Where is the Vision?

Submitted by The Barbados Lobby

Toni Moore, General Secretary, BWU

After reading the address that was given by the leader of the Barbados Workers Union on the BWU 74th Anniversary on October 5, 2015, I came to the conclusion that the address was void of any connection to the political and economic situation that is currently unfolding in Barbados.


Had that address been delivered 10 years ago when strike activity was not an everyday occurrence, I may not have been in a position to be critical.

Ms. Moore spoke about solidarity and a need for a change in the attitudes of workers. It caused me to wonder if all the recent protests were not proof enough that there was solidarity amongst the workers. I also felt that if she was not happy with the attitudes of some workers, that the attack did not fit the occasion which was celebratory and included all of the workers not only the guilty. She also spoke to crime but did not connect it to the rise in unemployment.

It may have been most fitting if she had spoken about the increasing number of strike action that seems to be headed towards the second watershed in island’s history. She could have also spoken about abandonment or the end of an era and I would have understood the context of her address given the reality of the trade union movement that gave birth to two political parties in Barbados.

The Union has itself to blame for its seemingly diminished role in labour relations in Barbados especially with the present administration. Of the two political parties, it favoured one and alienated the other. History, the great decider, has noted that the BWU has always been on the side of the DLP, the present administration, until recently with one exception. This led everyone to surmise that the Union was in bed with the Government. Not once was it said the other way around that the Government, which is a labour party, was in bed with the Union. This in itself is a contradiction because the Government is supposed to be pro-labour. Not in recent memory has the Union exhibited the same relationship with the Barbados Labour Party.

It is really a strange tale that the favoured and supposedly pro labour party, the Democratic Labour Party has seemingly severed its umbilical cord from its trade union birth. It is now in an antagonizing relationship because that party has sent home more workers in the past few years than known to living memory in Barbados. It withholds national insurance contributions, refuses to pay severance, and has only recently had a functioning tribunal to hear severance grievances. Added to this tale the party has stopped providing free tertiary education to the children of the working class. All these things make one wonder if a change of name is imminent for the present administration. It is clearly not on the side of the working class but catering to its own self-interest. Perhaps there may no longer be any real labour parties in Barbados.

The very thought of the evolution of the BWU to the 74th anniversary should have given the Union leader much more to speak about. If she has forgotten her recent struggle as her address does not mention it, she should have focused on the future. One does not know if she sees the glass as half full or half empty or what is her vision to take the Union over the looming watershed that is on the political and economic landscape. One does not know what solutions she will bring to the table to help transform the Union as it moves into the 21st century to be once again recognized as a player in the game not only with government but the private sector with its increasing foreign ownership and profit driven motives; to again claim a stake for the labour force in Barbados. The only thing that one knows for sure is that the incestuous relationship is over; leaving one to wonder what is next on the Union’s agenda.

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8 Comments on “Where is the Vision?”

  1. Anthony Davis October 14, 2015 at 6:37 PM #

    I think that she has hit the nail on its head in all that she has said – especially the bit that it is left to be seen where the unions go from here on.

    Speaking about unions!

    It has been brought to my attention that Oran employees who want to drink water have to, as of Monday this week, step out of the building and drink it, and then return to their workplaces.

    This not only smacks of employers abusing their powers, but is antediluvian!

    Whoever issued this directive can only be an imbecile!

    I have two scenarios:

    1) The sun is boiling hot, and if the employee wants a drink of water he/she must go outside, drink his/her water and return to his/her workplace.

    2) The rain is pouring, and if the employee wants a drink of water he/she has to go and stand in hte pouring rain, drink his/her water and then return to his /her workplace.

    That idea is so bright it would light up the darkest cave!

    Can anyone believe that such hogwash is going on in Barbados in the 21st century, and immediately before our 50th Independence anniversary?

    Are there no union representatives at Oran?

    If so, are they sleeping or are they in bed with the supervisors/owners of Oran?

    Whichever way it is, hte union bosses had better look into this ludicrous situation!

    As former Prime Minister Owen Arthur said: “Massa day done!”


  2. Violet C Beckles October 14, 2015 at 6:40 PM #

    Start with Owen and MIA , all was in bed with the UNIONS smooth and happy crooks on every level, DLP wins and now did not go along with the agreements of the BLP, PM David started cleaning house on every level and all the shit went out of control , The Murder of PM David was taken over by a crook AG, NOW PM crook, along with the COP and lawyers blocking under. The Payments were stopped to the yardcocks. The BLP leave their Sir titles that control the Unions,As the Sir were paid off with Free Land and no taxes,Now the free land so-called Land Bank is gone, Land was not the government to play with, OPP Other People Property,Now all jump ship and hand over the UNION to others that seem not to had a hand in the Massive Fraud, Making it look now like the new heads messing up things.. Long time coming the RATS ran hard and leave the new people looking like fools ,Nothing more to gain but voting out the DBLP and starting clean ,

    Barbados problems are on every level , no clean hands , So all hands must GO,
    Maybe now people can see what 300.00 DBS vote buying does when all people can think of is PARTY. The greed and the greedy, Welcome to the NEW BARBADOS ON ITS WAY DOWN DOWN BELOW HAITI .


  3. David October 14, 2015 at 6:57 PM #


    What is the Oran’s reason for issuing the staff order?


  4. The Phanton October 14, 2015 at 7:48 PM #

    Before we offer comments of the alledges Oran issue, let us establish whether it is fact or fiction.


  5. Violet C Beckles October 14, 2015 at 10:08 PM #

    More Massive land fraud in Guyana , Barbados is next look out DBLP government



  6. pieceuhderockyeahright October 15, 2015 at 4:28 AM #

    @ Violet C Beckles.

    De Ole Man would hazard a guess that any third political party (led by Caswell Franklyn) running on a campaign build around an “Asset Recovery Poilcy” and promise will get significant ballots at a General Election!!

    People are tired of the corruption ON BOTH SIDES OF THE FENCE!!


  7. Dompey October 16, 2015 at 8:57 PM #


    It would be of great interest to see Caswell Franklyn on a third party run, but does this man has what it takes to govern a small nation whose population equals that of a large city in America?

    Now all I have gotten from from Mr. Caswell Franklyn thus far is lot of smoke which in my view produces a certain intellectual apathy to say the least.


  8. David October 18, 2015 at 9:05 AM #

    NHC owes NIS $10m

    BARRY ALLEYNE, barryalleyne@nationnews.com

    Added 18 October 2015


    Director of the NIS, Ian Carrington. (FP)

    The National Insurance Scheme (NIS) is going after the cash-strapped National Housing Corporation (NHC) to the tune of almost $10 million.

    Related articles

    The amount is the tally from a series of certificates filed by the NIS in the Supreme Court, dating as far back as 2009 and as recently as February this year, making claims against the country’s housing agency for delinquent contributions.

    The largest claim so far is for $1.9 million in a case filed by the NIS in September last year after it was first lodged in 2009. Another certificate filed in September 2013 is for $1.8 million due, and in April 2011, for $1.1 million.

    Please read the full story in today’s Sunday Sun, or in the eNATION edition.


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