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.

113 thoughts on “Toni Moore and Akanni McDowall: No More Licks!

  1. The above should have read: “………… was impossible to tell the difference between the unionists and the employers……..” Not the unionists and the workers. My apologies.

  2. Well put Sir, now only time will tell. One gets the sense that intimidatory tactics will be ignored. I kept praying that somebody would ask our PM (peace maker) what difference would it make who spoke on the union’s behalf? Was it about the message, and not the messenger? If memory serves correctly it was Donville Inniss and not the minister of finance who offered clarity on the decimal point debacle. The PM (peace maker) needs to understand that for too long now the integrity of trade unionism has been compromised. It became further compromised when this admiinistration used a well known credit union advocate to shove a financial suppository up the asses of members, and in so doing showed all and sundry how long held beliefs are often altered through political affiliation. I say lets all salute and support this gathering of young Turks.We can do no worse than we have under the old guard.

  3. If these two young leaders were representing the union when the NCC workers were given walking papers I wounder what the outcome would be.

  4. @Skinner, to paraphrase you: ” those who were involved in [politics] going back to the sixties know the script.”

    With that said why are we even ‘pic’ing our teeth’ over the remarks about youth and immaturity. Age discrimination/criticism is also part of the script.

    Didn’t a young Barrow called Adams an ‘old man’, wasn’t Thompson called a ‘boy wet behind the ears’. Do we not now disparage Owen Arthur as old and outdated and other such ridiculous comments.

    Par for the course. Was always so and will always be so. As you suggest the focus is on whether they know their stuff or not….seems they do.

    Oh, and we generally expect our leaders to show their leadership skills from an early age. It’s just that when we disagree with them we call them immature!

    We also say we value the wisdom and experience of our elder statesmen/women but when we disagree we call them fossils.

    So as you say, focus on the issues!

  5. @David
    IS BWU a part of the Social Partnership? Were they represented at the subcommittee meeting?

  6. Agree wholeheartedly with this article.
    It is TRULY heartwarming to hear young leaders talk and ACT in support of THE RIGHT THINGS being done for everyone….even at a cost to the damn economy.
    The old guard were (are) only interested in who is in which camp; which Lodge; from which school; and who pass the kickbacks….

    Even if Toni, Akanni and Caswell have to shut the damn place down for a month and bring us old dishonest fogeys to our knees…and to CRIPPLE the damn economy….
    …it will be WELL worth it to regain a bit of INTEGRITY in public life bout here….

    Bushie KNOWS that as long as Caswell in involved it will be VERY difficult for these young leaders to stray from the path of RIGHTNESS….

    Bushie has therefore made a generous donation to his refuse collectors in THANKS for their heroic actions this week. If most right-minded Bajans did the same over the next week it would signal our commitment of support to those who do the right things at personal cost.

  7. Mr. Skinner

    You claimed that we all know that the old guard had become soft. Sorry, I must dispute that, they did not become soft, they allowed themselves to become corrupt by things like duty free cars, Blackberries, donations from Chefette for union functions, truck loads of free Arawak cement when building your mansion on the hill, friendships, national honours and an assortment of other inducements. They were not biting the hands that fed them.

  8. I find that we need input from all age groups to make a balanced decision. I applaud the unions for standing up in the face of the erosion of workers’ rights. After the dust settles They should also try to educate the workers on the importance of doing a good job at their workplaces in order to take this country forward. Somehow we must get past the fact that the persons above us may not be the best (square pegs in round holes sometimes) and do our part to the best of our abilities. I know from experience that It is extremely hard to do but we can no longer afford to dawdle. We are on a slippery slope. New attitudes need to be encouraged among workers for the survival of our nation even if the old attitudes persist among the powers that be. Let us work on ourselves first and then tackle the leaders who will be harder nuts to crack.

  9. Observing July 17, 2015 at 9:11 AM #

    Observing your comment is short and wise don’t hold your breath for an answer to your question from the detractors. Yes the BWU and NUPW were in attendance.

    No sensible person resists young people orderly taking over from the older generation in all facets of human endeavor. If young people didn’t do so civilization as we know it would vanish there would be no progression.

    McDowall and Toni Moore have been found wanting in this uncalled for national trauma. A pellucid clear example is their hasty press conference to declare victory immediately after the social partnership meeting in which they participated. Their take on the outcome was flawed big time. McDowall now says he is willing to meet with the BIDC to talk about better terms and conditions for the separated 10 or 13. That is exactly what cooler heads called on him to do long before the NUPW and BWU threw the island into turmoil. Even after “his victory” declaration garbage remains uncollected and the SSA and Customs the victors persist with irresponsible strike action.

    Esther Byer for once raised her game she was obviously factual in her statement of what was agreed at the social partnership meeting under her chairmanship. No one including the unions have contradicted her . We await word from Pat Cheltenham the lawyer McDowall told us he consulted on Byer’s statement.

    Its a sign of progress to have young leadership take over the unions on the other hand they must learn to listen to experience and tread carefully with the use of the strike weapon. Evelyn Greaves posited that industrial action is a sharp edged tool. It can decimate the nation state if not used with an abundance of caution. One can only guess lessons were learned from the fiasco. There was no victory for the unions or government. The industrial relations climate should have never reached the low it did. Its noteworthy the silent majority did not join the unions and take to the streets to bring down the government they voted in two years ago. That’s a bonus lesson in politics.

  10. @ David July 17, 2015 at 8:11 AM #

    It seems Toni Moore did a good job of rubbaging minister Byer’s statement.


    Toni Moore is gradually growing on me. I had reservations when she took over the BWU but she comes over as someone who thinks hard and long and she is making sense.

    I liked quick retort to a reporter who asked her at the press conference what she thought about what the PM said about the union……….she threw the PM’s nasty comments back at him………….she see that as only noise! Epic!

    The unions were right not to wait on Dr Byer to make the only statement……… one in the union movement trusts her. She wanted to have the only say so that it would be what the DLP wants…………….this party paramountcy is destroying Barbados.

    Any member of the Cable and Wireless union would tell you that when they had their dispute with the company, she agreed one thing with them and then went behind their backs and told the company something else……………….so the NUPW was right to shaft her before she shafted them. She is out of her depths.

  11. David;

    You said;

    “It seems Toni Moore did a good job of rubbaging minister Byer’s statement.”

    Is there a report on her statement. I have’nt seen it. Grateful if you could point us to it.

    I agree totally with Balance above and had actually hinted in an earlier post that it seemed to me that Dr. Byer was up to her usual m.o. of misinterpreting agreements after reflecting on the possible consequences of what she might have given up.

    I liked Akanni McDowall’s bare bones statement in this morning’s Nation Newspaper. It betrays a maturity that appears to be lacking in both the PM’s earlier diatribe and the MoL’s statement.

    • Toni Moore’s statement was carried in the VoB 7:30 news and it should be rubbishing!


      Is there a difference with using ignore instead of withdrawn? If there is agreement by the MoL the NUPW and Unions are back where the matter should have started what is the point of the semantics?

  12. @David
    I think you have the wrong person. I just want(ed) genuine answers to two simple questions.

    With regards to the matter we all agree that the issue is more than the BIDC. Claiming victory, defeat or progress still leaves the horrendous status quo of mistrust, fractured industrial relations and disharmony in the sectors that need it most. These are the matters that need addressing.

    the MoL does the bidding of her superior. Remember that.

    “the NUPW was right to shaft her before she shafted them. ”

    agreed, but a good and proper shafting should leave the shaftee out of breath, lying on their back and staring at the ceiling in silence.

    any thoughts on running for office? you sound like someone I can vote for 🙂

    Just observing

  13. Jolly Good showing so far by these unions, however, we hope they too don’t become corrupt as Caswell so aptly addressed.

    That Suckoo statement was in real bad taste. She got the strike averted right? So why come back with semantics shoite talk? What diff does it make who speak first Suckoo? Stuppess….

  14. It matters to the DLP because they are not interested in substance only in optics. They running a country purely on optics and they intend to win another elections purely on optics.

  15. So going forward where did this strike take us. The law still remains in place and a
    its relevancy to intrepretation remains unresolved. The Unions have been grounded and placed to stand on one foot. The country is no wiser than the day the strike started. The only saving grace is the country has stayed in tact with little or no harm done to the economy
    So!so much for the young Turks who could have ceased and capatalize( maybe )a once in a lifetime moment to make radical change.

  16. Dean

    I dont think that any amount of vote buying or optics will be able to save these dems next time. The people are fed up.

    One of them better try to wrestle the nomination for St John away from Mara Thompson as it would be a hell of a thing if she is the only woman left standing!

  17. @ ac July 17, 2015 at 12:59 PM #

    “The country is no wiser than the day the strike started. The only saving grace is the country has stayed in tact with little or no harm done to the economy”


    Your posts are so “bent twist” that you cannot hold you to any position…… are always all over the place………….a true political troll.

    But just watch and see that when the dopey governor comes out with the next quarter results and the imaginary growth that he keeps projecting is not realised…………the governor and your ac consortium will blame the strike for the poor results.

    Mark my words……..but for now you have prove your dlp talking points to denigrate the NUPW by saying……………………………

    “The country is no wiser than the day the strike started. The only saving grace is the country has stayed in tact with little or no harm done to the economy”

    You are pathetic!

  18. @ David

    I logged onto VOB 92.9 chat and, interestingly, some of those making comments mentioned that the electronic and print media were not giving us enough information pertaining to pertinent issue in Barbados. They were suggestions that people should read “Barbados Underground.”

    This forum has been instrumental in highlighting issues the main stream press seem afraid to investigate and report the results of those investigations.

  19. Rome was not built in a day and there are Unions who have used the Courts to champion and reigned in Change. The youngTurks still immature and inexperienced should have seek the intervention of the Courts and the momentum given by the people in show of strength as a cataylst which would have embolden their cause sending a message one which would not have gone unnoticed by the court.

  20. Observing;

    You said above;
    “@awty; the MoL does the bidding of her superior. Remember that.”

    Notwithstanding the doctrine of primus inter pares, I know that normally Ministers do the bidding of their superiors. But remember that this is the Freundel Stuart administration. Did the four Ministers who signed the Cahill MOU do the bidding of their superior, implicitly or explicitly? Did the ministers in any of the cases which strongly hint at amorality do his bidding? Seems to me that a Minister doing the bidding of the PM has been standard for all past Administrations but seems to be largely followed in the breach by this one.

    I might be wrong but I think the PM has been praised by some commentators as having a policy of allowing his ministers to operate untrammelled from direct supervision by him.

    But the MoL heard the PM’s views on the matter on CBC the day before. If he was not play acting, she should have interpreted it as indicating very clearly and muscularly that he would not support any measure that hinted at a whiff of acceeding to the NUPW’s demands. Yet, she essentially capitulated to their essential demands of reinstating the workers and not going the legalistic route.

    That could only mean one or a combination of factors and therein lies a problem for the Stuart administration.

    Think about it. Perhaps the MoL only did the bidding of her superior after the Union upstaged her in having their talk with the press and that provoked her response about the agreements that has not been corroborated by any of the other participants, not even the other Government Minister at the talks who is not normally known to be reticent.

  21. @ ac July 17, 2015 at 1:31 PM #

    “The youngTurks still immature and inexperienced”

    Keep singing this tune, ac!

    Why dont you join a tent and sing this song? The “young, immature and inexperienced” turks have you dems going crazy, your heads are exploding………..making you fire off all kinds of nasty verbal bombs at them. Pow, Pow, Pow!

    You dems now cannot deal with non-compliant unions. Deal with it, Walter Maloney and Dennis Clarke ………….arse lickers are gone………deal with that.

    One can never understand a dem……….one minute you want to get rid of “old” people but of course that does not refer to any of the old people like the PM or the many DLP hacks who are highly paid consultants…………

    The old guard from the union has gone. You dems cannot deal with that…… is clear from the Fumble’s catty rantings that he wants the old guard back as they did not upset the dlp agenda.

    Why even the chairman of the board whose decision it was to send home these people looks to be over 60!

    Saying you dems are hypocrites is putting it mildly!

  22. Are-we, you may be very right re “… a Minister doing the bidding of the PM has been standard for all past Administrations but seems to be largely followed in the breach by this one” but I see it differently.

    The slow and plodding demeanor used by the PM cannot be actual disengagement. That does not fit with the outmaneuvering savvy to rise to the top.

    Regardless, however, he is the leader of the team and is accountable for the actions of all his ministers.

    If he wants to give us the impression that he trusts them to act alone and does not closely consult on important matters of state (like CAHILL) so be it. But then how can he be this studious, wise leader with excellent judgement as he also pretends?

    So I say again, that does not fit with the guy who finally outmaneuvered all to rise to the top.

    The man is as conniving as they come. He knows exactly all that is going on.

  23. Unlike u prodigal the blp a..s licker ac does not hold to fast and hardend to dictates or dictators when the country,s best interest is at stake.There is a philosophy which butt and bounds between or interest to serve or to be served with the former being your only interest

  24. De Ingrunt Word;

    You may be right.

    But in any case I think it does not bode well for the country as Ministers appear not to be harnessed to move in any one strategic direction but seem to be doing whatever they want to do.

  25. but then again prodigal the blp loser that u are ! only understand goverance by mob rule one of the reasons u and the other lost blp soldiers were so estactic in seeing the country toppled over going as far back as 2008 and seized
    upon this unfortunate event to push your doom and gloom agenda forward one that the govt was highly aware of and sensible enough to put forward a proposal to the young Turks whose excuberance was blindsided by the biggest and largest political gaffe in the history of Unionism

  26. Somebody please explain to me, why do importers have to pay storage fees if the delay in collection is due to Customs being on strike? Am I missing something here? Government does not have the wherewithal to deliver a service and the consumer is called upon to pay storage fees because of that shortcoming? Wow, wish I owned a government. If you pay your taxes late there is a penalty, if government owes you a tax refund they borrow the money from you to pay you what is owed. Sweet.

    • @Artax

      Thanks, BU is what it is because of you guys, even the dullards lol.


      The law is an ass they say.

      The bottomline, the Unions pull the BIDC back to the negotiating table. Let us see where it leads. Now we have this option form business at the sea and airports.

      A fractious and garulous society we have become.

    • FearPlay

      You wished you owned a government, who do you think you are? Maloney? Bjerkham?

      Sent from my iPad


    • @Bushie

      Heard the comment by Sealy and the FLOW people. We will have fibre to download movies and make calls from hotspots etc. Let us hope we used the improved technology to grow business segments. It seems this government which promised not too long ago to build a society has become fixated on the economic side of the job.

  27. @ David
    The bottomline, the Unions pull the BIDC back to the negotiating table. Let us see where it leads. Now we have this option form business at the sea and airports.
    In a situation of drastic change, the POWER BROKERS have a duty to be open and forthcoming with the actions that they take. This becomes even more critical in an environment tainted with underhand deals like Cahill, CLOCO, Barrack, Dodds, Greenland etc.

    THIS RESPONSIBILITY is at the feet of Government and private sector employers.
    Government even more so…since they control the LAW and legislate the processes to be used.

    What would you REALLY expect the unions to do where power brokers are CLEARLY seeking to hide and do shiite as they like?
    It is alright for some of us to talk shiite about ‘business suffering and losses’…. What the hell do you think those laid off workers are ALREADY facing every day….?
    How does the union represent these dispossessed in the face of ARROGANT power brokers without FLEXING its own muscles?
    …if someone is already busting your tail with licks…are you expected to seriously contemplate the possibility that your defences could cause pain to other persons -especially persons who have shown NO REGARD for your ALREADY severe pain….

    Man left the damn union do!
    ..the problem lies with the modern absentee slave-based organisations (the MODERN DAY West India Companies) …and with the current ‘Black Jacobins’ who are playing the role of selling their black peoples back into 21st century slavery.

    Boss… Bushie hung his head in deep SHAME today after hearing Sealy (standing in for the sleeping PM) praising Cable and wireless as the best thing since slice bread….

    WHAT THE F***** (France) !!!

    Here is a TOP black government official celebrating a situation where we have gone from having a B.E.T. …. owned, operated and run by top rate BAJANS….. to having a group of absentee smart aleck white people in our faces talking shiite bout ’employing 500 people’.
    ….Wuh the old plantations used to ’employ’ nuff blacks too….

    …and the ‘PLUS’ that makes it all worth it …???(according to Sealy…)

    “FIBRE in every house….”
    Fibre shiite!!!
    ..where the ass will people be able to afford ‘houses’ with such widespread layoffs? ..far less fibre…?

    Can you imaging that Sir Cave Hilary came here 25 years ago warning about the dastardly wickedness of our plantation history…..only to come now as one of the chief traitors to blacks – ….fraternising with the enemy, and helping to sell Bajans on the wisdom of ‘going back to Egypt’ rather than follow the path set by ‘Dipper’ Moses….

    Skipper…. if you know what is good for you …yuh better leave those young Unionists for Bushie hear…?
    …else it will be cat piss and pepper bout here on BU….. 🙂

  28. Artaxerxes,

    I replied to your comments re my “contradictory” statements on the Freundel thread. Please read and acknowledge.

  29. @David,

    I hope this “fibre” by Flow will lead to more young Bajans working from home. It should help the “Creative community”.

    That is better than downloading movies and talking shiite.

  30. Dean Forest

    I am not quite sure what you intended to convey when alleged that the DLP is only concerned with Optics? The employment of the word Optics within your above statement seems more like a contradiction in terms, or a complete dichotomy of what the DLP is doing. Nevertheless, the point I am endeavoring to make is this: if the DLP is selling the people a bill of goods, why is it that you and those of your liken are aware of this fact and not the people themselves? Doesn’t such a statement vitiates the collective-intelligence of the Barbadian people? That you and your chosen few are privy to the esoteric insight regarding the affairs of the DLP.

  31. I don’t get it espeacially when it is coming from people who claims to be well lettered. Doesn’t the majority opinion in most cases support the basis of truth, and doesn’t an overwhelming evidence supports a guilty or not guilty verdict? Where is that Gallup Poll or Random-Survey in support of a people whose discontent with government has reached crisis point?

  32. Donna

    It is not the Union responsibility to educate the workers to do a good Job to move the country forward.The Union reponsibility is to negotiate a fair contract for its membership, and to provide the proper representation if such terms of the contract are not met.

    • Dompey

      It pains me to have to respond to your nonsense but in this case I cannot allow you to put that drivel out and let it remain unchallenged. Unions have a responsibility to ensure that the enterprise, which provide employment for its members, survives and do well. In order to live up to that responsibility, the union must constantly impress upon its members that they must do a good job.

      Any union that fails to do so would be failing its members. If the workers refuse to do a good job and that impacts negatively on the business to the extent that the business fails that would put all the employees at risk. Similarly, in government, if workers fail to do a good job it would impact negatively on the bottom line which might cause Government to raise additional revenue in the form of taxes. In that case, everyone suffers.

      So Mr. Dompey please stick to something where you might have some knowledge but that something is clearly not Trade Unionism.


  33. Donna, the employer will make sure that the employee does a good job or else he or she will be booted out after reaching the last step in the progressive discipline process.

  34. Just when we thought that they had finally hit rock bottom with their jack ass ideas we are proved wrong again. Lets face the fact that we will never be able to interpret these boss moves. Rescind the letters…..replace them with option forms, albeit another dept. Talk about commitment to tranquil and harmonized industrial relations. Come come ac, let me see you defend this latest move. There is nothing that Caswell writes that ever escapes your vision so surely you know that the unions were in deep discussion with government where customs officers are concerned. Are you ready to accept that this set of clowns far, far out to sea?

  35. Almost a week after McDowell and Toni Moore triumphantly declared victory the stinking garbage piles across the island are higher than houses with the smell worst than Mount Stinkeroo. The winners of the battle against GOB the sanitation workers and the customs officers remain on strike punishing the poor taxpayers in an unprecedented show of spite A friend opined that the sanitation and customs were on go slow for years so we might as well grin and bear it. Its this unacceptable state of affairs that has the BLP yard fowls happy and dancing in the streets. Lord come for your world.

  36. Caswell Franklyn

    I have been a member of the 1199 Healthcare Union here for close to thirty years, and even marched with Jesse Jackson who is a major supporter of our Healthcare Union in 1990 statewide strike against the governor’s threatened layoffs. I have also been an Union delegate for a few years, so I have a basic understanding filing grievances on behalf of the employees, and a knowledge of the Arbitration process. Sorry.

  37. Caswell Franklyn

    I have long abandon my faith in the Union because I have noticed ( have been a delegate myself) a progressive decline in the representation of the Union for its membership from as early as the 90’s to the present. Now, I am speaking from my personal experience and I am quite sure that many of the present day membership would share my sentiment.

  38. If there were winners in the recent BIDC issue , it wasn’t labour, it was the Private sector . The unions will sit now to determine what is the most humane way to sent home 10 BIDC ees.

  39. Why strike because of option forms – couldn’t the union simply ask its members not to complete the option forms until advised by the union? Or was the objective really to strike?

    • Alien

      You asked a very good question. The members of my union were not on strike because option forms were made available. The Public Service Act requires government to fill vacant post within a year. Rather than fill the posts, as required by law, the Government has taken a deliberate policy to ignore the law and not fill the posts. Some of these posts remain vacant for more than ten years. Mind you, officers have been acting in these posts, without the benefit of the appointment. In some cases, officers have been acting three of four grades above their substantive post.

      My members are insisting that Government follow the law and fill the post. Are you aware that of the 20 most senior posts in the Customs and Excise Department only one person is appointed to his post. All the others are acting. I am told that an officer remains temporary after having been recruited in 1999.

      I am not responsible for how others articulate their case. My members are not interested in working in the BRA, so option forms are not relevant to their cases. The last person to be substantively appointed to a customs officer post received that appointment in 2007. My members require the substantive appointments that they are entitled to under the provisions of subsections 13 (7), 13 (8) and paragraph 9 of the Recruitment and Employment Code of the Public Service Act.

      I hope that you have a different perspective.


  40. — CHAUCER July 18, 2015 at 10:04 AM # —

    The unions seemed to suggest that the strike was about respect for the unions and the failure of the BIDC to discuss the planned terminations with the unions before proceeding. Even if the final termination packages are not as attractive as the initial ones, the unions will have received their respect and discussion. Do unions in Barbados have strike funds for members that strike?

  41. @ Dompey…. How do you tie your every argument to American experience? Since that seems to be your way answer me this. If we employed the American standards here, where do you think Dr Lowe, Michael Lashley and Michael Carington would be right now? Not to mention Leroy Parris. Rather than glorify the DLP you left behind years ago, lobby those we have today to adopt the American way you seem to love. Using your American system tell us how long any state, much less the entire country would have accepted the obvious contempt for the electorate exhibited by the Honorable Freundel Stuart? Tell me dat Dompey.

  42. @ alien…. I think the point of sticking to protocol is most important here. Surely those sitting on the BRA side of negotiations knew that such a move could serve to do nothing more than bring contention. Should those forms not have gone through the representative body of the workers? Isn’t such a move akin to a marriage counsellor making contact with one spouse behind the back of the other? Would such be seen as acceptable?

  43. On top of it all the unions are dealing with a set of BLASTED LIARS. That cannot be denied, and certainly should not be discounted.

  44. Hamilton Hill

    Most if not the greater majority of theorists as well as the practioners would agree that there is a pressing need for the appropriate checks and balances, as well as the sustainable transparency which wars against the kind of improprities committed by certain elements of the Barbadian government. But wait, surely you’re not anticipating that government will institute the sort of ethics which wars against their own corruptive conduct? So Hamilton, my question to you is this: who do you really think is charged with the civic duty and responsibility of hold our political leaders answerable and accountability for they ill-conduct? You have read American political history ought to be cognizant of the answer I hope? All in all, the entire American way of life can testify to the fact that change in the current state of affairs has never been given voluntary by the ruling elements of government; it has been achieved through the legistrative process, but under the influenced and guide of social militancy.

  45. Workers in Barbados are better represented than those in America, when the total picture is taken into consideration. When we look at benefits such as vacations and maternity leave America is at the bottom of the world ratings. I quote: ” According to the United Nations’ International Labour Organization, there are only two countries in the world that don’t have some form of legally protected, partially paid time off for working women who’ve just had a baby: Papua New Guinea and the U.S.”

  46. @ Dompey….. All I really ask you is if you are so much into trying to tie every occurrence in Barbados to the American way of doing things, how in hell are you trying to defend the aforementioned? You didn’t answer…….but then again I guess ya did.

  47. William Skinner, I strongly disagree with your information that Unionized American workers are amongst the poorly represented in the world? The fact of the matter is the unionized American is amongst the highest paid in the world with a retirement package that is next to none. When we speak of the Union in America we cannot speak of it unilaterally as some done here. Union benefits varies from state to state and union to union brother.

  48. William Skinner

    Let me give an example of my rate of paid and tell me if it is comparable to the Unionized worker in Barbados.

    Now, let us assumed that I am paid at a rate of 50 hrs according to the binding- union-contract, and it so happened that I worked my 1st shilft from 6:00am ending at 2:00pm. And on this particular day the 2nd shilf decides to called and there is no one to be founded that will cover the 2nd shift. Then by binding-union-contract I am mandated at a rate of Double Time and a Haft, which in essence means that I am paid at a rate of 150 an hour. Does the Barbadian unionized worker enjoy such reward skinner?

  49. William Skinner

    And why would any unionized American worker would wish to have maternity leave? When all American workers are entitled to FMLA, the Family Medical Leave Act which is federally mandated especially for women who are giving birth.

  50. @ William Skinner

    An American worker unionized or otherwise can apply for FML A ( the Family Medical Leave Act) which takes the worker’s vacation, sick and personal time and apply it to the pregnant worker’s totally leave if she should run out of vacation time during this period. There is also a clause in our binding contract which entitled employees to donate their vacation, sick, or personal time to this pregnant worker if she should run out of time during this period as well.

  51. If a person is “acting” in a position for 6 months or more and does the job competently they should be appointed to that position.

  52. William Skinner July 18, 2015 at 11:15 AM
    A few years ago I paid one of my regular visits to a large US manufacturing plant, with branches throughout the country. An executive , who I regularly deal with, was over the moon as the company had just introduced a pension plan for its workers .He enquired if my company (back in Barbados) had such a plan,and was a bit taken back ,when I replied that we had one in operation for the last 25 years.

    • @Caswell

      Why are the unions not singing from the same sheet as far as the Customs is concerned.

    • David

      I can’t answer that. I take my instructions from the workers and that is the position that I am duty bound to articulate.

      Sent from my iPad


  53. Dompey July 18, 2015 at 12:37 PM #
    In some cases ,Bro, when a worker in Barbados,at least at some companies, is asked to work past his normal shift, lets say 7am to 4 pm, he is paid at “Time and a Half”, and if the work goes past 7.30 pm , he is paid a Dinner Allowance, and if he finishes work after the last bus departs the terminal,alternative transport is provided to take him home.

  54. @ Dompey,
    First I never said “unionised” My submission was workers in general, in Barbados, are better represented. Maybe I should have said better treated or that there is more progressive legislation governing worker and Labour rights in Barbados than there is in the U.S
    Your position on the FMLA is grossly inaccurate. Thee Family Leave Act (FMLA) grants up to 12 weeks unpaid leave a year but it only applies to full time workers with companies with 50 or more employees.Only about half of all working Americans are covered by FMLA. When it comes to paid leave it is even worse: only about 12 percent of American workers have access to it in the U.S.according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For you to opine that any American worker is covered by the FMLA is a gross inaccuracy.

  55. @ Dompey,

    I quote: ” Unless you work for a company that voluntarily offers it, or in one of three states, paid maternity leave does not exist in the U.S.” You cannot find any Federal Law to support your position because it simply does not exist to cover every American worker , as you stated.

  56. William Skinner

    Let me reiterate once more: there is obviously need for maternity leave when President Bill Clinton signed into the law the FMLA to addressed the problem of maternity leave.

  57. William Skinner

    Question: and how long can a woman in Barbados take maternity leave without losing her job?

  58. @ Colonel Buggy,
    I am not surprised. About 15 years ago, I told a group of American university graduates that Barbados and many Caribbean islands had free education, at that time, from kindergarten to university, they were stunned. When I told them that you could turn up at a hospital and be treated without insurance they thought I was teasing them. When I told them that government/public owned high schools were far more prestigious than private schools they honestly thought that I was just making up things.
    Years ago I took some Americans to a government unit at Kensington Lodge in the city. When I told them that the rent was probably less than 300US per month, they could not believe it !

  59. William Skinner

    You’re quite correct… companies in America do not offer maternity leave because federal mandate has taken care of that problem.

  60. @ Dompey,
    If you want to really understand progressive laws governing such things as maternity leave , please check Sweden. America is at the bottom. As for your question regarding maternity leave in Barbados, this may help you or you can consult an active trade unionist:
    (Cap. 345A)
    Purpose: To provide for the grant of maternity leave and for the protection of the employment of those employees during such leave.

    Key Features:

    An employee is required to provide a certificate from a medical practitioner advising the expected date of confinement; or a certificate issued by a medical practitioner or a midwife advising the actual date of confinement.
    To qualify for a grant of maternity leave an employee must be employed for at least twelve (12) months.
    Maternity leave is granted for a period of not less than twelve (12) weeks. It may be granted as a period not exceeding six (6) weeks prior to the expected date of confinement and not less than six (6) weeks after the date of confinement.
    A medical practitioner may recommend up to six (6) weeks additional leave for illness arising out of such confinement.
    The right not to be dismissed or to be given notice of dismissal between the date of delivery given on the medical certificate and the expiration of maternity leave or additional maternity leave granted.
    The right not to be given notice of dismissal which expires during maternity leave or additional maternity leave or to be dismissed during such leave.
    The right not to be dismissed or required to resign because of pregnancy.
    The right not to be required to resign during maternity leave or additional maternity leave.
    The right on resumption of work following maternity leave, to seniority rights and reinstatement in the former work or equivalent work.

  61. William Skinner

    Did you tell those same Americans what percentage of Barbadians made it to the tertiary level? And did you informed those Americans about the long wait at QEH and the quality of care? And did those American college graduates informed you of the starting salary of an university graduate in the United States?

  62. @ Dompey,
    I was merely trying to enlighten them on the progressive social services that the region/Barbados had at the time of the talk. I have been told that a visit to an American emergency room can be as long as five hours if the injury/ailmentis not life threatening, even if you have insurance. I have also been reliably informed that many American graduates are now working for as little as 400 per week in jobs that were once attractive to those who only had high school diplomas. You must remember that America is the richest country in the world and most states in America have bigger economies than Barbados and most islands in our region.

  63. William Skinner

    An expecting mother can take up to a year of FMLA, and if her vacation, sick and personal leave runs out within that allotted year. She can still continue her leave uninterrupted without pay and return to work within the prescribed time. I am afraid to concluded that the same doesn’t hold true for the expecting Barbadian worker?

  64. @ Dompey,
    I hope you understand that whereas in Barbados, there is paid maternity leave, no such thing exists in the U.S. And as I stated earlier the FMLA has several anti-worker clauses. You will find that the Barbados Laws are better for the worker and more progressive.

  65. William Skinner

    You know if some American college graduates are now working for as little 400 per week and in jobs that were once reserved for persons with high school diplomas. You know that university graduates in Barbados are out of working or are employed in areas of employment which once was reserved with persons with meager skills.

  66. @ Dompey,
    Again let me quote: “According to the United Nations’ International Labour Organization, there are only two countries in the world that don’t have some form of legally protected, partially paid time off for working women who’ve lost a baby: Papua New Guinea and the U.S. ”
    In other words , there is no Federal Law in the U.S. that makes it legal to pay maternity leave. Paid maternity leave simply does not exist in the U.S.
    As a matter of fact, a bill, the Family act, has been stalled in Congress for over a year. The Bill will make employers pay new parents paid leave at 66% of their salary. Even supporters of this Bill know it would still be inadequate because of the median household income of Americans.

  67. William Skinner

    Let us agree to disagree, agreeably regarding the topics of maternity leave in Barbados and FMLA in the U.S. We aren’t a in qualified position neither can with speak with any authority on these two matters of deliberation.

  68. The circus continues.
    If the trade union movement were serious, there would have been by now a meeting of all leaders to flesh out separate but philosophically related issues and then a true united show of force put forward to the government. But, crap, oh yes, each one is more concerned about their own agenda, and issues, and members. Unity is only convenient if there can be a national strike.

    Case in point, Caswell is arguing appointments, BWU/NUPW arguing about forms and dialogue. SSA striking for pay that they don’t automatically deserve, NUPW is “begging” the board to have a heart and pay the workers. Customs on go slow(er), so businesses are screwed an BWU employees suffer indirectly, and the “powers that be” continue like normal.

    You mentioned fractious industrial relations climate on another thread. I suspect worse is to come.

    Will the REAL leaders PLEASE stand up?

    Just observing

  69. William Skinner

    I shall concluded on this fact: years ago my wife applied for FMLA, with our second child. And during the course of her pregnancy she exhausted every bit of her vacation, sick and personal leave; and went without pay for a short stint before returning to her regular position at her job after a year.

  70. Will the current NUPW executive swear by affidavit that Mia Mottley did not make a sizeable Financial contribution to any of them in the last NUPW election for “campaign expenses”?

  71. Let us not be indignant in our view of the old guard who has for sometime stood the test, and served the better interest of the membership, before succumbing to the seductive enticement of the self-interest. Time I might add will be the barometer which will determining whether or not this new essence of juvenility will stay anchored to principles of honesty and selfless-service to the membership.

  72. Observing

    And what’s wrong with the three major union grappling over the different concerns for their membership? Are you saying that a consolidation of these three major unions will put added pressure on government and force it to the table of negotiation quicker?

  73. @ Dompey,
    There is no paid maternity leave in the U.S. The emphasis here is “paid”. The two countries in the world that do not have it are : Papua New Guinea and the U.S. I howver enjoyed the exchange very much and hope we can enlighten each other from time to time.

  74. Observing;

    Re. your 3:59 pm post;

    I never thought I’d live to see the day that Dompey (see his 5:57 post) would have corrected a misconception of yours. Time to take another break.

  75. It is clear that nupw is now lead by a bunch of lunatics, How can you appeal to the ssa board to have a heart and pay workers for work not done. SSA not one cent they must receive, Unions should pay for the withdrawal of labour. Is Wayne Waldrond for real. Then again what had become of the case when he spent sometime at Central Police station, Thanks to the last General Secretary.

  76. William Skinner

    Where have I argued that any state or company in America for that matter offered their employees paid maternity leave? I have even heard the term maternity leave since I migrated to the States a little over thirty years ago.

  77. William Skinner

    Don’t quote me on this one, but if my standard memory bank serves me correctly, I do believe that a lot of the thinking behind the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was due in part to the lack of maternity leave coverage for those employed women of child bearing age.

  78. William Skinner

    I am more than certain that you will never hear an expecting American woman speaking of maternity leave. And to be quite honest the last time I have heard that term mentioned in any conversation was when mother was pregnant with her last child some forty years ago.

    • @Observing

      The latest is the NUPW asking for a meetings with the MoL to clarify what they described as a misunderstanding. It is amazing intelligent people went into a room and could not agree to joint position. The BU household took a drive around the country tpday and the garbage pileup continues. It is really embarrassing what is unraveling in Barbados.

  79. @Are you there yet

    You know, I really dread the idea of empowering my ego with respect to my intellectual prowess when compared to persons of your sort here on BU. But let me say this much my learned friend: your jovial characterization of my intellectual-stance is in my view a reckless-extrapolation and a product of pure guesswork with meets with some measure of superficiality. That’s all I have to say in response to your facile analysis of who you perceived me to be.

  80. @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.

  81. @ 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:


  82. 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.

  83. @ 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.

  84. 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?

  85. 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.

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

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

  87. 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.

  88. 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.

  89. 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?

  90. 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.

  91. @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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