Hurting Many for the Benefit of One – the unions exposed

Walter Blackman - Actuary and Social Commentator

Walter Blackman – Actuary and Social Commentator

In April 2015, I wrote an article captioned “A new agenda for Barbadian workers and their families”. In that article, I made an attempt to highlight the existence of a struggle between two opposing forces – Barbadian workers and their families versus the political class.

Writing from Chicago at the time, I tried to capture as much of the perceived negative features and weaknesses of the political class as I could. I then tried to show how these perceived shortcomings of the political class were negatively affecting the economy, and ultimately making life somewhat difficult and challenging for Barbadian workers and their families.

To be thorough, I also highlighted the perceived weaknesses of two very important decision-makers and members of the political class – the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance.

Having laid out a historical case against the political class, and having highlighted the fact that some members of this class were extremely vulnerable until February 2016, I dared the unions to start fighting on behalf of all Barbadian workers and their families, and to exploit the temporary vulnerability of the political class. The next strike called, I challenged them, should be a strike on behalf of all Barbadian workers and their families.

Clearly, in April 2015, the cards were heavily stacked in the unions’ favour. Back then, one would have been heavily inclined to support any widespread industrial action brought by the unions aimed at benefiting Barbadian workers and their families.

Nineteen months later, in November 2016, Barbadians can now see the extent to which my article has exposed the unions for their ineffective and, sometimes, pretentious defense of the interests of Barbadian workers and their families.

Since April 2015, at least three special groups of Barbadian public sector workers needing effective union representation have attracted national attention:

1. Some workers 60 years and older being forced into retirement.

2. Persons working in temporary positions for 3 years or more remaining un-appointed.

3. NCC workers being retrenched.

In November 2016, all fair-minded Barbadians can now hold these truths to be self-evident:

1. As a result of the industrial relations process related to the above-mentioned Barbadian workers and their families, the unions emerged weaker and the government emerged stronger.

2. The temporary period of vulnerability for some members of the political class ended in February 2016. Having secured their pensions, these members now feel less personally threatened by union actions, strategies and tactics.

3. No meaningful, sustained, pressurizing industrial action was taken on behalf of Barbadian workers and their families prior to February 2016, or since.

Now that February 2016 has passed, and now that some members of the political class can no longer suffer personal anguish and pain as a result of being rendered ineligible for state pensions, Barbadian workers, their family, and their country must now become sacrificial lambs in order to achieve a short-sighted, individualistic, and perplexing union objective.

Barbadians (local and foreign), their families, and tourists must now suffer from anger, frustration, and fatigue as they try to pass through, or do business at our two ports of entry. The memory of our nation’s 50th anniversary of independence celebrations must now become marred and tainted, and our local tourism industry must now face a risk of reduced revenue, all because of industrial action started by “irresponsible and reckless” unions.

Mind you, whereas the unions could not find it possible to bring pressure to bear on the political class on behalf of all Barbadian workers and their families, they now find it very possible to speedily commence industrial action on behalf of one man. “Hurting many, for the benefit of one” seems to be the new slogan and mantra being adopted by the unions.

By the way, hasn’t a precedent been already set and accepted by the unions for the manner in which the Akanni McDowell case should be handled? Shouldn’t the Personnel Administration Department (PAD) and the NUPW repeatedly meet, if necessary, to negotiate a settlement? If the differences between the goals of the two contending groups prove to be intractable, and all efforts at achieving a settlement fail, shouldn’t the case go to the Employment Rights Tribunal (ERT) which should act as final arbiter? In other words, why should Mr. McDowell be treated differently from the NCC workers?

It is highly likely that the current industrial action and its attendant politics, being pursued on behalf of Mr. McDowell by the unions and the opposition, do not have the support of the majority of Barbadian workers and their families. Consequently, one is now heavily inclined to side with the political class and castigate the unions for attempting to damage the fragile economy of Barbados at a critical time because of narrow, political, singular and individualistic motives.

With respect to effective representation of the rights and benefits of Barbadian workers and their families, the reputation of the unions has wobbled noticeably since April 2015.

The act of effectively representing the interests of many workers and their families, when confronted by the opposing entrenched interests of the powerful few, must be seen as the raison d’être of all unions worldwide. Rather than assume a hostile, confrontational stance against the government and attempt to wreak havoc on a weakened Barbadian economy for one man only, the unions ought to ascertain if there are any major problems that Barbadian workers are beginning to encounter as a result of increasing private sector greed and contempt for our labour regulations in these difficult economic times.

To gain some insights into the new anti-worker practices being embraced and developed by some Barbadian employers, the unions should begin having collaborative discussions with the Ministry of Labour.


  • ac December 4, 2016 at 8:03 PM #

    “Well let me tell u sumthing Artax uh sound miserable as wuh ac done yuh and btw how would u know how many hours ac spend on Bu unless yuh spend 24 /7 on Bu. Seems my telling u to get a life was good advice after all instead of spending time doing day and night duty watching ac every movement on BU.”

    @ ac

    Your IGNORANCE has once again raised his ugly “weave totting head.”

    If you were to CLOSELY EXAMINE any contribution to BU, you will immediately notice that the contributor’s name is FOLLOWED by the DATE and TIME of the contribution. (But then again you are so ignorant, you missed that small detail).

    Therefore, an individual does not have to “spend 24 /7 on Bu,” he/she could log on to this site in January 2017, select any article and will be able to identify how many times any contributor posts contributions.

    SSS, you sure you don’t want to re-think this “ac is intelligent” thing?


  • An ‘intelligent AC’ …is an oxymoron.


  • Hi Artax it is ac again ammm what time is ?

    Ok btw no body interested in the ole school revisted recitations about the dead corpse of David Thompson. How about the monies that OSA accused Mia Mottley of stealing from the BLP campaign funds.
    Why dont u add Mia name to your list of illegaties and unfounded allegations.
    I say unfounded because you have no proof to substantiate theft occured by all names mentioned


  • You DLP yard-fowls are of the misguided opinion that ANYONE who is CRITICAL of the DLP happens to be a SUPPORTER of the BLP. Again, another SIGN of your IMMATURITY and STUPIDITY. Unlike you, some people are independent of thought and will not reason or base their lives within the confines of a political party. You seem to have great difficulty in separating your personal lives from the DLP….. you should seek psychiatric help.

    I am not a member or supporter of the BLP, so what Mia Mottley did or did not do is of no concern to me.

    However, in response to your mentioning “about the monies that OSA accused Mia Mottley of stealing from the BLP campaign funds.” “I (likewise) say unfounded because you have no proof to substantiate theft occurred by (the) name mentioned.”

    Are you not tired of exposing how stupid and childish you lot are? The more you respond the more you expose your immaturity and stupidity. Another silly response is expected because you cannot help yourself.

    I suspect if the DLP loses the next general elections you would commit suicide. As campaign time draws near, perhaps it would in your party’s best interest to place you on suicide watch.

    Dun wid you, yuh stupid is ass shiite bucket yard-fowl.


  • Excuse me. The more u respond to my “childish” comments the more childish you appear .In any case like moths attracted to lamp u cannot help yourself

    Since you have agreed that all your allegations postings on BU are unfounded..why dont u listen to your voice of moral conviction and retract or discontinue posting unfounded allegations against members of the present govt where u attempt to present those allegations as factual
    Dont u think u it is hypocrtical of u that when ac present similar allegations against Mia all of a sudden you agree that your postings are unfounded and cannot be substantiated as truthful
    Now why would u think i would belive u when u say u are not a blp supporter


  • Well Well & Consequences

    ACs…ya been getting destroyed on this blog for days now and still you beg for more, gluttons for punishment., hahaha, lol


  • You could attempt to twist what I write to your irrelevant and uneducated interpretations.

    However, the fact remains that Michael Carrington, Michael Simmons, Richard Byer and David Thompson are ALL DISHONEST lawyers and by their dishonest actions, they can be CHARACTERIZED as THIEVES.

    All the evidence to prove their dishonesty was reported in the media.

    And I will continue to remind you and the other DLP yard-fowls of these facts.


  • So was Mia dishonesty published in the media as told by the former leader of the blp Osa and then again repeated by one of her members when disagreements erupted among the blp membership during the vetting period of Mia becoming the leader of the blp
    So there u have it two members from within the blp party which she is now leader has questioned her honesty
    Have a nice day


  • millertheanunnaki

    @ ac. December 5, 2016 at 12:33 PM

    Ac, you old shit crab, why are you dragging a red herring called Mia across the trail?

    You might just be better off blaming her for the shitty events occurring on the South coast.

    Why don’f you just take a dose of something poisonous which could act as a permanent plug to your runny mouth now overflowing from your verbal diarrhea that would rival the putrid effluence on the South coast.


  • Miller why dont u act with some class instead of spouting filthy sewer mouth language and btw i was not the one who fired the first shot about Mias dishonesty had not for her former leader OSA giving such revealations to the media no one would have known about that act of dishonesty
    Btw miller have you found a new job yet since your last job of shining Arthur/s boots was discontinued after he resigned from the blp party


  • millertheanunnaki December 5, 2016 at 12:54 PM #

    “Ac, you old shit crab, why are you dragging a red herring called Mia across the trail?”

    @ Miller

    By referring to Arthur accusing Mottley of allegedly stealing money from the BLP, the consortium of yard-fowls are grabbing at straws.

    Yes, we have to agree that the issue was reported in the media. But the question is, was there a court case and if so, what was the court’s ruling? If Mottley’s matter is before the court, but has not yet been heard by a judge/magistrate, (who based on the evidence presented by both parties would determine whether or not a crime was committed), the accusation of theft will be considered an allegation, and as such, it would be presumptuous to assume she is guilty of any offence.

    However, as was the case with Michael Simmons, there is EVIDENCE to SUBSTANTIATE that (a) Simmons’ had a case of fraudulently converting over $90,000 entrusted to him; (b) he hurriedly and secretly left Barbados (i.e. abscond), typically to prosecution for an unlawful action such as theft; (c) he owed Barbados National Bank and Inland Revenue Department thousands of dollars; (d) a warrant was issued for his arrest in connection with a number of criminal matters.

    According to an article, written by Tim Slinger, in the May 22, 2011 edition of the Sunday Sun, Simmons returned to Barbados after 18 years on the run from justice to attend his sister’s funeral. He reportedly absconded leaving “behind a $2.5 million-plus debt to 47 creditors.”

    “A warrant for his arrest for FRAUDULENTLY CONVERTING over $90 000 ENTRUSTED to him had been withdrawn after the sum was paid, but shortly after his disappearance, then police public relations officer Inspector Jeddar Robinson had INDICATED Simmons was being SOUGHT by lawmen for QUESTIONING in CONNECTION with a NUMBER of OTHER CRIMINAL MATTERS they were investigating.”

    “Former Solicitor General Woodbine Davis, who had been appointed official assignee and receiver in his investigation of Simmons, had publicly declared there had been little chance of recovering the $2.5 million debt left behind.”

    Miller, the yard-fowls cannot refute this evidence.


  • @AC

    I have been following the orchestrated attacks on you by those who claim to be neutral, but what I have observed they are all BLP CYBER BULLIES. DO not be cowared by their sustained attack. Give your perspective even if you are the only person with that point of view. A drunken man never admits to being drunk. They will say they are non-political, but just follow their postings for a while and you will subsequently come to a conclusion.


  • Let us give it up for realist aka radical aka etc


  • So you go to media archives and drags up a story going as far back as 1993 about a bankrupt lawyer who was not a member of parliament but allegedly had connections to the DLP party.
    So what does his problems have to do with any one in this present govt .while in the meantime scrillous allegations lay bare in the public domain about Mia while she seeks to become the PM of barbados..Why dont u address that problem


  • Realist you know with every pot shot the blp yardfowls level i shrug my shoulders and steupse loud and hard


  • Yuh is a BLASTED LIAR, if you used to “steupse loud and hard,” you would NOT undertake a PARTICULAR EFFORT to RESPOND to EVERY “pot shot.”

    BTW, if the “scurrilous allegations lay bare in the public domain about Thompson,” as revealed and proven by the CLICO forensic audit, “while he sought to become the PM of Barbados,” surely a TRIVIAL allegation that you are making out to be such a big issue, (WHICH HAS NOT BEEN PROVEN), should not prevent Mottley from becoming the next PM of Barbados.

    And the “scurrilous allegations lay bare in the public domain about” dishonest Michael Carrington, who, by with-holding a former client’s funds for 2 years, (as revealed and proven by the civil suit filed against him by that client), brought shame to the position of Speaker of the House.

    “Why dont u address that problem” at the DLP’s next annual conference.

    You need to come wid sumting better and factual dan dat shiite you always bringing ’bout Mottley.


  • Oh well that deserves a shrug and a steupse loud and hard
    and hard.


  • Take note that the Union has returned to the bargaining acting in good faith on behalf of its members /not that is what unionism means / not the kinda of bullying uncalled episodes that does more harm than good with an attempt to destroy the country and the union reputation
    When life throws lemons the best way forward is to make lemonade , Throwing the baby out with the bath tub is never a good way of seeking resolve


  • Anonymouse - TheGazer

    I am still way back here in your first paragraph. Please correct any false ideas that I may have developed.

    Your division of Barbadian society into two classes seems like you were plagiarizing
    Animal Farm where the “political class” are the pigs who are in the house (of Parliament) and the working class are the animals on the outside looking in.

    I am hoping that you provide a more detailed explanation of the “political class” and that it is more than a polishing of the words ‘politician’ or “MP”.

    The fact that you have returned and inserted yourself in the”political class”, tells me that you consider the political class as a step-up from the working class, for it is the nature of man to seek to improve his lot.

    If I take this to the logical conclusion, I can see you adopting the behavior and values of our current political class and becoming less transparent to the working class. This lack of transparency is already reflected in your writing. The Walter of old (before “Walter Blackman is black”) was joy to read. Even a fool like me was able to follow his working class line of reasoning,;but these day I struggle to understand the obfuscations being made by Walter of the political class.

    It may be too late for you to cross back to the other side, but at least you can decide to recross the bridge that separates the working class from the political class.

    I wish you well.


  • Anonymouse - TheGazer


    I am still back here. I like the brother and would like to see him do well/better.

    It was somewhat disheartening to see, you, an aspiring politician divide Barbados into two classes; the ‘political class’ and the ‘working class’ However, this simple division of Barbados gave rise to an understanding of your thinking and that of the party in power.

    Let us examine the composition of this ‘political class’. I will assume that all politicians fall into this class (by default). And what about the business titans of Barbados? Clearly, they are not a part of the working class and so they must automatically be part of the political class.

    Like the French king, this ‘political class’ believe that it is your divine right to pilot the good ship Barbados for all time. You ignore wants and need of the ‘working class’ and strive to maintain the wealth and dominance of this political class.

    The masters (Bizzy) and house slaves (MPs) have been replaced by the ‘political class’; the field hands are now called the working class. This ‘political class ‘ is taking us backward in times.

    As a young political aspirant you may escape the working class but you cannot escape your blackness. Oprah with all her money, had to travel to Europe to find out that without her white entourage, a black billionaire was just another black woman.

    Put aside your political aspirations and return to reading and understanding Animal Farm. The term ‘politician’ or ‘house slave’ does not suit you.

    Reclaim your soul; reclaim your pride.


  • Given the current outcome of which the workers are seemingly well pleased do you still believe that many were hurt for the benefit of one


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