The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – A Fair Retrenchment II

Why aren’t layoffs taught as a subject at business school?” Robin Astrigo asked himself. “Boards expect executives to do them well, but nobody knows how.”- “The Layoff”- Harvard Business Review [2009]

As the phenomenon of retrenchment shifts focus from central government employees to those in the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and, inevitably to those in the private sector, last week’s column on the procedural requirements of the Employment Rights Act 20102 that apply to both of these will assume a substantial degree of practical relevance.

More over, the boards and executives of these entities must be prepared for a greater militancy on the part of the workers’ organizations that might not have obtained in the consultations with central government. We have already seen some evidence of this with the insistence of the Barbados Workers’ Union consultant that the “last in, first out” mode of selection for retrenchment is non-negotiable, whatever may be the arguments against it.

To be fair, the union quite rightly bases its insistence on the fact that this had been the mode of selection for retrenchment previously agreed by the Social Partnership, of which all the relevant parties are members or represented by delegates.

While the existence of this compact should settle this issue at least for now, it is notorious that there are alternative modes of selection, some of which may serve to assuage some of the concerns expressed by the voices of labour thus far.

And although I am not given to telling people what material they should read, the students in my UWI classes of course excepted, an interactive story, “The Layoff”, by Bronwyn Fryer, published in the March 2009 issue of the Harvard Business Review, might prove instructive to this debate for local private enterprise. It may be found at

There, a fictional firm, Astrigo Holdings, a home-improvement concern, had missed its earnings estimate by 20 cents a share. Profits had dropped by double digits, regardless of efforts to slash inventory and expenses. Despite aggressive promotions and price cuts, the Astrigo stores were losing sales to cheaper retailers with far worse customer service.

Robin Astrigo, the Chairman of the firm sees one option only-An aggressive reduction in head count…

The rest of the story relates the discussions between senior members of staff as to the optimal way to reduce numbers and the likely effect of these solutions on company morale and cultural health. To a suggestion of employing a last in, first out policy for retrenchment, the head of HR responds, “I understand but this isn’t just a financial transaction. Think about Yukio, that young woman we hired a few years ago to run new business development. We courted her hard. She’s a first-in-class MBA from a top school, and she’s full of bright ideas. Two of our competitors were after her, but she decided to come with us in the end because she likes our corporate values. If we do a blanket last-in, first-out plan, people like her would be out of here!”

The vice-president of marketing and strategy offers another opinion- I know it’s really painful…but it seems like we should consider something a bit more imaginative. Just pick a number. How about a 5% across-the-board pay cut, maybe a bigger one for people making six figures? We’re not a union shop. We have the flexibility to do it. If we get pushback, that’s OK.”

Most engaging in the article however are the suggestions from readers who care to comment as to the optimal strategy for Astrigo. In a joint submission, the co-founders of an executive career management and board advisory firm counsel- We believe Astrigo should borrow a page from the McDonald’s playbook. In its annual report McDonald’s clearly states that its business will focus on the interests of long-term shareholders. When a company explicitly seeks out such shareholders, its board has reason to assume investors will be more patient with the vicissitudes of the market. Moreover, once the economy strengthens, we think an increasing number of institutional investors will take a long-term view. In the United States the explosion in baby-boomer retirees will create a huge pool of investors who desire a safe train ride up and down gently rolling slopes. They’ll give up the thrills and agony of high risks and high returns.

With its unique size, strategy, cash position, and culture, Astrigo would be well suited to the interests of long-term shareholders. If the board issued a McDonald’s-like statement, it would establish a clearer framework for Robin’s tactical decisions, and he could make them with more precision and flexibility.

The chairman of a Swiss firm is more critical-

Astrigo has more than a cost problem. The company also appears to have strategy, management, and cultural problems. Its governance is a cipher. Marketing doesn’t seem to be working. And nowhere is it evident that the poor employees who will be so drastically affected by a layoff will have any opportunity to offer their input. While rumors fly and morale sinks, two of the top managers are off having an expensive lunch in a private dining club, discussing the fates of thousands of people and their families. This is no way to run a company.

Finally, a professor of management science at Stanford University puts his perspective- Unfortunately; too many executives blindly assume that layoffs are the best way to cut costs. With the exception of a lower-level vice president, none of the managers in this case seriously challenges the notion that 10% of the employees must go. The top executives don’t discuss alternatives such as pay cuts, reduced benefits, unpaid vacations or days off, or incentives for voluntary departure.

Nor do they consider how long it will take for the savings from the head-count reduction to kick in. A Bain & Company study of layoffs at S&P 500 firms during the 2001 downturn showed that it took them six to 18 months to realize savings from job cuts. And, when calculating savings, most executives fail to account for the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training new people who will be needed when good times return—let alone consider the damage to morale and productivity. Those costs are often much higher than people imagine, which helps explain why the study also found that firms that made layoffs their last resort and cut the fewest employees performed better than their competitors did.

There are some cautionary tales in this fictional account for us as we go through a similar conundrum in all sectors of employment. Of course some of the suggested initiatives may not be practicable, such as the enforced pay cuts in the public sector where they are precluded by a contrary constitutional measure and in the private sector where it would be considered a fundamental breach of the employment contract if effected unilaterally.



85 thoughts on “The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – A Fair Retrenchment II

  1. “Last In, First Out” is flawed because it may lead to the best employees being made redundant, e.g. a salesperson with the highest sales figures may be the “Last In” employee. However, it appears that the trade unions do not trust any other selection criterion for redundancy (e.g. performance). Does the Government have fair, objective and accurate records of its employees’ performance?

    The spirit and purpose of any redundancy exercise is to minimise the number of redundancies. Hence, the employer should ask the employees if they would agree to a pay cut.

    It seems that senior managers also fail to look at cutting other costs, e.g. do we really need to print the company newsletter as a glossy magazine?

    • If there is no credible performance management system how will performing employees be identified? Agree that we have a flawed system tantamount to spinning top in mud.

  2. Do we have hiring practices that select the best of several candidates? Given the rampant favoritism….. LIFO may be the way to go.

    Of course, those who just relinquished the power to hire may be upset that the last cousin they hired is getting fired. They may even want to argue is more competent than the cousin you hired when you had your turn.

    Without a working and effective appraisal system, it’s all talk.

  3. Tony Trotman

    A pay cut is only one such Give Back that is needed to avoid layoffs … the employees union can offer government:

    (1) Freezing in the raise of pay
    (2) offer furlough days
    (3) offer a change in the retirement package
    (4) Offer a reduction in salary or the hourly wage
    (5) offer a change in the pension to a 401k plan … where employees rather than employers make financial contributes to the plan etc…and many more options are available to avoid layoffs…

  4. *They may even want to argue that their cousin, who was hired last, is more competent than the cousin you hired when you had your turn in power.

  5. If there were 30,000 employed in Central Government and SOEs and ALL employees and management were cutback to a 4 day week.

    That would have the same effect on savings as sending home 6000 people.

    The advantages would be everyone of the 30,000 would stll be employed with no need to pay severance.

  6. @IMF Tentacles,

    The government is making a big thing of re-training those made redundant under BERT. What is wrong with re-training people while they are still employed?

  7. I used to work for a Corporation where for a number of years layoffs were common, they came about as a result of process improvements, elimination of certain activities or as a result of management being targeted to make a percentage cut of the full- time employees and outsourcing. There was always an attempt to keep the full- time employees by switching them to other Depts. that had identifiable needs for additional employees but if the employees couldn’t be placed a method on how to select which employees to keep was in place. It included Performance Appraisals but went beyond those by using a tool which included an assessment of the employees’ skills and attributes. If it came down to deciding which employee(s) would go it could be decided by other factors i.e. which employee had a history of absenteeism, tardiness etc. who had a history of fomenting Dept. strife etc. This was in a non- union environment so there was no avenue for appeals but the LIFO didn’t apply.

    The employees who were laid off were given letters which relayed their severance entitlement and any benefits that they were entitled to as a result of their displacement. These benefits were all spelled out in the Corporate HR manual which was accessible to every employee, some employees availed themselves of the opportunity to know what could potentially happen and others did not.

    I pointed out in the previous blog that Gov’ts are not in the business of laying off people so it was no surprise that the process was botched up, layoffs are never easy, its difficult for the people who are laid off and for the management who are directly in charge of those people as individuals form social relationships that transcend the workplace.

    • @Sargeant

      To add to the point, we operate in a polarized environment, politically and unionized. It will not be easy, botches will not make an effort to change the model easy.

  8. David

    At the end of the work year there ought to be an Evalution System which measures an employee Strengths, Weakness and areas that need improvement for that given year … and based on this Evaluation System … employers are able to determine who gets promoted or who gets flaged for that given year.

    • There is a system but not it is not being effectively operated. This is where the unions should get a failing grade. Why would the union not agitate for a system that fairly measures the performance of their members?

  9. I happen to live and work in the US. At one time I managed a large number of people and also participated in reviewing the reports of other managers. They called that last bit calibration, where the managers would determine which of the supoer candidates would get the “star” award; the big bonus percentage.

    I was convinced then that this appraisal system was just favoritism refined to an art. It would not surprise me if almost the ‘same’ folks were let go if we had a performance appraisal system.

    Having said all that….
    LIFO is gutless decision making.
    Using the results of Performance appraisals make its looks more pointed/scientific, but you will only be using biases built into the system.
    Any other approach will take time and time is too short.
    There is no easy way to do this.
    LIFO may the fastest solution

  10. I am happy to see that the morale of the remaining employees is taken into consideration in this article. That always seems to get missed.

    Also, having been the victim myself of LIFO during the Sandi years I know that one can lose the persons most suited for a job this way. I loved that job and I was enthusiastic and good at it. My workmates, my supervisors and the Ministry assessor acknowledged that. And they kept somebody who had confided in me that she absolutely hated the job. She had been hired just a few months before me.

    Despite the difficulties with performance management and appraisal systems they have to be a better option than LIFO. ” Let us not make the perfect be the enemy of the good.” In other words “Better is good.” I won’t say who I got that from or some people would want to reject it. What it means though is that we should not wait around for a perfect system when we can implement one that is at least better.

    We are stuck in a cycle of crazy.

  11. @ Hal Austin
    The government is making a big thing of re-training those made redundant under BERT. What is wrong with re-training people while they are still employed

    None of these idiots have ever ran a successful business.

    Look at Clyde Mascoll who was involved in the Hardwood Homes fiasco which caused the Barbados taxpayers $2 million during the previous BLP administration.

    Now one of the main economists.

    Avanish Pesaud who was in charge of the Four Seasons fiasco costing the taxpayers $ millions.

    Now one of the main players.

    Square pegs in round holes.

  12. Job performance does not impact retrenchment … it only affects promotion … seniority or years of service impact retention … at least for most unionized jobs…

  13. Wahloss I agree with TheoGaz at 10:10. Even with a PRS, when roles are to be deleted from the Org Structure, a combination of asking those affected to re-apply and ringfencing is often used. The government is using LIFO and ringfencing.

  14. Lexicon

    My comment about an agreed pay cut was directed at the last paragraph of the article.

    I was not saying that a pay cut is the only way to minimise the number of redundancies. See my comment [dated October 28, 2018 at 7.51 am] under last Sunday’s article written by Mr Cumberbatch – where I mentioned a pay cut as an example of a way to minimise the number of redundancies

  15. TheoGezerts

    As someone who lives in the US
    … you ought to know that an appraisal system does not determine who stay and who goes … for most unionized jobs in the US … ones years of service determining whether or not one stay or one goes … unless the entire department is being closed ….

  16. This is really about decision making.
    At some stage a person has to make the hard decision of who goes and who stays. What will the process be ….

    LIFO. though gutless, is transparent

    One of the problem we have with LIFO is that party supporters are usually given jobs after the big victory and are therefore the last in,

    Other methods, though better, are less transparent and in the hands of a few devils may even be worse than LIFO. You may end up with LIFO ( with the excuse of no records to evaluate) and de rest of de Dems out (not performing).

    LIFO might not serve our national interest, but I am not convince other processes will provide a remedy.

    There are no easy answers …….

  17. @Lexicon
    Turn the page…
    We are talking about finding a method to determine who goes and who stays.
    It is not an abstract discussion…

  18. TheoGezerts

    “The way the union eliminate favouritism”

    Is by putting a yearly Eval in place to determine who gets promoted or who get the desired position in the company…and if both employees have an excellent Eval the same year… then the employees years of service and academic qualifications determine who gets the position or the promotion…

  19. TheoGezerts

    It is quite simple… because who goes and who stays from a union perspective … is based on the employee years of service or seniority… and not the needs of the employer…

  20. TheoGezerts

    The Eval is based on this criteria

    1) Excellent
    2) Good
    3) Fair
    4) Unsatisfactory

    Now if an employee get an unsatisfactory Eval for that year … he or she is flagged for that year…

  21. TheoGezerts

    Now this Eval targets different areas of an employee’ job performance for that year, and if an employee believes that the employer gave him or her an unfair Eval …he or she can then file in a union grievance…

  22. @Lexi
    Going to make a last try…

    You are one of those guys who set up straw men and then knock them over?

    Turn five pages,,,
    You too far back there…
    Like talking about wearing bicycle helmets and you back there describing a bicycle….

    • The collective bargaining unit by definition represents the majority of workers. Non unionized workers have options to exercise rights.

  23. How will a case of members from two different unions being the « complaint »
    One the good worker and the other the bad worke, be traeted

  24. @ David BU

    If the purpose of the retrenchment exercise is to transform the public service to a fit for purpose modern digitised process, how can a performance appraisal system that evaluates the performance of a worker on an old system of delivery be relevant?

    • @Vincent

      A relevant performance system will have key metrics that fairly determine the aptitude of the employee. A good employee can be trained to do most jobs.

  25. I have read the comments so far and it would seem that most commenters are labouring under the false premiss that the layoffs are about saving money. If the government wanted to save money on its salary and wages bill, it would rid itself of the whole host of superfluous senior employees who do no work or do work that is of little value. Instead, Government has to fit into the IMF’s formula that determines the number of public employees based on population size.

    You should note that government did not say to its departments that they must save x dollars. They were instructed to send home specific numbers. For example, the Transport Board was instructed to reduce its workforce by fifty persons.

  26. Ah Caswell ever the unionist the discussion (to this observer) was about process not who was “let go” and the Gov’ts position is “bottom up” rather than “top down” or across the board. You maybe right that the Gov’t was primed to use the IMF “numbers” to satisfy that organization that it was living up to its directives.

    BTW there are metrics to determine an employee’s productivity, perhaps you can use your position to get the Gov’t to employ them and then you may realize your goal of removing the “superfluous” employees that you mention……

  27. If a Government department is instructed to reduce its workforce by a certain number – I would expect the number to include any employee (e.g. a senior manager) in the department.

  28. @ Caswell
    When will you realise that you cannot help those who” know not and know not that they know not….”?

    …unless of course you had BUPPED, …in which case you would have been in a position to LEAD the sheeple like a Shepherd is supposed to lead dumb sheep….. to greener pastures.

    Now Bushie is SURE that it is hurting YOU more than it is hurting the sheep – cause you DONE KNOW the kind of plimplers in store for their sheep-donkeys …. but they (as yet) still “know not that they know not…..”

    Poor fella….
    What happened to the articles though….?
    Yuh get banned..?

  29. Tony Trotman
    “If a Government department is expected to reduce its Workforce by a certain number… I expect the number to include any employee”

    That is not necessarily true … because within a given governmental department there are essential and non-essential employees … the non-essential employees generally gets the axe before the essential employees…

  30. Now are these retrenched workers (in training) be granted wages
    I meaning mouths in those households still need to be fed and bills to be paid.
    I am hearing about training programs but nothing on if these trainees would be paid

  31. Mariposa

    Wait! Is there no such thing as unemployment benefits in Barbados for people who have been forced on the unemployment line? What retraining you talkin bout…?

  32. @ David BU

    “the most scientific method”? Wow !! We really need some “rocket science” or the equivalent in Human Resource Management,Operations Research and Industrial Engineering.

  33. Caswell Franklyn

    Government is well within its right to layoff employees it deems necessary … and government doesn’t necessarily have to cut senior employees as a cost cutting strategy … government can layoff an entire department and outsourced the work to the private if it can be done cheaper..

  34. Caswell Franklyn

    You ought to know as a former union president that the only way to prevent government from layoff employees, is if there is a non-layoff clause in contract that indicates a specific date…

  35. @ David BU

    I will take Bush Tea’s advice to Caswell at 3:56 PM.

    @ Jeff

    Another excellent thought provoking article. I like the inputs from the Strategic Management Schools perspectives.

    @ PUDYR

    On the ball as usual. I hope your advice is being taken on board.

  36. @ LEXICON at 4:25 PM

    The Unemployment Benefit Fund is actuarially designed to address normal unemployment losses not layoffs of this magnitude. I believe it is probably under stress at this time.

  37. You ought to know as a former union president that the only way to prevent government from layoff employees, is if there is a non-layoff clause in contract that indicates a specific date…

    @ Lexicon, Has not government given its word to the Social Partnership that it will comply with the procedures laid down in the Protocol?The right to layoff employees is not easily implied and may be constrained by an express agreement to the contrary…

  38. Caswell Franklyn

    What is your point though?

    The government of Barbados is following the exact advice states here in the US have been following for years in order to balance the budget.

    The governor would send an official letter to each of the state commissioners or department heads… indicating how many jobs he wants eliminated in order to balance the state budget.

    The commissioners or department heads would then go about elimenting jobs based on the needs of their departments to reach the governor’s targeted goal.

  39. Jeff
    I cannot speak with any force as to the nature of the agreement which the employees have with the government of Barbados , but what I am sure of as an union worker of some three decades … is the fact that if there isn’t a non-layoff clause embedded in the contract … then government is at liberty to layoff as it sees fit to meet the needs of the state…

  40. listen never heard of potential employees in training receiving welfare , However have heard trainees receiving wages

  41. so where do we go from here are these potential employees trainees ,or are they acknoweldge by barbados law welfare recipients or can be assigned as both

  42. @ The Luminary Jeff Cumberbatch

    THis is my first reading so I will come back again

    However it is now my turn to say that you are a superlatively well read person.

    Not only are you able to give focus on this submission but you were able to do so UTILIZING A FICTIONAL NOVEL with real life pertinent parallels!

    From a remote tome!

    That oh Luminary amazes me when one runs across such brilliance it truly humbles one.

    Anyway, dem going come soon and say dat de ole man boot licking as usual, few understand the effect of encountering sheer brilliance and the consistent ability to contextualize, then extrapolate has on idjits like meself.

    You can understand the woman of whom Jesus the Christ says “virtue has left me” and why, If it were possible to touch the hem of your garments in a class, why students flock to your classes.

    I continue to watch on the “peripherals” as they continue to come and glean your insights, but skits appointing you BECAUSE, the mere timbre of your writings, makes it evident that you are no man or woman’s servant.

    You will always be feared, that is par of the course Luminary.

    I got five more readings to do, i used to be 3 but Donna does three and I ent no Donna so…

  43. Mariposa

    In America it is slightly difference … those on welfare receive training free of cost … while those who are working have to pay for it … now when the government of Barbados sponsored the Skills Training Program through the Polytechnic in the 1980s … we received a small sum of money on friday evenings …

  44. They are not sent to training by the government
    It their option if the want to be retrained and what they do with the training after if they don’t get back into goverment

  45. @ PUDRYR at 5 :49 PM

    Very often literature, calypsos etc are more directly analytical than metrics. They help us to understand ourselves and the society in which we live. They are our mirrors. Some people do not like what they see. Some deal with the image ; others blame the mirror.
    We need to stop believing our lies. We need also to stop trying t force them on others.

  46. @ Lexicon, From protocol VI-

    The Social Partners further determine, consistent with their agreement
    in respect of a national employment policy, that all employees shall enjoy
    the right not to be unfairly dismissed, or to be unfairly prevented from
    continued employment, and that the procedure for the termination of any
    employment shall accord with:
    (i) the principles of natural justice; and
    (ii) the principles enunciated by the International Labour
    6.10 The Social Partners, cognisant of those principles, therefore agree that
    when, for reasons of an economic, technological, structural or similar nature,
    the employer contemplates terminations, he shall:provide the workers’ representatives concerned in good time
    with relevant information including the reasons for the
    terminations contemplated, the number and categories of
    workers likely to be affected, and the period over which the
    terminations are intended to be carried out
    (b) in accordance with national law and practice, give the workers’
    representatives concerned, as early as possible, an opportunity
    for consultation on measures to be taken to avert or to minimise
    the terminations and measures to mitigate the adverse effects of
    any terminations on the workers concerned (such as finding
    altemative employment)
    (c) give due consideration to workers’ representatives with regard
    to their retention in employment in case of a reduction of the
    work force.

  47. So what we have here are differing opinions but what dies barbados law indicate
    All this hulabaloo about job training not going to add to a hill of beans
    First and foremost most people retrenched rather have a salary than going round the mulberry bush fuh what might add up to nothing

  48. Again I say why do we sign contracts? Why do we pass laws only to break them before the ink is dried? I think it is disrespectful and contemptuous. A society must be built on trust. The GoB must lead from in front.

  49. Thanks for the info Jeff

    Vincent Codrington

    Why do we sign contracts…?

    What kind of a question is that Vincent Codrington?

    We have to blame the people who cannot skillfully negotiate a contract that is going to benefit the workers in the long run… Vincent Codrington, how can a government layoff workers when a contract is still binded?

    “Why do we pass law only to break them before the ink is dried…?

    It has more to do with the passions and desires of mankind … and a law is only a law when you get caught breaking it …

  50. @ Jeff C
    Boss… TRUST Bushie on this one….
    Despite your well established brilliance and your years of teaching successes…

    …You CANNOT help Dompey….
    No one can….
    ha ha ha
    Only David (BU) may be able to help us….

  51. Bush Tea

    When are you going to put your intellectual prowess to use;… microscopic rock is in such a big mess.
    Bushie, just this year I was in Barbados to lay to rest my dear madda, and I was appalled by the state of the roads in Barbados, and stench which inundated St. Lawrence Gap where I stayed briefly. . But what really shook me to the core is panhandling emanating from the very Young to the very old … not to mentioned in Monopoly money that now circulates in what once was labeled luminous crystal in in the Caribbean archipelago.

    So my question to you Bush Tea is this: what are you going to do about your home Sir? You have to live and will probably die in that Little Rock…!!!

  52. Bush Tea

    The place is in a mess … and you are on a social blog try to tear down a fella Barbadian who is endeavouring to give of what wisdom he has to help aid the garbage stench island … listen! I was planning to return home for good the next 6 years …but when I saw what I saw this year in Barbados … I would advice any young person to take the opportunity to migrate …

  53. @Bush Tea
    In all the years on BU only one person mentioned “Uncle Wilburs” chicken outfit and that was “Dompey”, guess who mentioned it again in a recent submission?

    Anyway, you should let bygones be bygones unless….

  54. @ Sargeant
    Dompey is such a unique character that even if he came on BU and typed gibberish on his keypad ….. it would be PATENTLY clear that Mr Fenty is on duty…. OOPS … that is what happened ain’t it…?
    Domps is one of Bushie’s BEST friends on BU …EVER …..(after Old Onions of course)

    Do you recall the time it was alleged that Dompey lost his job at the hospital – when he wanted to charge his cell phone… and unplugged a life support system in order to do so…?

    @ Lexicon asked…
    what are you going to do about your home Sir?
    Bushie’s home is near to perfect Lexi… Can’t think of anything in need of change there…

    OH WAIT…. you meant Barbados…?
    So what would you like Bushie to do Boss…?

    Do you know that CLEANLINESS is next to Godliness?
    Why do you think so many are so comfortable in filth?
    Filth tends to follow brass bowlery.

    What happened to all the fancy big words (and malapropisms) that characterised your old contributions Boss?
    Now that you have adopted the fancy NAME, …you have changed the GAME?

    ‘Dompey’ may still be available yuh know….

  55. ” The anxiety is over for students of the Barbados Community College (BCC) and the Erdiston Teachers Training College worried about the payment of tuition fees this academic year.

    Government today gave its word that it would cover those costs, along with the tuition fees for Barbadians pursuing studies at the University of the West Indies (UWI).”

  56. @ IMF Tectacles @ Hal

    When Sandiford denounced Haynes’ policies with a new budget. Haynes described Sandiford’s policies as a “ back street abortion”
    Let’s face it the current retrenchment exercise is a back street abortion.
    The Social Partnership is nothing more than a con PR exercise designed to fool people that government policy is being undertaken in consultation with everybody representing the society.
    Not true , at the end of the day, BLP supporters will have jobs and most DLPs will be looking fuh wuk.If the DLP were in power, most DLP supporters will have jobs and the BLPs will be looking fuh wuk.
    That’s where all the confusion is. The government must do what the IMF says while trying to look after its supporters.
    The unions are now weakened because their whole purpose for the last three years was to engage in opposition politics and they won the political battle but now losing the war. In other words their credibility is underwater.
    The private sector got rid of the NSRL and now the prices rising.
    In the mean time the DLP that responsible for the mess realizes that no seats in parliament has turned out to be a political blessing since no one can make any one of them own up to anything.
    So what do we really have: a govt that jumped into the IMF arms; once active activists now silent; poor Black workers from the bottom being treated like second class citizens; a bloated cabinet; an opportunistic opposition; a promise to lock up former parliamentarians for corruption; and to crown it all party sycophants who can’t see beyond Lionel C Hill supermarket or St Cyprians Church.
    The only body that appears to be putting real money in the economy is Butch Stuart and his much maligned Hotel group. Remember them- we were going to kill them off a few months ago.
    The more things change……….BLPDLP same party.
    Joke of the year: Caswell misses Chris
    Not a failed state yet but………..

  57. @ William
    The Social Partnership is like a Town Hall Meeting – a facade designed to allow the big boys to get away with doing shiite, while allowing them to say that they ‘discussed the matter at length’ with everyone involved.
    When issues arise afterwards, the victims are dismissed since they ‘should have raised the matter at the meeting’.

    Town Hall Meetings and Social Partnerships should be seen as STRICTLY information exchange sessions.
    The very IDEA of a ‘social partnership’ group making strategic decisions is flawed….
    Typical Bajan brass bowlery.

  58. Sargeant

    I’ll be convinced only when he begins writing about his escapades at the back of District A police station.

  59. William Skinner

    “The more things change … BLPDLP stay the same”

    William Skinner tell us what you are going to do personally to effectuate change beside using social media to express your grievances with the current state of affairs?

    Sir, can you at least holding up a sign of discontent in Bridgetown to show you displeasure with what the two parties are doing to the nation?

  60. @ Artax
    Don’t mek joke. District A not needed.
    The new pseudonym alone shouts ‘Dompey….’
    Clearly designed to ‘effectuate change’ .. while lauding excess verbosity…

  61. @ Lexicon

    You will note that I have made no such demands or suggestions to you when you use this media to express yourself . Also I do not ever ask you or anybody else what they are doing to effect change.
    For your information, I have long recorded my total displeasure with the BLPDLP. And by the way , I have been active in my community; trade unionism and have even lost my deposit trying to get rid of them almost 27 years ago. I am no Johnny come lately to taking an interest and being involved in the affairs of my country.
    Thank you.

  62. Most people once they get appointed to a leadership position they to level a legacy

    But bajans are not like most people AND UNION LEADERS ARE LESS INCLINED TO BE REAL LEADERS since they do not want to lose subscriptions

    I would have felt that it would have been in the interest of any union to support, rather secure, a functioning Performance Appraisal system for its subscribers

    I is a simple man but the way I figure it is that if I got an account with Courts and every month I does pay a bill and frequently they send me an incorrect account balance, I mean, it is only reasonable for me to keep my decejots as backup

    Any serious Union, including Senator Caswell, should have a backup record of their subscribers ‘ performance report cards.

    Even if you just use Excel or Access, in this day and age they should have some mutually agreeable electronic record that permits them to make informed decisions about this LIFO

    I mean this situation with staff when in a corporate setting only requires HR to print a report.

    One would like to believe that, after all these years in local regional and international affairs that unions are much more advanced than just being talk shops with well gilded pictures of Frank Walcott on the wall

    But then again this is Barbados…

  63. And based on that Performance Appraisal/ Annual Eval … employers are held in check if they decide to show favourism to an employee they favour…even though that employee may have gotten an unsatisfactory eval.

  64. So David Comissiong threw the Unions under the bus
    I bet they wont dare mess with him
    Personally i am glad as sh.iit he help govt to used them and abused them
    How sweet can that be
    To add icing to his article he calls the Unions bare faced liars stating that the UNIONS sat in on the decision making of the workers to be retrenched and agreed with govt decison on LIFO
    Loving every moment of this opened Pandora Box
    Drum roll please

  65. Mariposa

    Why did it have take David Comissiong to inform our understanding of the Union double dealings? When we already knew that the Union was in the hot bed of promiscuity with government.

  66. @ the Honourable Blogmaster

    While the responses from Senator Caswell Franklin on this matter, particularly the problems with the PRDS, is deafening, it would he been useful to have had a review of the pros and cons of this iniquitous system and suggestions on how it might be improved for our general good.

    Could you make such an outreach for a blog on this topic else we brimlers continue to discuss a topic while not being au fait with the subject matter

    But ooops that is what we do generally anyways heheheheh

  67. @ the Honourable Blogmaster

    De ole manman has read your article the required 5 times and slowly comprehends the several more human options that were available to this MIA CARES GOVERNMENT

    DE OLE MAN would only wish to warn that, among the many laws and constitutional changes and computer data acts to be enacted in the coming weeks, do not be surprised if you have to dedicate a column to “The Emergency Banning of Seditious Books Acts (& their Reviewers) 2018”

    “…Whereas we the Caring Government of Mugabe has been elected by the people on May 24th, we hereby decree that the Book “The Layoff” shall be banned forthwith in Barbados

    Furthermore, the word “Astrid” shall be hereafter a seditious word and speaking it or writing it shall be a crime that will get you retrenched, fired od blackballed.

    By order of Mugabe.

    PS any women wigh the name Astrid shall report go the Office of The PMO for an examination of their “particulars”, please wear loose fitting clothing”

    Please forgive de ole man Luminary but sometimes people need to see the absolute farce behind these inhumane decisions that are more tasteless than my poor attempts at comedy.

    Imagine a fictitious novel provides so many real options yet here we are faced with a 5% in increase for 26 unconscionable Parliamentary Representatives

  68. My post of 9.58 was for the LUMINARY Mr Jeff Cumberbatch and not the Honourable Blogmaster. Apologies.

  69. To vote or not to vote for the betterment of your country. Now up in arms as to whether you will have a job or not. But the people responsible for the situation this country is in sit and have wine with the powers that be and have long friendly chats. It is sad that the poor majority don’t see this. It’s November and it ain’t look like Christmas around the corner at all. It feels like the lent season. A season of suffering. But just hoping that they will be joy after all this sorrow.

    • What do expect from citizens intoxicated by consumption behaviour? It is normal therefore to aspire to what is believed to be the norm?

  70. Approximately 1000 or over government workers have been retrenched. Have statutory boards brought on additional staff and added them to the payroll?

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