Trade Unions Baring Teeth on the Eve of 50th Independence Celebration

The BU household states for the record it supports the initiative by government to stoke our pride and industry by celebrating all that we have achieved since 1966. What we do NOT agree with is the government using the 50th Anniversary event as an opportunity to feather the popularity of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) with a general election looming large on the horizon.

It seems an exercise in tomfoolery that the government would engage in all year planning of the 50th Anniversary event and allow the grand finale to be ‘compromised’ by an escalation in the industrial climate in Barbados.

The incestuous relationship the government has with the NUPW (for sure) should be enough to make it aware that the climate is ‘hotting’ up. The government through the Prime Minister and the head of the Personnel Administration Department (PAD) will have to do a better job to convince BU and others that the Akanni McDowall matter does not have some politics in it. Not too long ago a DLP entrenched Derek Alleyne failed in a widely publicised motion to remove McDowall from the presidency of the NUPW.

The Barbados Workers Union (BWU) has entered the fray by issuing a 5 o’clock deadline to government to expire on the 19 November 2016. It claims the government through its agent the PAD has not responded to correspondence sent a month ago. Its General Secretary Toni Moore has threatened that the union is prepared to “bare its teeth” although it prefers a more conciliatory approach to resolving the grievances.

The Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) and the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union (BSTU) have also taken an aggressive position as it relates to the government addressing the matter of compensation for marking School Based Assessment (SBA). The government should take careful note that the SBA grievance is more a concern for the BSTU. The BUT has also signalled that the docking of pay from teacher salaries for attending a meeting a few months ago and the threat to dock the pay of those who attended the meeting yesterday has been placed on the radar. The BUT leadership has determined that the government has resorted to tactics to intimidate labour.

Already there are confirmed reports about the painful process Barbadians returning home have been experiencing to clear Immigration and Customs at the airport. Those of us who have experienced the service delivered by the two departments BEFORE the go-slow know that it was already slow because of the manual inspection methods used by Customs. One can only imagine the agony being experienced by weary Barbadians (travellers) as they clear Immigration and Customs on a daily basis. Let us hope it will not dampen their enthusiasm especially when it comes to spending the US dollars.

Can you imagine we have the ridiculous situation where there is confusion about whether Akanni McDowall has the required qualification for an established post in the civil service?  Can you imagine a junior employee with the same qualification as McDowall was recruited to fill the post? Can you imagine McDowall’s contract was terminated 6 weeks before it expired? The NUPW argues YES and the head of PAD say NO. May the lord help this country.

To complicate the issue –add oil to the industrial waters, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has hinted in a statement last week his government may have to introduce legislation to prevent unions from holding the country to ransom. Should we assume from the Prime Minister’s position that the touted social partnership is failing?

The takeaway from this submission is for the government to note that the trade unions are collaborating. A word to the wise should be sufficient. As we write this blog the industrial climate at the airport has deteriorated with a breakdown in wages talks.

By the way, was that Caswell Franklyn of Unity Workers Union sitting next to Toni Moore from Barbados Workers Union the other day?


  • The truth is beginning to seep out concerning the NUPW and there despicable actions in trying to use one arm tactics to achieve a goal ..this time the NUPW might have bitten off more than they can chew as govt seems resolute to fight them in every way denying them that most sought out win of destroying the economic security of a country , The silence of govt and non actions have become a major stumbling block working against the NUPW best actions of destruction leaving the NUPW looking dumbfounded and confused and like animals eating their young


  • The problem is that the Union’s Executive membership has continued to have skewed priorities since the Political Parties have selectively fed individual gluttony.

    The priorities are: Political Party – First; Self – Second; Tried and Tested Union principles – Third. They should be the other way around.

    The Unions are absolutely correct in the collective stance to stand up to the Government to support the President of the NUPW. No one in the NUPW should publicly question that stance without being summarily expelled. That someone in the NUPW could even think of muddying the waters with the stance expressed on last night’s TV news is not only alarming but spells the death knell of the Union.

    We and the principles of Unionism just gon’ tru’ de Edders!


  • That some one /a some one who is a member of the executive council a some one who is summarily left out in the decision makings question the sinister motives of those leading the charge in the industrial actions


  • Winston Cox, one of the most distinguished our our former central bank governors, has advised the government against devaluation, on the grounds that the gains would be small.
    Given the current situation, small gains are better than nothing at all.
    Mr Cox recommends that the government should pursue other policies. There are two things wrong with this. First, he has not spelled out these preferred policies; and, in any case, the minister of finance has rejected all rational recommendations.
    Here is a simple one: government is spending Bds$240m to give the airport a facelift. It is a waste of money in the current circumstances. Broad Street, a rundown, urine smelling main thoroughfare, is more in need of a facelift.
    It has a department store that dominates it that, in my opinion, is dragging it further down. I often wonder at the return per sq metre in that awful store.
    More important, government could also have used that money to regenerate the City, tearing down some of the slums and re-placing it with modern, architecturally designed town houses, apartments, shops, offices, clubs, restaurants and recreational space.
    Such a development would have provided jobs for a range of people: carpenters, masons, plumbers, painters, decorators, surveyors, electricians, lawyers, realtors, shop keepers, security guards and every other person involved in regeneration.
    It would make the City once more the centre of the night economy, provide new homes for the rising middle class, and would be an investment across generations.
    For reasons best known to itself, the government has implicitly or explicitly rejected these proposals, preferring sticking plaster to cover gapeing wounds.
    If the money had to be spent at the airport, giving tourists a visual welcome, why not develop the surrounding area in to a Seawell new town, with good shops, restaurants, hotels and recreational accommodation replacing rum shops and fish cakes and car repairs.
    I have also long proposed a mono-rail line running east from the airport to Culpepper island in the first stage and reclaiming the land between the lighthouse and Culpepper island, using the reclaimed land to build a small Coney Island/Disney, putting it at the heart of Eastern Caribbean weekend recreation and entertainment and an additional venue for European tourists.
    Since Grantley Adams and the Deep Water Harbour, we have lost the nerve for big developments.
    This remains so since our economic and social historians are so poor that they do not fully recognise the incredible advance the Port made to our island economy – having been built on the eve of the container revolution. In terms of economic development, it leaves Barrow in its wake.
    Yet, for some reason, even the BLP fails to give Sir Grantley the recognition he deserves.


  • AC;

    Perhaps there was a good reason for leaving that someone out of the planning discussions.


  • Are we there yet

    So since u put your two cents worth can you tell the “why”


  • So since u put your two cents worth can you tell the “why”
    …because she is obviously a disloyal, two-faced, back-biting, yard fowl who is only there as somebody’s mouth piece….

    Wait …. this sounds like another AC yuh….


  • Bush shit what is obvious that u are very good at spouting dog
    The lady made a clear and concise case against some of Union top brass so far which has not been refuted by those mentioned and the question is “Why”
    Therfore it stands to reason that those to whom she referred cannot refute or deny with justification what inniss has laid claim in her comments
    However as the old addage goes it is easy to hid and buy land but hard as hell to hid or sell it
    The NUPW is not heading for implosion and the rope which the NUPW belived it handed govt to hang itself might be the very rope which would be used to hang the NUPW as public sentiment and division rises to the top becoming a catalyst and a foundation for the NUPW self destruction


  • correction

    not ……NUPW is now


  • LOL @ AC
    …so you did not want the answer to ‘why she was left out’ after all…?

    If your ‘scratch grain suppliers’ inserted you on to a National Committee to investigate corruption in Barbados, do you think that a sensible committee would allow you to be privy to their plans for catching the crooks (your scratch grain sources)?

    Seriously now AC….!! 🙂


  • But seriously if what you have theorized happen to be true then it gives more credibility to what Inniss has said by those in the top bracket beliving that she was a spy and that it would be better not to include her
    Which then asked the question if what the NUPW was doing was above ground and free of unethical practices why would the top brass have closed meetings and not invlude her.
    On the face of all of what is revealed are inniss claims that she as vice president was not privy to decision making but Bush shit what you might not have realised in your last comment but have alluded was a respect for a shady enviroment at meetings within the vocal top brass of the NUPW only meant to include a select few .Sad


  • Joyann Inniss claims that she and other members of the executive of NUPW were left out of meetings but did she say which meetings? I am aware that a meeting of the union’s National Council was summoned in response to Akanni’s reversion. It is my understanding that there was no quorum because Joyann and a number of other Dems stayed outside and the meeting was therefore abandoned.

    The union summoned another meeting and she did not attend. At that meeting, the council passed a resolution giving the secretariat the right to institute industrial action. Maybe, Ms Inniss should attend the meetings if she wanted to know what was going on.

    The meeting that she seems to be complaining about would have been a meeting of union leaders that was held at NUPW headquarters. It was not a meeting of the union’s executive or National Council where she would have a right to attend. I attended that meeting in my capacity as General Secretary of Unity Workers Union along with the heads of other unions. She is not the head of any union and was not invited. Roslyn Smith attended in her capacity as GS of NUPW. The Dems would not stop spreading misinformation.


  • Our trade unions have been infected with a partisan political virus,


  • Well i expect to hear more versions of the Innis story as everyone in the NUPW tries to cover their asses and place blame
    Truth unlike milk does not sour


  • Pingback: Head of Unity Workers Union Caswell Franklyn Rejects Joy-ann Inniss Claim | Barbados Underground

  • ac;

    I had no knowledge of the why. I only have a little bit of commonsense and the ability to put two and two together. So, if the Unions in Barbados are at last standing up to fight a problem of undeniably basic importance to unionism against a clueless Government, there must be a good reason why an executive member of a union would publicly go against the Union stance. That person MUST be at fault.

    I noticed that Caswell gave the reason above. Thanks Caswell, I suspected it was something like that.

    ac, Yuh gine tie yuhself in knots one uh dese days defending yuh undefensible Government. Yuh!


  • Are we there yet

    yuh have no knoweldge of the “why” but quick able and ready to accept one mans version of the issue Wuh does that say about you and yuh so called commonsense
    Yuh know what it tell me yuh are just another typical yardbird

    Btw dont worry about me and tied knots i have worn plenty laced shoes and know how well to deal with knots


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