Airport Worker Labels the Government and NUPW ‘Bullies’

Submitted by Chavone
Grantley Adams International Airport

Grantley Adams International Airport

As an employee of GAIA I feel a need to bring light to the situation unfolding at the airport , this government is a bunch of bullies and the nupw aint no better so we the workers are out to sea without a paddle in a leaking canoe.

I know the public have their views on what is transpiring but very few know the whole situation. Now back last year we were fighting for a 3.5% that was owed to us and it was owed to us because we had negotiated and it was agreed that we would get 7.5%, at that time the public servants had already had their negotiations and was awarded 10% we were told we are not public servants the airport is run by a board hence the GAIA.Inc. Now we had received the first half which was the 4% then the public servants was place on a wage freeze because of the state if the economy their wages are garnered from the government treasury GAIA wages comes from the money made at GAIA our salaries does not come from the treasury. In fact government uses Gaia profits to subsidize other failing government entities.

The general secretary of the nupw Dennis Clarke came to us the Gaia employees and paying members of nupw and told us that the government had asked us to put our remaining 3.5% on hold because the public servants was on a wage freeze and it wouldn’t look good that we were getting a raise and them on a raise freeze  the staff agreed to that even though at that said time the airport had made a profit of 9 million dollars and all that was profits after all expenses.

What we did not know or was not told was that the NUPW president Walter Maloney and general secretary Dennis Clarke (who was our bargaining agent) had gone into a closed door meeting with the prime minister and GAIA acting Ceo at that time and director of finance and had agreed to taking the 3.5% off the table. It was only when we came back asking we were told we weren’t owed anything, the new executive of the Nupw and general secretary keep telling us that Dennis Clarke had said that he hadn’t agreed to anything but no one could reach him and he was never available, but McDowell assured us he had spoken to Dennis Clarke and that the rumours circulating was false.

Fast forward to where this dragged on until it came before the chief labour officer who more or less told them whatever was agreed on in that meeting stands, no minutes were never produced from that meeting it came before the minister of labour who told them the meeting did in fact take place and why dont the union put forth new negotiations for the employees , everyone was pushing for new negotiations even the Ceo of GAIA had held meeting telling the staff they had no claim to the 3.5% and basically telling them to get the union to put forth new negotiations. The Nupw was hesitant with dropping that claim although we all came to realize that Dennis Clarke did agreed to take it off the table therefore misrepresenting us as no one knew before hand what he had done, the sad thing is around that said time GAIA directors received a pay increase they were not ask to hold off because of a wage freeze people like the Ceo , director of finance and engineering were given an increase, do you know how the staff felt knowing that?????????

The airport is still in the profits margin of millions of dollars ever so often we see and hear from the print or air media how good tourism is doing, every year since then it have been better and better yet we cannot share in the profits that are being made on our backs by our sweat how is this fair ??????? Since 2010 all we had ask for is a fair raise seeing the money being made we were even told that they can afford to give us a 23% raise after the nupw had gone over Gaia books but we are not greedy we just want to eat good we would like to shop and not be anxious when we get to the cashier.we had ask for 6% for 2015 we weren’t even going back to 2010 a 5% in 2016 and 17.

Somehow i feel we were hoodwinked by GAIA the NUPW and this government who is now telling us 3% premium or nothing , that’s 3% on whatever the public servants are awarded, so now its back to a wait and see position. Why wait ???? are we now public workers again , suppose we accept can we now ask for the same benefits back as well can we now have back 21 sick days instead of the 6 we now have ???? can we enjoy increments on our salaries??????? will you pay us for all bank holidays?????? can we also half these half days of work the government workers are given for certain holidays ????.

A staff of 402 that all want the same thing, to be treated fair we might not all know our worth but trust me enough of us do, how can we be the welcoming smile that meets the tourists when we have nothing to smile about not when we know it can and should be better.

Will someone have a heart ????????

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50 Comments on “Airport Worker Labels the Government and NUPW ‘Bullies’”

  1. Well Well & Consequences December 3, 2016 at 2:45 PM #

    Whst a mess, this is whst Freundel & Co are presiding over, bad being at the receiving end of all that incompetence and double dealing.


  2. Gabriel December 3, 2016 at 3:01 PM #

    Assuming the submission is on the money,I would suggest you the workers of GAIA the NUPW and move to Unity Workers Union or BWU.Caswell is not yet driving a duty free Merc or Beamer so I think he is the guy to represent your interests if you want to see and have some serious representation.Along with Customs and Excise UWU might just show Stuart the ball that shoot Nelson(or should that be Dennis Clarke).Whatever decision you make sure you have the ATC,Customs and Immigration staff included in your membership.


  3. Dompey December 3, 2016 at 3:33 PM #


    You betta shut mout and thank God that you even have job given the state of the economy and the thousands in want of employment. I am in the same canoe but with a bigger hole than your own, and I am thankful that I even have a job given the state of the state economy. last I had to forfeit my raise of pay, give back furlough days,watch my premium on my health insurance go up, and next year I am eexpected to given back more than this year to keep my job.


  4. Well Well & Consequences December 3, 2016 at 4:09 PM #

    And Trump and his billionaire gang of crooks ain’t even get started on you yet…lol

    Ah waiting to hear the Chadster cry rivers…lol


  5. ac December 3, 2016 at 4:25 PM #

    Not FS fault that the Union leadership is driven by srlf interest.
    I was taught that a bird in the hand is worth a thousnd in the bush.
    It would not be in the govt best interest to play big shot with taxpayers money when circumstances dictates other wise
    The problem with NUPW leadership is that they have a bad case of misdirection and a poor case of leadership without stain or blemish
    From now on it is down hill for the NUPW unless they can find a leader who can understand the meaning of partnership and govt working together which includes all and not a few


  6. x December 3, 2016 at 4:26 PM #

    The airport workers are NOT public servants, they were made to apply for new posts when the Airport was corporatized. It is simply not fair to say that they are when it is convenient to Government.

    NUPW should stick to its guns.

    @Dompey Airport is making money and continues to. The workers have none of the security of Public Servants, they should at least get the advantages of being in the Private Sector if they have to take the down sides.


  7. Dompey December 3, 2016 at 4:41 PM #

    Trump, just this week travelled to some state and offered a company that scheduled to move to Mexico millions of dollars of incentives to stay in America, so Well Well” Trump is on the right track as far as I am concerned.


  8. chad99999 December 3, 2016 at 4:43 PM #

    How is the government going to recover its previous capital investment in the airport, and accumulate funds for future airport improvements if airport workers want to drain the profits from current operations?


  9. Tony Trotman December 3, 2016 at 4:49 PM #

    It is disgraceful that “no minutes were never produced from that meeting”. It gives the impression that the trade union or the employer has “something to hide”. The agreed minutes of a meeting should be published within a certain period (e.g. 10 working days) after the date of the meeting.


  10. Reakist December 3, 2016 at 4:58 PM #

    It pains me to see that people don’t understand that the money govt invested in GA Inc is the taxpayers money. I have never looked at the Financials of the entity. I hope that the money invested is treated as a loan and capital and interest are to be paid to govt before a profit is derived.

    What say You Ac. A C do you think that the NUPW has any way of saving face. I have deduced that the five union leaders are not equal to what paddy got shot at . What a shame that the unions are led by persons of such shallow intellect, excluding Caswell who understands unionism I don’t always agree with some of his writings.


  11. David December 3, 2016 at 5:05 PM #


    Your point is noted. However, why would government corporatize GAIA if their balance sheet is not intended to grow legs?


  12. millertheanunnaki December 3, 2016 at 5:46 PM #

    @ chad99999 December 3, 2016 at 4:43 PM

    “How is the government going to recover its previous capital investment in the airport, and accumulate funds for future airport improvements if airport workers want to drain the profits from current operations?”

    If only a similar approach could betaken in respect of LIAT Barbados would definitely be the HQ and major hub.

    Chad 99999, do you know why the GoB cannot relocate LIAT to Bim not only to save cost and restructure the ailing carrier but also make it turn a profit just like GAIA?


  13. millertheanunnaki December 3, 2016 at 5:56 PM #

    @ David December 3, 2016 at 5:05 PM

    Now you see why the GAIA is seen by the IMF as an ideal candidate for privatization aka divestment. Any plan of debt restructuring must involve the divestment of this “corporatized” entity.


  14. HAMILTON A HILL December 3, 2016 at 6:31 PM #

    In the absence of the relative minutes how does any ruling at that meeting stand? If there is no quorum there can be no meeting. The same should obtain where the missing minutes are concerned. No minutes, no ratification. Plain and simple.


  15. HAMILTON A HILL December 3, 2016 at 6:59 PM #

    There has got to be a way to make ”Hot Air Eric” tell the members whose remunerations were taken monthly exactly what transpired at the sham that was passed off as a meeting.


  16. bajans December 3, 2016 at 8:30 PM #

    If there is no record, then there was no meeting as far as the members are concerned. It is time someone sued someone. If GAIA is a fully functioning corporation, what is the government doing issuing dictats re salaries that were previously negotiated? How can a union representative have the authority to rescind a previously agreed contract? Any change to a negotiated and voted contract, should have been put before the membership.


  17. Well Well & Consequences December 3, 2016 at 8:35 PM #

    Dompey..ya drinking the Trump koolaid, ya will get poisoned.

    Carrier was not planning to take any jobs out of the US.

    Even the dummy Sarah Palin is on to the scam…lol


  18. Well Well & Consequences December 3, 2016 at 8:39 PM #

    Carrier was STILL planning to move 1300 jobs out of the US…to Brazil, there is no change to move the jobs..

    Mike Pence is from Indiana abd orcgestrated the whole thing,


  19. Well Well & Consequences December 3, 2016 at 8:42 PM #

    Mexico is correct Dompey, that’s where the jobs are going….the land of the Trump wall.


  20. Realist December 3, 2016 at 8:57 PM #

    @ A C

    The unions must understand that power is not be abused and the bullish strategy the union employed worked in the 40’s but work in today’s industrial climate. Hope the NUPW learns a lesson that strategic and tactical planning is more productive in operationalizing a non issue.

    I have always supported unionism, but not to the point I can not be objective. The NUPW will soon render itself useless. It has bundled every thing under the current crop of so called leaders. The Health Insurance premium increased by almost 80 per cent because of the interference of the president and hence the no=confidence motion. There are a number of reasons why that failed, including the working of the phones by those who had a vested interest in ensuring that the Mcdowell guy remain at the top. AGAIN the short sightedness in calling out the Sanitation Workers. I am sure that Caswell was the beneficiary of the short sightedness of NUPW. LOL. Now they turn to GA INC confusing the staff,


  21. DLP (Formerly CBC) Radio and TV December 3, 2016 at 8:59 PM #

    “How is the government going to recover its previous capital investment in the airport, and accumulate funds for future airport improvements if airport workers want to drain the profits from current operations?”
    @Chad so the directors can “drain” the profits with pay increases but not the ordinary worker? I don’t understand….. As far as I concerned, the NUPW and the Airport workers should not cease in its agitation for increased pay…The same economic\revenue conditions that could allow pay increases for the directors can allow for such for the workers…and, as was the norm, the dastardly duo of Maloney and Clarke sold out its own Union….tsk tsk tsk…..


  22. David December 3, 2016 at 11:09 PM #


    You are correct in your observation that parties across the negotiating table were required to cite the minutes of previous meetings to build/support their arguments. It is important from a governance/procedural and logic perspective. Also the board books of GAIA need to stand the test of scrutiny.


  23. Realist December 3, 2016 at 11:34 PM #


    don’t be brain washed by David: Who is the shareholder of GA Inc or in a nutshell who has controlling interest. In corporate governance the entity that has controlling interest sets the policy and any major policy is approved by the controlling entity. David is adept at pretending to know when he does not know. His motive I purely political and not educational.


  24. David December 3, 2016 at 11:57 PM #

    The very simple point Bajans made and supported by basic governance procedure is that decisions of any Board are recorded in minutes and reflected in the board books. Secondly the Directors of the Board have a fiduciary responsibility under the company laws of Barbados to honour and be guided by minuted decisions taken by the Board. On what basis/whose instruction was an offer removed from the table? One has to assume the Board was involved in said decision? Unlike some on here, we do not know and have to ask questions.

    There is a reason why GAIA was corporatized.


  25. wiser December 4, 2016 at 6:29 AM #

    I suggest that all of you dump the NUPW and call Caswell Franklyn instead


  26. David December 4, 2016 at 10:22 AM #

    gaia1 gaia2

    If GAIA is making money one wonders why the maintenance program is not working. See pics above.


  27. bajans December 4, 2016 at 2:57 PM #

    @ Realist, you may have a point, I will not argue since I have not studied business law/procedures, etc. in over 45 years and never worked in that area. However, does the Board not set the policy and present it to the shareholders to be voted on? Why would the main shareholder set policy if there is a governing board which knows the minutae of the operations? If the government is the major shareholder then they should vote by proxy, i.e. let the board and another arms length third party vote for them. Just my two cents.


  28. lemuel December 4, 2016 at 3:10 PM #

    I agree with an earlier suggestion that the GAIA workers move on mass to the UNITY Trade Union!!! Let Caswell get the opportunity to let people see his enormous skills!!!!


  29. David December 4, 2016 at 3:15 PM #

    The Director of the Board under our company law is responsible for making the best decision in the interest of the company.


  30. Realist December 4, 2016 at 3:17 PM #


    he who pays the piper call the tune


  31. Realist December 4, 2016 at 3:22 PM #


    the directors are appointed by who? The share holder and government will set the policy framework for the company. The company derives its capital from government.


  32. Hal Austin December 4, 2016 at 3:22 PM #

    In the interests of the shareholders, not the company, an inanimate being..


  33. David December 4, 2016 at 3:46 PM #


    The company is a legal person in law. Here is a simple example: the Director must take the best decision in the interest of the company NOT the shareholders. If such a scenario arise the director should resign.


  34. Its me again December 4, 2016 at 7:39 PM #

    The board of directors had made an offer of 15.5 % the sole shareholder had turn down the 16% NUPW had ask for as well as the 15.5% offered by the board and profits are just that PROFITS after all expenses , as for upgrades to the airport that have been talked about for years( what need to be done at the airport) that was the reason given everytime an increase was mention since the last negotiations where we were given the 7.5% (well the 4% we recieve) well guess what ! the airport still leaking there is still problem when the water pressure is low the sewage by gate #2 is unbearable yet there is a security gate there and the new gate was built even closer to the sewage even port health had problems with that sewage. So tell me if all of these things needed to be done back then and with the millions made in profit every since then why is the airport still leaking ? why don’t the toilets flush when the water pressure is low. Do anyone know the amount of lawsuits the airport faces on a yearly basic due to tourist that slip on the wet floor


  35. David December 4, 2016 at 7:45 PM #

    @Its me again

    These are legitimate concerns a caring union should should be able to elicit a response from GAIA to satisfy health and safety regulations.


  36. Realist December 5, 2016 at 7:02 AM #


    Any salary increase for workers must be sanctioned by the shareholder. Can you imagine given the workers a ten percent increase and public workers a five percent increase. Can you imagine the transport board or the national housing corporation receiving a smaller or bigger increase than public officers? The significant point to understand is that the funds are all taxpayers money.

    The directors are governed by the company act, they have a fiduciary responsibility to run the company as efficiently as possible. Can you see a BOM taking decisions to implement major policy initiatives with the major shareholder (s). Theory and reality are two different things.


  37. David December 5, 2016 at 7:21 AM #

    The reason why government corporatized is to retain ownership in the government entity but without the encumbrance of the bureaucracy associated with the civil service. In other words run the corporatized entity as a business (profit centre). If this was not the case then why bother to corporatize.


  38. millertheanunnaki December 5, 2016 at 8:28 AM #

    @ Realist December 5, 2016 at 7:02 AM
    Any salary increase for workers must be sanctioned by the shareholder. Can you imagine given the workers a ten percent increase and public workers a five percent increase. Can you imagine the transport board or the national housing corporation receiving a smaller or bigger increase than public officers? The significant point to understand is that the funds are all taxpayers money.

    Oh, we never knew that the GAIA was funded in any way by transfers from Central government.

    Tell us more, Realist. Tell us under which ministry can we find such funding provisions in the Estimates for the day-to-day operations of the GAIA?

    But don’t let yourself be bothered too much. Soon and very soon, you will not be able to make such a comparison between “corporatized GAIA” and the taxpayers’ heavily subsidized statutory corporations such as NHC and Transport Board.

    Wolf wolf, the big bad IMF wolf is opening the door to let in the flat broke Bajan sheep.


  39. Hal Austin December 5, 2016 at 8:42 AM #

    I am sure Barbados company is based on that of England and Wales. That the company is a legal entity, I will return to, but directors are just company employees. That is why we have non-executive directors representing wider stakeholders. In recent debates, this definition has even been extended to other communities and people. Bhopal started that debate.
    As to the company as a legal entity, that is old hat. That idea was interesting in the 1920s when company law was first created. Modern theorists do not accept that. In real terms, directors ignore shareholders and run companies as their personal fiefdoms. They are out of control.
    And most non-execs are former company directors making money in their retirement. A company’s stakeholders are more than the shareholders: it includes all the employees, neighbours, the people who sell food outside the office or factory, the children of the staff, that is what Bhopal taught us.
    So, for example, if a cement factory is in a district, the people who live there have an interest in the way the factory is run since it involves their long-term health.
    We must not let lawyers legalise company formation. It goes beyond the fiction of a company being a legal person. Companies are inanimate. People run companies and they should be held responsible for their decisions.
    By the way, all developed companies are now re-writing their company law. Barbados should too.


  40. Fellow worker December 5, 2016 at 9:16 AM #

    Please don’t be fooled by smokescreens the government does not subsidize the airport and haven’t for the 10 years it have been run by the board of directors, and to correct the post the offered place on the table by the board of directors was a 15% no .5 but again that was taken off by the sole shareholder and was told instead we will have to wait until negotiations with the public service. The GAIA have the resources to pay its workers and no we would not be draining the profits made the government already does a good job at that , are we all here forgetting that some increases were already paid ? But only to the big players not the small fish is this acceptable? The thing is some people will never be sympathetic unless it’s happening to them that’s the world we live in.


  41. Bush Tea December 5, 2016 at 9:35 AM #

    It is petty, counter-productive and childish … for Government to create a Company to run a public business, and then, when that business makes a profit, penalise staff by forcing them to be restricted to the same levels of benefits as those public officers who do not do one shiite.
    The OBVIOUS message to those productive workers then, is to stop making efforts – and wait on the depleted treasury for increases….. like all the other non-productive brass bowls.

    An enlightened, intelligent government would PAY these productive workers at a level commensurate with their PERFORMANCE, …thus encouraging the other lazy brass bowl jokers to make greater efforts in THEIR organisations …. so that THEY TOO could merit big increases….

    BUT NO….

    Put a jackass in charge…..
    ….all you accumulate is a lotta shiite.


  42. RADICAL December 5, 2016 at 10:26 AM #

    The airport is being run as a corporate entity to avoid the government bureaucracy and for efficiency. while we may say the company make a profit in the true sense if you had to drill deep is it real profit if all the others services offered at the airport were added to that profit .

    example what if customs and immigration services were charge to that profit as well as the cost of governments investment .

    The company is a private company with one shareholder government . lets not be fooled that this is some private company with independent shareholders and investments.


  43. Bush Tea December 5, 2016 at 10:39 AM #

    That does not matter Radical

    The point of making it a private company is to insulate it from well known political nepotism, interference and idiocy…and to encourage efficiency.
    To the extent that this entity has responded positively to this arrangement – compared to others, it behoves any intelligent shareholder to SUPPORT and encourage such positive responses.

    If you penalise efficient effort (even if not 100%) then you will end up with 0% effort …. and with all entities racing to see which could be most inefficient.

    Look and see that this is the current reality.

    See if you can explain this to the jokers who are making the decisions…


  44. Realist December 5, 2016 at 5:26 PM #


    It seems like you understand my drift all this emotional outburst makes Ossie Moore look smart.

    The question to be answered where did the outlay for the corporatization of the company? Should the initial outlay be treated as a loan to the company and should the crown receive a return on investment? All these expenses should be brought to account to determine if the company actually realized a true profit. What about the cost of providing the air traffic controllers and the cost of the expensive radar among others.


  45. Gabriel December 5, 2016 at 6:06 PM #

    Grantley Adams International Airport is owned lock,stock and barrel by the Government of Barbados that is,the Crown.The Crown therefore is the de jure Corporation Sole in so far as GAIA is concerned.The statement that the staff pay increases must be in sync with Public Servants makes sense because the Crown is the legal guarantor and the executive authority of GAIA.Not any board.The PM is the man in the van on this one.


  46. Realist December 5, 2016 at 8:27 PM #


    Sometimes it is better to take off your cyber bullying blp hat and think through what you write. This could be very basic, no ostentatious language nor insult. Think through things carefully and try to be analytical if you are blessed with that ability.


  47. bajans December 5, 2016 at 11:12 PM #

    Canada Post is a Corporation. The government is the sole shareholder. The Corporation operates at arms length from government. they have their own union and their salaries are negotiated based on the profits of the company. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Civil Service which have their own unions and bargaining units. While Canada Post has a President appointed by government, the government does not tell him how to run his business.


  48. Realist December 6, 2016 at 2:58 AM #

    @Bce ajans

    where governments are the sole share holders of entities, there will be political interference, especially in small island developing states.

    We continue to fool ourselves that politicians operate for the good of the country, like most of us, they look at how they can benefit from systems and hence the establishments of boards and corporations. Some time ago, I read that US Postal service was making huge losses, that was around the time there was this global movement to corporatize services. This was done is some countries and eventually some of the foreign entities managing those services jumped ship.

    England embarked on farming out some of the management of its welfare services and that aspect has run into serious problems. Similarly water services were corporatized in Latin America and elsewhere and the result of that attempt is history.

    Until there is a paradigm shift in governance, we will have to live with the fact that there will be no true corporatized government entities as long as the leaders are appointed by politicians.

    How long has Canada post been corporatized and has it made a profit all the years AS a corporatized entity and what happens to the profit and what happens if there is a loss?


  49. Realist December 6, 2016 at 3:35 AM #


    I note with interest that Canada Post was not doing well financially in 2015 from two of the quarterly reviews in 2015.


  50. Chavone December 6, 2016 at 8:46 AM #

    Does it really make sense seeing that the public service are being paid from the treasury and GAIA aren’t ????? it makes sense to who will benefit from it financially. Sometimes it should be as easy as wrong or right or whats fair , what i would really like to know is where is this money going then ? Some seem to think that we all can be blinded by the same smokescreen. GAIA have been more than above head financially for years now and there have always been undertalk about funds that have gone missing , but the custodians nor the general workers cant be the blame, a small elite is profiting and its not the hard working staff , If its a case of not having the money where is it going ??? at the start of negotiations the books were turn over to the NUPW base on what they saw there a number was suggested not to drain the airport in anyways but to be fair in seeing that the ones on the ground sweating day to day share in some of the profits being made.You can all talk back and forth here but after fighting for that 3.5% only to be told its been taken away just because the backpay that would have come with that they probably saw as too much to pay out ,them now want to come and offer 3% for 2015 ??????, if the airport wasnt riddle with so many cowards they would take a stand and get what is duly theirs FAIR PAY.


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