A Heather Cole Column – Open Letter to the Trade Unions of Barbados

Time For a Rebirth

Barbados is once again at the crossroads, as it stood during the 1930’s. The Trade Union movement of that day challenged the authority of the island when they stood up for the political, social and economic rights of the working class. In every shape and form what had occurred on the island was a violation of the human rights of the entire black working class population.

In their wisdom, the founders of the Trade Union movement reached the conclusion that the best way to challenge the establishment was to form their own political party. Looking back, it was the best plan that they could have ever put into action because the Moyne Commission was only a Band-Aid for the crisis that had unfolded throughout the entire British West Indies.

The challenges that are being experienced across the length and breadth of Barbados are therefore not new but have occurred in another time as a result of a another set of political and economic actions. The burdens of taxation are crippling economic activity in Barbados. Unemployment which affects the source of purchasing power in any society today has produced a series of reactions in housing, education and healthcare for which the government did not anticipate or put measures in place to cushion the effects of its draconian policies. Even for those employed, the reality is that the real wage has declined as taxation has increased.

The recent austerity measures of the just concluded Budgetary Proposals will only worsen the current situation. In essence without any significant impact on the island by Tourism or any of the other leading industries the outlook for Barbados is dismal under the current Administration. Over the past nine years, they have continuously shown the people of Barbados that they do not have the ability to successfully manage our economy.

In the past I have been an advocate for industrial action and shutting the island down, to date these measures have had little impact or served to change this present Administration’s actions. I am of the opinion now that these tools are not the remedy for the present situation. The time is now ripe for change; for self examination and rebirth; for a new focus and new strategies to achieve goals of empowering the workers of Barbados. The government has become deaf to workers economic and social rights and it no longer views the trade union as a bargaining partner. The best way to fight this government is to arm yourselves politically by forming your own political party and confront them in the upcoming general elections.

28 thoughts on “A Heather Cole Column – Open Letter to the Trade Unions of Barbados

  1. Heather

    When last have we had a shut down of the country?

    The only way forward is for the Unions to shut the country down until a rational plan to carry the country forward is arrived at by all stakeholder representatives.

  2. Bajan Free Party/CUP/.Violet Beckles Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZI on said:

    long talk Union no Action, Get out and Walk Shut them Down,

  3. Frustrated Businessman (aka tired of pointing out obvious realities of Bajan suffering) on said:

    Even the private sector would agree. Fumble’s Fools can carry us no further, it is only Bajan fortitude that allowed them to get this far.

    We must ALL march for immediate elections. If they win again the airport will be very busy with local business people leaving, the foreign business people left 7 years ago.

    There cannot be, will not be and was never any chance of, any economic recovery under Fumble’s Fools.

    Every day they are in office matters now.

  4. Heather

    They are already the formation of new political parties. That was the cry of many bajans. Now that you have several of them vying to form the next government, the ignorance of bajans has risen up to highly criticise them only because they cannot forget the few favours that the BLP or DLP did for them. In essence, one can say that it is not a third party that the masses want but perhaps serious political reforms that will hold politicians accountable for their non-transparent actions, failures to freely disseminate information in a timely manner, and anticorruption laws that would stop the means by which many of them are made rich.

  5. It isn’t a new political party that is in want, but the elimination of the social-pathologies of greed and self-interest- which are at the forefront of this moral decadence.

  6. a bunch of long exhausting words which refuses to face the fact that debt accumulation is what is breaking the backbone of this society. Many back in the days of the blp era society demanded high expectations and was sold a bill of goods that a lifestyle of decadence was sufficient to portray this country as punching above its weight
    Society never suspected that there was more in the mortar than the pestle well now that the mortar has been opened and the pestle has been removed the hard facts has been revealed barbados lifestyle has been a sham brought upon itself by the demands of glorious expectation and the mortar was always empty,
    A society building a lifestyle on deceit and false promises now looking for quick fixes and once again glorious expectations as a remedy a reminder of how barbados got to where it is presently in the first place

  7. History never repeats itself. The trade union movement should be the vanguard of the ordinary working people of Barbados. Instead, some of its leaders are nothing but thugs and renegades who believe that confrontational militancy over small pay rises is what trade unionism is all about.
    They are wrong. Trade unionists should be looking at the full picture: from pay packets, to having worker-directors to campaigning for consumer rights, on-the-job worker-shareholders, to offering group insurance.
    It should also offer some services collectively, ie through the Congress, such as a Labour economists, researchers, legal and medical advice and even other retail services.
    Some modern employers have now appropriated this apace by offering subsidised gym membership, group life and protection insurance, child care, increased holidays, private medical and dental care, on the job training, and lots more. Each additional benefit further erodes union membership, that sis why so-called white collar professional association are t he fastest growing trade unions throughout the Western world while industrial trade union memberships is falling.

  8. It is good to see several 3rd parties coming to the fore. To attract the attention of the public they will have to craft compelling messages that resonate with a people who have become disengaged and disillusioned. And the harsh reality is that the base of both parties gives the duopoly a head start.

  9. That the myriad of ‘third parties’ have so far been unable to come together and form a NATIONAL COALITION FOR THE RESTORATION OF BARBADOS speaks volumes as to the depth of decay that pervades the society.

    Even in our reactions to the greed, selfishness and idiocy of the political class, we continue to be focused on narrow selfish differences RATHER than on the broad COMMUNITY-CENTRIC need for consensus, co-operation and compromise…..

    Anyway…. the actual problem is much bigger than these rather petty symptoms of selfishness and greed. The REAL problem is that everything, everywhere, is being dictated by dark forces that are well beyond our control. It is why there is the COMMONALITY of greed, selfishness, spite and hate ALL OVER THE WORLD…in EVERY corner…

    The only defence is to be wearing the whole armour of BBE ….. which can easily be detected by the exemplification of truth, righteousness, faith, peacefulness, ….and the sword of the spirit (or if you are lucky, a big-ass whacker…..) 🙂
    Ephesians 6: 10-18

    • @Bush Tea

      The authenticity of a political party should be measured in a differentiating philosophy it espouses. Many f the 3 rd parties are splinters from the main party fueled mainly by disgruntlement. The one or two with a fresh vision should be allowed to express themselves to the electorate.

  10. Barbadians are beyond restoration. What it would take is a renewing of the mind a mindset that says putting the needs of a country is the only way forward . Such would require leadership which would be rejected by many.
    The people have accepted that their own needs must be met while forgetting that while their needs were being meet the country best interest was secondary
    When one here the Unions voice of more “wants” in the face of a country problems it spells out with clarity that their is a voice among others with one focus in mind built on a narrative that come what may their wants must be met
    Pray tell how can any new political group or party break through such a barrier without meeting high resistence

  11. David is so right.For the most part pissed off and disgruntled splinters from one side or the next form the base of these “third parties “and therein lies the reason they struggle to gain any real traction at a time when the country should be most receptive to real change. St Michael south Central scares me in this regard. The sentiment being floated there is that the split vote returns the incumbent for another term. Scary shit!

  12. Barbadians have no one else to blame but itself wanting to live like americans. Well folks american lifestyle does not come cheap it comes with society paying back breaking taxes for everthing barbadians take for granted in this country and when govt submit budgets and there are pass that is the final word either you pay or pay a price.
    Most would not even be aware that with all the labour laws enacted. in America states by law does are not required to give their employees vacation time or sick leave with pay
    The Unions in Barbados are paraders and a mockery of a system and should be aware that what their outrageous demands in times of the country hardship can do more harm than good
    All hands on the deck should be the rallying cry for a country who have put its own needs last in order for society to better.
    Many who are calling for a shut down of this country better beware in a country where there is no natural resources there would be hell to pay for both the rich and poor.

  13. Yes i say natural resources which includes the people which was after giving free education were to be the builders of building a barbados free of outside interference
    Well yes finally the chickens have laid their eggs and their all are addle
    Now we have a lot of talking heads and gagalled geese making loud noises looking for quick fixes
    Dont mek me laugh
    If only EWB was here to witness how his vision for a better barbados has been manifested into a bunch of self interest imbeciles

  14. We are well past the stage of Party’s we should now be entering the era of community activism where the will of the people will be fully articulated through the various groups of NGOs.

    Presently the Duopoly are the only contenders to lead this country and based on the CADRES poll the DEMs no longer have the trust of the people.

    The UNIONs must do whatever has to be done to force an election ASAP before we are beyond saving in our childrens lifetime.

  15. Wick-Ham tried the same brassbowl in 2013 did a poll which show DLP leading after BLP yardfowls cuss he stink he did over the poll to show BLP winning. Smiles were on the faces of Owen and BLP pimps like BU. In the real poll election day the BLP’s ass get cut. Wickham took off it was thought the CIA informer went to Foggy Bottom. It was reported he went to Paris ring the changes and return with proper status. In a year’s time everybody will know if the CIA snitch got it right . For now nothing Wick-Ham say or do is believable.

    • Commentator is aka waiting and well known DLP yardfowl who adopts several meaningless nomikers.

      James Paul declined to attend the Poll discussion on VoB this morning.

  16. This is the time for the unions, the private sector, The renewable Energy Association, The Barbados Integrity Group and other stakeholders to negotiate with the BLP and extract written agreements in return for support. After the election will be too late. Mia will be a dictator, benign or otherwise, for five years.

  17. You do not need a poll to tell you what the people already know. The DLP did all the things that they should not have done to get their asses kicked to the curve. The only ones that like that pompous shite for PM and all the other liars in the DLP are DLP loyalists nitwits. Barbadians have vented their frustration with the nonsense of the DLP. It is a pity that they think the BLP is their saviour. History has proven that the BLP is just as ignorant and pompous as these parading shites running the government. A third party like Solutions Party should be given a chance where the DLP and BLP have shown themselves to be corrupt and self-serving. I would say look to a serious third party alternative like Solutions Party. You can only prove them wrong or right when they start to show what they truly are made of.

  18. @ Sunshine Sunny Shine
    ” It is a pity that they think the BLP is their saviour. History has proven that the BLP is just as ignorant and pompous as these parading shites running the government. A third party like Solutions Party should be given a chance where the DLP and BLP have shown themselves to be corrupt and self-serving. I would say look to a serious third party alternative like Solutions Party. You can only prove them wrong or right when they start to show what they truly are made of.”
    Well said SSS

    I will be intensifying my efforts to VTO (Vote Them Out). All of this” Long talk” from those who think that the BLPDLP can forever hoodwink us in for a major surprise. All the BLPDLP apologists just waiting to get their hands on the treasury will be defeated even if they win.
    VTO the Bees and Dees : VOTE THEM OUT

    • @William

      The 3rd parties have a lot to do. If after all this and they couldn’t register 3% in the latest poll? Then again they have been lazy to mobilize maybe there is still time. If you vote out the B and D you know there has to be a credible alternative right?

  19. @ David

    Polls are just “snapshots of a moment in time”. You should remember that an energetic effort by the third parties/independents could influence the outcome of some very marginal constituencies.
    Any alternative is now more credible than the BLPDLP.

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