkers and advisers. Our country needs an infusion of young ,fearless leaders at all levels.

This talk about youth leadership is a sorry red herring. Arthur, Mottley, Stuart, Jones, Inniss and many others are very young people and they started their careers no older than the two leaders of the BWU and NUPW. Quite frankly in terms of public involvement, we have always had very young citizens actively involved. So let us get off this silly criticism of McDowall (NUPW) and Moore (BWU). Judge them by their contributions not their birth certificates.

The workers of Barbados must be like Smokey Burke and tell the opportunists that love is not a game at all. Quite frankly all of the political management class should listen to this love ballad.’Cause if they only out for kicks, the workers can’t take no more licks. Their hearts are not balls.


  • @David
    What has intelligence to do with consolidating positions if the concessions that are be offered are deemed unreasonable by any or all parties involved? One does not find a single instance in union negotiation where the strategy employed isn’t to hold out as a means to increase further pressure on government demands.


  • @ David
    Have you ANY idea of the extent to which your approval ratings would sky-rocket ..if you simply were to quietly and discretely arrange for your spam bucket to develop a close relationship with Dompey’s and AC’s excreta?
    ….surely you can find a way to blame WordPress …or even Bushie… should they eventually wise up to the realisation that BU is no longer contaminated with their shiite.

    Cuh dear man nuh!!!!???


  • @Bush Tea

    The delete button works well.

    On 18 July 2015 at 23:57, Barbados Underground wrote:



  • Bush Tea

    Oh! Go in a corner and keep yah mout shut Bush Tea because you have yet to tell us where you have attended school in Barbados. AC, tell that you’re foriegner who entered Barbados by way of the banana-boat, but I now feel comfortable regarding her assumption, and will take her word as Gospel with respect to your schooling or lack thereof Bushie.


  • @ observing….You wrote” will the real leader please stand up”. If you have a message for Donville Inniss be man enough and say so.
    @ bushtea. …Please leave my boy Dompey alone.There is much to learn from him.


  • Bush Tea, can you please answer this simple question: where have you attended school in Barbados? GP, Moneybrain and the BU lot are proud to inform us that their have attended Harrison College; a school of national reputation in Barbados. How about doing us the honors Bushie?


  • Bush Tea, I thought so … you chicken…fraud and want to be intellectual. shame on you … you haven’t the testicular fortitude to tell the BU readership where you have attended school in Barbados. Have a great night yah fraud.


  • Man David …the delete button ain’t wukking…!!! You mean de scroll past button ..ent it..???

    @ Hamilton Hill
    OK buddy…. but it hurts…. LOL 🙂


  • David, I hope that you have realize by now the Bush Tea is covetous fella? The poor fella feels begrudged if the floodlights aren’t on him at all times and from all angles. I pitty the mother who bear and the father who borne this wreched specimen of humanity.


  • Dompey Bro, right there in your US of A is an eminent Cardiologist ,who did not go to any brand name school in Barbados,and there are many more professionals,both at home and abroad ,who too have not attended your desired brand name schools.


  • Colonel, you know that the only thing people care about in America is the nature of the school one has attended. Who is this reputable Cardiologist of whom you speak brother? Are you speaking of Doctor Oz or Doctor Atkins, these are the only two cardiologist of national acclaimed I know of?


  • Bush Tea

    I gine see yah tah morraw morin Bushie boy. I gine tah bed now becausing de old lady is meking mah tah gaah tah church en de morin. But as mah maddah usta saa: I love like aa butcher love a pig. Good night and dont let yah godies roll all night papa.


  • @dompey
    “what’s wrong with the three major union grappling over the different concerns for their membership?”

    Nothing is wrong except that the major and most critical concerns really aren’t that different at all.

    “Are you saying that a consolidation of these three major unions will put added pressure on government”

    The events of the past week speak for themselves and there are more than three major ones.

    I have yet to see the correction or the misconception. Continue to keep the big picture in mind. Breaks do a great job of sharpening the eyesight and the intuition.

    Let me put some of the common union issues on the table

    general appointments and official establishment of temporary offices
    Interpretation of the PSA (particularly section 13)
    Implementation of the ERA (particularly Part V and schedules 2 and 4)
    periodic consultation (i.e. Social Partnership meetings and meetings with the reporting Ministry/Permanent Secretary)
    specific consultation (i.e. dismissals, redundancies etc.)
    being taken seriously as a partner in the labour/employment process
    lack of current, correct and continuous information from government
    lack of recent bargaining agreements in some areas
    Interpretation of the Statutory Pension Act (particularly section 8)
    Lack of recent salary negotiations or pay increases

    None of these are isolated to any one union. They affect all and that is only the tip of the common iceberg. But, despite the above and more we have the CTUSAB farce masquerading as an umbrella body for all unions. Monsieur Murrell only appears when there are cocktails and a photographer. We have BUT and BSTU forever at loggerheads or poaching from one another quietly. We have BWU still not a part of CTUSAB nor the Social Partnership. We have NUPW who believes (or believed) it has the right to the biggest voice and vote within CTUSAB on all issues. We have Unity Workers Union doing its own thing. WE have the other staff associations and other groups being neither here nor there. It makes an absolute mockery of the phrase “solidarity forever” and emboldens their enemies to continue to divide, conquer and neutralise.

    Just imagine, after the brazen display and show of force earlier this week we now have

    Mr. Waldron begging SSA to have a heart and pay workers when the law says they shouldn’t be
    Mr. MacDowall asking to return to the table for talks
    Miss Moore slowly returning to her passive stance
    BUT, BSTU, and CTUSAB quickly retreating to their comfortable head offices
    The 10-13 BIDC workers still off the job, but with a fatter bank account
    UWU taking up the fight once again with Customs and Immigration
    SSA workers not sure if they’re coming, going or staying
    The roads and the alleys remain stink stink stink
    The canefields and the gullies getting filled with garbage bags every day

    We like um so.

    @David, 7:23

    I heard the latest and overheard the BS that goes with it. Let’s see how long this merry go round will go around.

    Does this sound like we’re making any progress??

    Donville my arse. stupse.

    I love my country. But I also know that we can do much better than this.

    Just observing


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