Another Heather Cole Column – Something Happening

Stedson Wiltshire (Red Plastic Bag) gave a vivid description of what is seen on Kadooment Day in a calypso song entitled Something Happening. The joyful song presents a stark contrast to the sobering reality unfolding in Barbados. With a backdrop of Covid-19, the cause of labour unrest is deeply disturbing as it is related to changes in the Severance Pay Act and the refusal of some hotels to pay their potion of the workers’ severance pay. As the reality of this crisis sets in, anguish, lack of information, confusion and frustration confront a large section of the population and now a once docile people seem to be erupting. Protests have become a fixture on the landscape with 40% unemployed predominately in the tourism sector; no one knows how this will end but something is definitely happening.

There is no comparison in recent history to what is now unfolding. Complexity and growth of the economy makes it distinct from the 1930’s but it is noteworthy that there was no labour union to prevent the downward spiral that culminated in the 1937 riots in Barbados. Trade unionism came into existence after the riots to protect the rights of labour in 1941. What is mindboggling is that it was out of the struggle of the black working class that both the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) were conceived and born. Now the relationship is akin to 2 children abandoning their mother. This should never have become a matter of political expediency as the BWU depends on the black working class for financial support and the Barbados Labour party depends on the black working class (the largest voting group) for votes. The action of both has shown that they have joined forces and abandoned this class.

In contrast with the song, one can see questionable union actions. One can query the BWU’s agreement to the BEST Program as it offers less than favourable relief to the workers than to the hotels. The program provides financial assistance to hotels and a wage subsidy to workers but no severance. It was stated that only $30 Million of the $300 Million dollars has been taken by the hotels. Part of the remaining $ 270 Million dollars can be used as severance for the workers. Essentially the BEST program is fundamentally flawed as it does not contain a severance payment option.

One can also query why the recently held press conference only resulted in a solution for the workers of Club Barbados and did not take into consideration the thousands of other unemployed workers. What was required is an across the board solution for the hotel industry and any other affected industries. There were so many twists and turns regarding the story of the workers of Club Barbados that it is difficult to decipher but yet it does not justify treatment as a special case as it leaves out others whose plight is the same.

Both the Prime Minister and Ms. Moore chastised the Media but one cannot imagine how the secret of 40% unemployed in Barbados could be kept, not discussed or their protests not covered if they take to the streets. A fair Press is not the enemy of the people. Highlighting these stories humanized the suffering of the workers. They became real people with real problems and in need of real solutions. We all felt their pain. Change is never a factor that comes into play with silence or secrecy; with them ignorance pervades. What the media can do in addition to highlighting the protest is to utilize the top corner of the new paper to daily post unemployment numbers, NIS payouts as a show of solidarity with the workers and carry stories of how this crisis has affected individual persons and neighbourhoods.

One can see government as having created an environment for the lack of trust. The role of government in any democratic society is to provide an enabling environment for all to flourish. This is exhibited in the provision of social services and laws. When the Severance Payment Act was amended in August 2020, the reason for its changes and the why now could not be justified as it was the midst of the current pandemic. The changes now extend the layoff period from 13 to 22 weeks before they can file for severance and that employees must give 4 weeks notice to the employer prior to the end of the 22 weeks period. It also states that the employer can contest severance. It is a punitive amendment to the law and has led to much confusion and ultimately the amended act is disadvantageous as the underlying principle is to disqualify workers from obtaining severance payments. The level of confidence in the government with regards to the treatment to workers is now at an all-time low.

One can also see that this is not only an economic issue. It is also a matter of social justice. Less than favourable treatment has been meted out to one specific class of the population; the black working class. The same people who for almost 400 years have been feeling the brunt of what occurs in the Barbadian society. This class has the highest rate of unemployment, highest incidence of crime, the highest rate of minimum wages, have a high cost of living, poor housing, reduced access to potable water, are in need of proper roads and combined they pay the highest taxes. The only positive thing that they as a group possess is votes at election time. It is these same people who are in need and are being denied the money that should be theirs. One of the women, a former Club Barbados worker lamented that she feels like George Floyd with the weight of someone’s foot on her neck and that she could not breathe. Do their lives and livelihood matter?

One hopes that now we are in the post Nelson era, that governance comes with an aspect of social justice; that no decisions are made on the behalf of the people without consideration of how the disadvantaged black working class will be affected and that there will be a living wage, programs put in place not for pit toilets but for creating wealth to remove vicious the cycle of poverty. If the opportunity to create wealth can be provided to the already privileged it should also be provided to the black working class. The government saw it fit to compulsorily acquire property on Bay Street to give to a developer. It must also do the same for the black working class through co-operatives for agriculture, business development and housing. It is hoped that laws which still seem to be derived from the slave codes will be removed from the laws of Barbados. This is in reference to laws being written from the punitive point of view of ‘let us deny them that colonial mentality’; as though some things are still just too good for the black working class of Barbados.

The irony of these developments is that both the BWU and BLP have bitten the hand that feeds them.

345 comments

  • @Artax,
    Are you saying that one’s contract with the union has ended when they are no longer employed? You you referred to the affected persons as former employees.
    This does not seem correct. What happens in the case of unlawful dismissal and cases where persons are represented by the Union at the employment tribunals?
    If it is indeed that are no longer under the union contract, there is room for the unions now to update their contract as their ‘slip’ in now showing.

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  • @ Based on the BWU regulations, unemployment benefits can be paid. As inquiry should be made to the union.

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  • Barbados Today posted an article to the effect that the Minister of labour was remorseful in Parliament today. He should swiftly put his words into action that was done with the Sunset Legislation and create the Sunrise legislation to correct the wrongs of the Severance Pay Act and punishment/penalties/ seizing of assets for hoteliers who refuse to follow the law.

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  • @ Heather December 3, 2020 11:13 PM

    RE: “Are you saying that one’s contract with the union has ended when they are no longer employed?”

    I Never ‘said’ that.

    RE: “You you referred to the affected persons as former employees. This does not seem correct.

    Could you explain why referring to those individuals who were made redundant by Club Barbados, as former employees “does not seem correct?”

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  • A commission investigating disturbances in Barbados in 1937 issued a warning:
    “We have been impressed by the high dividends earned by many trading concerns in the island and the comfortable salaries and bonuses paid to the higher grades of employees in business and agriculture. If the whole community were prosperous and enjoyed a comfortable standard of living, high dividends might be defensible, but when these are only possible on the basis of low wages the time has certainly come for a reconsideration of the fundamental conditions and organization of industry……A fundamental change in the division of earnings between the employer and his employees is essential if hatred and bitterness are to be removed from the minds of the majority of employees”.
    Eric Williams, From Columbus to Castro

    After 54 four years of Independence we still smell like 1937……………..

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  • @Williams

    Eric William’s position is one proffered through the years and will continue for years to come. It is interesting what Covid 19 has done to influence the dividend strategy for example. See link – https://www.ft.com/content/2719966c-b228-4300-bdc0-dcbe2f7050fd.

    We live in interesting times. If it is any consolation, Barbados is not alone.

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  • Today’s Nation Editorial

    Better relations a must
    The current state of what seems to be deep-seated industrial unrest is not good for Barbados. We have long had a peaceful co-existence between workers and employers, and this has helped considerably to give our country the capacity to punch above its weight.
    True, we have had the occasional bruising confrontation between capital and labour. These have served to remind all parties that a harmonious, peaceful existence with mutual respect is always the best solution.
    That no fewer than three of our National Heroes were prominent trade union leaders in their time is testimony to the path-breaking contributions and wisdom which allowed workers to gain many advances for their benefit at the bargaining table. And without bloodshed.
    The efforts of these earlier union leaders also helped to enhance the political process and the rights of workers to participate in the legislative process and influence laws. But above all, they have established for us a reputation for our voluntaristic approach to employeremployee relations.
    This peaceful state of affairs has not been a one-way street. Corporate Barbados has, in the main, shown a generally high state of corporate responsibility, and by and large, both sides of the investment coin have played their part in fostering the harmonious industrial relations climate existing here.
    The fallout from the COVID-19 experience has seemed, within recent times, to be posing a serious challenge to this climate of peace. Workers are up in arms with some employers who they claim appear to be other than “up to marks” in respect of their obligations to them.
    We resolutely set our face against any employers in a position to honour severance payments obligations, who are giving workers the runaround. This approach is reprehensible and to be frowned on. Companies affected by the pandemic have a prime duty to frankly and truthfully communicate with their workers about the difficult position in which they find themselves – if that is the case.
    These are unusual times and the Government has stepped into the breach to assist both capital and, in consequence labour. Companies which are not earning revenue cannot be allowed to collapse, because that would be a calamitous blow to the workers. Hence, we welcome the assistance being given to businesses, particularly in the tourism industry. This approach is designed to hold this critical aspect of the industry until the situation improves. However, this pragmatic approach can only work if there is clearcut, transparent communication between workers and employers.
    Employers must speak with their employees at an early moment, rather than making last-minute, back-to-the-wall approaches to the National Insurance Scheme. Evasive or last-minute efforts cannot engender confidence.
    These are difficult times, but the 2008 recession, for example, has taught us these problems can be surmounted, and that with Government’s assistance, employers and workers can survive the most treacherous economic turmoil.
    Responsible behaviour must, however, be the order of the day. The workers have legitimate concerns. They must not be hung out to dry and have to protest to get clear answers.
    Yet, it seems that some employers are not on the same page as the Government, which is offering the kind of assistance that only Government can offer, when capital and labour, through no fault of their own, confront tsunamis of economic distress.

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  • The blogmaster read the financial reports of ICBL and FCIB published in today’s press. Two companies which have traditionally posted strong financial results decimated by Covid 19. We can easily translate to apply to other companies to judge the impact on cash flows.

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  • @ David
    I know that if you tell a Bajan the roads in Bim need fixing, his first response is : Have you ever been to Dominica or St Vincent ! You are a very proud Bajan and so am I but right now I’m only worried about trying to diligently fix the problems we are capable of correcting.
    It seems fashionable nowaday, that one has to be constantly reminded that every thing is every where and that’s supposed to bring comfort.
    I guess the next time some citizen from St. Lucy complains that the water from her taps is brown; she would be told that there are some parts of the world where yuh can’ get bug water at tall- so go ahead and be thankful and drink the brown water ‘ cause it could be worse………
    Peace

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  • Should be no and not “bug”. My apologies.
    “ no” water at all.

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  • @William

    This is exactly the point being made. There was a time Barbados was the model Balck country and it provoked the comment from then United Nations GS. We follow these days.

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  • No Baje, actually it is showing your pettygree.

    But enough of you for the day! You may have the last word “IRREGARDLESS” of how wrong it is.

    But check with your buddy Hal Austin before you use that capitalised one – among your favourites.

    Now THAT could be described as petty. Just giving you an example because you seem not to know some meanings of simple words or real words, for that matter.

    On to higher things!

    Readymix now seems to be in de mix! Something is definitely happening in Barbados. BLP and BWU notwithstanding, black Barbadians are getting a wake up call. You can continue to work for these effers or you can join together and do your own thing.

    I determined in my young days not to work for them and explained last year to my seventeen year old son why he never should.

    Never will they shut their doors in our faces!

    Also, can somebody make sense of what Mahmood Patel is reported to have said in Barbados Today?

    Artax?

    Out to the Garden of Peace to talk to my plants! I am coaxing a whole lot of life- sustaining food out of them. My words are therefore making more sense than most. Meanwhile my insect and bird helpers also appreciate and co-operate at my request. They graciously assist me to remain free of the sickening pesticides. Just one pest left to fight – the aptly named whitefly. My cucumber seedlings will soon be ready for transplant. My ladybirds, neem plant and I will be ready for the whitefly SOB. SHOWDOWN AT TEATIME showing daily starting December 11th at 4.00 p.m.

    Have a good day!

    😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊

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  • @ David
    The more I think about our problems, not only in Barbados,but the region, I believe we need to return to a broader philosophical and revolutionary position. We need more Tim Hectors and younger Ralph Gonsalves along with academics such as Neville Duncan.
    We have too many failed leaders dominating the political landscape.
    We can no longer depend on the present group.
    Peace

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  • @William

    Change must be led, let us agree on a key ingredient. We also need a clash of ideas and ideologies to create the crucible which could give rise to a phoenix moment.

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  • @ David
    You said: “ Change must be led, ….”

    Agreed.

    Peace

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  • @ David

    What you saw in those published fimancilas basically is reflective of what 90% of the companies in This island are facing. Basically they have had their earnings decimated by the virus. I have no doubt the big Trini duo here would also be feeling the pain.

    What will happen in the short term is the stronger companies with liquid retained earnings will use some of those funds to prop them up. But even the strong like Cave Shepherd will have to make a decision how much money they are prepared to lose. Sadly the weaker companies especially those with high tourism related exposure may well pull in their doors for good.

    This is why I keep harping on the point that the economy needs to be restructured urgently so as to facilitate some of this fall out. But as of yet nothing that the Sinkyuh and Persaud committee have come up with if indeed any ideas exist, has been published.

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  • @John A

    Agreed.

    It is why the simplistic positions offered here and elsewhere supported by your concern by predictable policy prescriptions by government in unprecedented times is frustrating.

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  • @ John A
    “ But as of yet nothing that the Sinkyuh and Persaud committee have come up with if indeed any ideas exist, has been published.”(Quote)

    When Sinckler as MOF , was drowning ,we collectively and politically cussed him and Stuart. Now we trying to shift to some committee with the same Sinckler and a consultant Persuad.
    We need to hear from the Prime Minister and Minster of Finance. We did not elect Sinckler or Persuad !
    Just keeping it fair and balanced.
    Peace

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  • @ David

    We are 9 months into this virus what have you seen done in any meaningful way to restructure the economy?

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  • ANPTHER DAY
    MORE LONG TALK
    BUT WUH WUH GWINE DO BOUT UM?
    NONE AH WUNNUH CAHN DO NUTTIN BOUT UM. BUT TALK, UH LIE?
    WHY ALL WUNNUH TALKERS DONT TRY LOOKING UP BEFORE UM IS TOO LATE?
    SEEMS THE WRITING PUN DE WALL. UH LIE?

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  • @ William

    Yes I agree with you 100%. The PM NEEDS to tell us what the economic restructuring plan is and when will it start. By now the recommendations of this committee should have been published by the PM who is also the MOF. I also blame the opposition for not demanding that this be done. If we wait with the hope that the Barbados economy will return on its own, we will suffer irreversible long term damage both economic and social.

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  • @John A

    There is an assumption the tourist sector will rebound, several of the policies are designed to catch the rebound.

    There is an effort to improve efficiency by a more aggressive push to digital transformation.

    There is an effort to improve the Court system.

    There is an attempt to improve infrastructure and ancillary services.

    So far no fundemenal change to how we plan to earn and spend money supported by a NEW robust governance framework given how we have to reposition in a NEW world.

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  • RE The PM NEEDS to tell us what the economic restructuring plan is and when will it start.
    HOW CAN SHE TELL US WHAT SHE DOES NOT KNOW?

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  • Another day in the lives of barbadian workers

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  • Since May 2018 barbadian households have been placed on govt policies driven by lies and deceit
    This govt one growth plan from the outset was to go to the IMF put bajans backside through more economic stress to pay govt debt
    Two years of creating more debt will be problematic for everyone

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  • @ John A
    “ If we wait with the hope that the Barbados economy will return on its own, we will suffer irreversible long term damage both economic and social.”

    My brother we are going to suffer long term. The economy first has to return to pre COVID levels. That’s impossible under three to four years. If there are no more exogenous shocks , we will barely make it. I think that’s the point @Pacha hads correctly made.
    Unless we reform education and radically restructure the economy, we will scarcely have any worthwhile economy under thirty to thirty five years.
    Note that only today , we learn we are borrowing almost one billion BDS dollars to be repaid in twenty years.
    The hard realities will make a full mockery of pie- in- the- sky pseudo forecasting.
    At this point, as brutal as it sounds , I have to agree with @GP. After all , with or without COVID, we had fifty four years to get this right. We went to the IMF three times before COVID knocked us down.

    Peace

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  • Abd the beat goes on

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  • Slave society Barbados, that black leaders know about, condone and maintain with Black people’s money.

    “Jack Ryan Barbados Hall of Shame
    1ottnSponsoredgh ·
    IF U FEEL THAT SECURITY OFFICERS AROUND THE ISLAND ARE GETTING A RAW DEAL.. CHK WHATS HAPPENING TO WORKERS AT CLEANING COMPANIES.. A GOVERNMENT UNIT OF SORTS SHOULD BE PUT IN PLACE TO GET BEHIND SUCH BOSSES.. THESE MATTERS DO AFFECT BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS. BECAUSE THE WORKERS ARE SLOW TO SPEAK OUT DOESN’T MEAN THEY AREN’T HURTING. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. QUIT KEEPING THE FAT CHEQUES AND LIVING LARGE WHILE THE EMPLOYEES DO ALL THE BACK WORK AND SUCK THE SALTS. THERE I SAID IT/”

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  • @ GP

    I hope you are wrong and there is a plan for all of our sakes!

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  • @ William

    To wait or expect a return to pre covid economic actvity is folly in the short to medium term. It’s not a matter of a vaccine solving everything. Many of our source markets are in deep financial problems with high unemployment. All that must be corrected before travel becomes a priority for the average person.

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  • Government has turned to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for $240 million to strengthen Barbados’ health and economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Yesterday, the financing agency announced that the US$120 million 20-year policy-based loan

    US$120 million equals $240 million Barbados dollars.

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  • So rather than restructure we borrow is that the plan?

    Stupes I going to the RH beach. Lol

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  • Surprised the useless fowl slaves ain’t out here boasting, yippee we got a new loan, the ministers are so intelligent, now we’ll never get outta debt, but we punching above that weight so who cares…..jokers…

    or maybe they heard middle east is looking for fowl slaves……..and they done know they are easily replaceable, there’s one born and bred every minute……😂😂🤣🤣

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  • He is a strong man to resist confessing whilst being tortured.

    I know the ‘patriots’ would prefer the word ‘beaten’.

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  • Isn’t the “financial assistance” to hoteliers loans rather than grants; hence why all are not on board? Has anyone stopped to ponder how opting for severance may actually be self-imposed earlier than expected/preferred retirement for many? Short-termism thinking? That said, employers should, however, ensure all workers who apply for severance get their money in a reasonable time.

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  • @ Enuff,
    I can only imagine that knowing there would be disruption in the Tourist Industry that government should have put a package in place minimize the effects of Covid -19 but why change the law to disadvantage poor people? That is unacceptable. Why was the $300M not divided equally in loans between both parties? How much did the wage subsidy equate to in dollars? Why did the Severance Pay Act set out to disadvantage the poor working class and contained nothing to disadvantage the hotels or force them to pay severance?
    The social partnership has been exposed for what it is; a farce. People who have the best interest of Barbados and its people at heart would never have agreed to those amendments of the SPA.
    Since we have long passed that stage and it is now water under the bridge, its repercussions are much graver and seem to be headed back to 1937.
    The BWU does not have any solutions. Does the government have any?

    Like

  • @ Enuff,
    I can only imagine that knowing there would be disruption in the Tourist Industry that government should have put a package in place minimize the effects of Covid -19 but why change the law to disadvantage poor people? That is unacceptable. Why was the $300M not divided equally in loans between both parties? How much did the wage subsidy equate to in dollars? Why did the Severance Pay Act set out to disadvantage the poor working class and contained nothing to disadvantage the hotels or force them to pay severance?
    The social partnership has been exposed for what it is; a farce. People who have the best interest of Barbados and its people at heart would never have agreed to those amendments of the SPA.
    Since we have long passed that stage and it is now water under the bridge, its repercussions are much graver and seem to be headed back to 1937.
    The BWU does not have any solutions. Does the government have any?

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    @ Heather

    YOU MUST BE BASED OVERSEAS,

    WHY ARE YOU “THROWING SHADE”.

    GLAD TO SEE THAT SOMEONE ELSE IS SPEAKING TRUTH TO THE REALITY ON THE 2 x 3 ISLAND.

    Like

  • Was expecting this to drag on further
    This is a rogue company and does not give a dam
    Six year negotiation by any Union is too long and legal action against this Company should have been the preferred method of seeking resolution

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  • @ Mariposa

    G4S is not of any importance to the security of the country. It is just a bunch of uniformed security guards. With 40 per cent unemployment, a relatively decently educated population, the real shame is that Barbadians cannot organise a security firm to get local work.
    We are not in a position to export our work like this. The strikers should form their own company, and any local firm that continues to hire G4S should be put on notice that if it does not stop employing them all organised labour will be withdrawn.
    We must make our power as consumers pay. By the way, when I see some of the goons with their guns strapped to their sides I just smile. G4S is a UK company and in the UK they cannot even carry gutter perks.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Atherley demands clear action from PM

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    Home / Top Featured Article / Atherley demands clear action from PM

    Atherley demands clear action from PM – by Kareem Smith December 5, 2020
    Prime Minister Mia Mottley has been asked to step down from her “lofty perch” and provide clear answers about the payment of severance to frustrated hotel workers.

    This was the plea of Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley, who joined protesters in front of the Accra Beach Hotel and Spa asking that the PM, and key members of her cabinet demand the highest level of accountability from hoteliers, instead of compromising the national social security system to assist the country’s business class.

    As he urged the frustrated workers to continue voicing their concerns, Atherley has also warned that as Government continues to drag its feet on the issues, the current demonstrations would only get worse.

    “Government has to make its position clear to workers, to whom they talk down, but they also have to make their position clear to hoteliers who want to resile from their responsibilities under law to these [workers] and you cannot do that. Make your position clear,” declared Atherley to rousing applause from workers.

    “The position of these workers is clear and you are seeing it. Government needs to make it very clear what its position is and it can’t simply be the voice of the Prime Minister saying ‘we will take care of the severance’. No! It is not as easy as that.

    “The Severance Fund does not belong to the government, it belongs to the taxpayers of Barbados and it is put there to address future situations affecting the working-class people of Barbados further down the road,” the Opposition Leader argued.

    Atherley said that Government’s promise to pay severance appeared to be an unnecessary cop out from the Mottley administration in response to “hasty reliance” from businesses on government support. And, as workers are left hopelessly to wait on their severance, the Opposition Leader has slammed suggestions from the Prime Minister that affected workers ought to tone down their wildcat protests.

    “The Prime Minister can stay on her lofty perch and make those statements… These people are hungry. Their children are hungry. These people are not here because they are asking favours. These people are here because they are standing up for their rights, and a government sworn to office is duly obligated to look out for the rights of workers as well, not just the business interests in Barbados,” said Atherley.

    “I think that a lot of these [businesses] are in a position to meet these obligations because they made money on the backs of these people. But now, no. You want to resile yourself from your responsibilities, put it on the taxpayers’ purse, make the taxpayers pay these people and put that entire [National Insurance] scheme in jeopardy for the rest of Barbados.

    “So the problem we are discussing is not simply the immediate one of these workers’ rights and their interests. It is about the stability of our national insurance and social security system in Barbados and it is about the Government’s position with respect to these matters,” he added.

    Bishop Atherley then took aim at Colin Jordan whom he described as the “most silent Minister of Labor” in the history of this country.

    “We know the economy is in dire straits, but workers are under stress and we cannot hear the voice of the labour minister. What you are hearing today are the voices of the workers. And I guarantee you that if the Government does not move swiftly to help address this problem, and if pressure is not put on hoteliers to address this problem, you are going to get more and more of this,” he predicted.

    The Opposition leader stressed that he in no way endorses violent protestations and disruptions, but acknowledged that the ongoing unrest is also a “manifestation” of festering tensions between labour and capital interests that existed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “We boast about the levels of employment we had before COVID, but we have always had a serious problem with underemployment, where people are exploited and are being paid very little. COVID has exacerbated the problem of industrial relations in Barbados. It has become more pronounced, and that is why you are seeing these uprisings,” Atherley suggested.

    (kareemsmith@barbadostoday.bb)

    Liked by 1 person

  • Are you sure G4S supplies only uniform services?

    Do we have other security services in Barbados?

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  • @Hal
    We have been a leading tourist destination in the Caribbean for nearly forty years. We have depended on tourism for since the early 70s. We have a hotel school and there are Bajans all over the world , who carried skills learnt in Bim overseas and reached top level management in the industry.
    Can you believe , we are still brining expatriates in to train our hotel workers. I personally know the hotel worker at Sandy Lane who used to “set” tables for international dignitaries,including “ royalty” and he is a retired top level hotel executive who left and carved out an extremely successful career elsewhere. All the crap these people on BU talk; they don’t know what is Nation Building. They still believe that if we don’t import non- Barbadians to assist, they would do better.
    Bizzy Williams made billions off the backs of Bajans and when he wanted somebody to run his empire he brought in a man from England. And we have people walking about with Masters unemployed.
    Peace

    Liked by 2 people

  • @ William

    At some point you must give up. I know the potential of young Barbadians, from the military to academia to the hospitality industry to administration to law to the police.
    I can name Barbadians, and wider Caribbean people, who has established themselves in the UK in all the fields I have mentioned – and this from people from the worst treated and discriminated against community in the UK.
    There is what I call the Bajan Condition, and what that means in this case, one of its behavioural traits, is that if someone of Barbadian heritage comes to Barbados to make a contribution all those stay-at-home Bajans do is measure themselves against that person.
    I am sure you are familiar with that mental disease: if s/he can do it, so can I. I know more about X or Y than s/he does; s/he cannot teach me anything.
    I remember getting an email from a Barbadian in New York working in a key financial position and who was keen to introduce some new ideas to Barbados.
    He prepared a very good paper and hoped to present it to the conference. But at the conference all he got was Senator McClean preaching about how people in the Diaspora could contribute to Barbados and how clever she was, with her MBA.
    The guy returned to New York and promised never to do it again. Any professional Barbadian in the UK can tell you similar stories. I was at a garden part y when a senior member of the Arthur government promised a recently retired top criminal justice office a job in Barbados. The idea was he would introduce reforms. Of course, it came to nothing.
    They are jokers. I promise, I am not a mentor, a teacher, a consultant, a patriot, a reactionary nationalist, none of that bovine excrement. If anyone wants help, and asks me, and I can help them, so be it.
    What I find flattering is that years after my retirement I still get calls from former colleagues asking for my contribution, not one of whom is Barbadian. In fact, the keenest is a young Jamaican woman. That is satisfying.
    Why are Jamaicans more dynamic than Bajans? Is it cultural or genetic?

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  • @William

    What happens at Sandy Lane is no different to what occurs at Codrington College. Successive governments have not stringently enforce a work permit a la Singapore. You may recall a decision in the 80s when a BLP government vetoed alien land holding legislation because we wanted to present a generous investment climate.

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  • Has anyone else noticed that this article https://barbadostoday.bb/2020/12/05/hotel-workers-join-forces-and-vow-to-protest-until-they-receive-outstanding-funds/ is no longer visible on the Barbados Today website? It was their lead article this morning.

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  • @TW
    the article works for me,,,,try again

    Like

  • Heather

    The government will pay the workers what i due to them. If it comes from NIS or the 300M is of no concern to me – where ever it comes from it will be the “public purse”. I would be more interested in how government will recoup the money from the hotels.

    i lelieve that some of the hotels are having cash flow problems while some maybe taking advantage of loop holes in the laws – Trump and big businesses does it here in the usa and chicken and ram was doing it forever in Barbados.

    The workers are protesting against the hotels (which are responsible for paying the severance) and not against the government who would be heartless not to assist them in their plight (any government in any country).

    Severance pay is a different calculation than unemployment so i would expect some delay but i do hope that for the worker sake it it very soon and before xmas even if it is just a partial payment.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Mr. Skinner

    Could you please explain.

    On one hand you ‘said,”Can you believe, we are still bringing expatriates in to train our hotel workers.”…………………..

    ……………….. and, on the other hand, “They still believe that if we DON’T import non- Barbadians to assist, they would do better.”

    Like

  • @Northern Observer
    The link takes you to the article but if you navigate to the BT website, the article is not visible. It was the lead article this morning so it seems a bit quick for it to be taken down from its lead position.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Artax,

    🙄

    Like

  • As per Madam PM:
    “There are ways of dealing with these matters and we know how to do it and we can do it without undermining the confidence that those who may be watching us from outside have in us literally because they see all of these examples of what they view as wildcat action taking place in this nation,” Ms. Mottley advised
    ++++++++++++
    Cry me a river, karma bites when yuh least expect, what goes around comes around; oh the cliches I could write. Good for the workers to exercise whatever power they have, perhaps the member for St. George North can use her vast experience and knowledge to help with this situation.

    Many hands make light work.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Artax
    My construction may be misleading
    I meant to say that we still believe in brining in non Barbadians from overseas. In my opinion , we do so because we still believe that it’s better than bringIng in Bajans from overseas who are capable.
    I should have gone further and stated that we overlook even Bajans on the island who can do the job.
    Thanks for brining the confusion to my attention. Highly appreciated,
    Peace

    Like

  • I checked the BT website and the article is on Pg.3

    Like

  • @Sargeat

    We should not simplify or CONTINUE to play politics with what is playing out in a challenging economic environment for the country. Several of the hotels have not been generating healthy cash flows for many years.

    Like

  • the article is on page 1 of local news on BT

    Like

  • @Sargeat

    We should not simplify or CONTINUE to play politics with what is playing out in a challenging economic environment for the country. Several of the hotels have not been generating healthy cash flows for many years.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    POLITICS OR SHOULD I SAY POLITICKING CAME INTO PLAY WHEN THE DECEITFUL CURRENT BLP GOVERNMENT SEEKED TO DISADVANTAGE BLACK BAJAN WORKERS TO CHANGE THE SEVERANCE REQUIREMENTS WHILST GIVING MORE POWER AND LEVERAGE TO THEIR PAYMASTERS PRIMARILY WHITE OWNED BUSINESSES.

    BRINGING MORE PAIN, HUNGER AND SUFFERING TO THE BLACK BAJAN WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES WHO DEPEND ON THEM TO EAT AND FOR SHELTER,

    THAT IS THE 2020 REALITY ON THE GROUND.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I wonder, does it EVER have anything to do with the attitude of SOME overseas Bajans or is it ALWAYS ALL the fault of stay-at-home Bajans.

    Have all overseas Bajans been cured of their Bajan Condition by the white man medicine administered to them up north?

    My experience is that there is blame on both sides.

    And now let the wolf pack descend from the The Great White North with bared fangs!

    No skin off my nose!

    Like

  • As I have said before, I have seen no good purpose for the new legislation. And I did not listen to Ms. Mottley’s Independence Day speech but if she said what is reported about suffering workers then she deserves a cut ass. Since when have workers received their due by anything other than noise-making?

    Did she not march to Bay Street and make loud noises in recent times?

    Mia scares!

    Like

  • @Sargeant
    Thanks. I found it but it’s a bit hidden away on the website considering this is one of the most important developments in Barbados at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Donna

    i dont want say its all overseas bajans. but i would agree with you that it the attitudes of some. Not only those that reside overseas but some that leave to study and then come back home and work. SOME not all have to go through an attude adjustment .

    Liked by 1 person

  • A figuratively speaking cut ass, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  • RE I meant to say that we still believe in brining in non Barbadians from overseas. In my opinion , we do so because we still believe that it’s better than bringIng in Bajans from overseas who are capable.
    I should have gone further and stated that we overlook even Bajans on the island who can do the job.

    THIS IS SOUND DOCTRINE THAT CAN NOT BE REFUTED (TITUS 2:8)
    IN THE LATE 70’S WHEN THE BLP SOUGHT TO INTRODUCE OUR NATIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM, AND THEREBY IMPROVEON OUR EXISTING PRACTICES AT THE TIME, THE KELLOG’S FOUNDATION WAS SOUGHT TO ADVISE.

    THEIR PEOPLE CAME AND ASKED THE PROFESSIONALS ON THE ISLAND FOR THEIR ADVICE AND WROTE THEIR REPORT THEREON. THEIR REPORT WAS UNTENABLE, AS THEY OFFERED NO REAL SOLUTIONS

    ON OBTAINING AND DIGESTING A COPY OF THIS DOCUMENT, AND AT A TIME WHEN THE MEDICAL FRATERNITY AND GOVERNMENT WERE AT LOGGERHEADS OVER THE THEN IMMINENT INTRODUCTION OF ADAMS WISHES FOR A NHS, I WROTE ADAMS WITH A PROPOSAL, WHICH THE MEDICAL ILLITERATE REJECTED.

    FORTUNATELY, HE DIED SOON AFTERWARDS, AND VIC JOHNSON LISTENED TO ME, AND MY VIEW PREVAILED, EVEN IF NOT IN ITS ENTIRETY. .

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Mr. Skinner

    Thanks for the clarification.

    “We’re still bringing in expatriates in” as managers, executive chefs, executive housekeepers, financial controllers, chief engineers, purchasing managers and even ‘head gardener.’

    I recall a few years ago a local hotel advertised for a executive chef/trainer and among the qualifying requirements for the job was, the applicant must also be a qualified teacher with a degree in computer science. We all know they exaggerate the requirements so as to disqualify certain applicants and as a basis to justify them applying for a work permit for the non-national they already chosen for the job.

    It so happened a Barbadian, who was a teacher and had a degree in computer science before leaving Barbados to work in the hotel industry and subsequently became a qualified executive chef, applied for the job. Although, he would have met the all qualifying requirements, they did not even acknowledge receipt of his application.

    I’m amazed that, with BCC’s PomMarine Hotel and UWI offering degrees in international tourism management, hospitality & tourism management etc, Sandy Lane Hotel can never find a suitable applicant for any job and must always apply for work permits. That hotel has recently advertised a vacancy for an ‘executive housekeeper.’ I’m sure they will not receive any suitable applications and apply for a work permit to bring in a non-national for the job.

    We have discussed these issued on BU numerous times, but, unfortunately some idiot made a snide remark at my observations, only to subsequently make or agree with similar comments. It’s not about what is contributed, it’s who makes the contribution.

    Liked by 1 person

  • RE It’s not about what is contributed, it’s who makes the contribution.
    ONCE MORE, THIS IS SOUND DOCTRINE THAT CAN NOT BE REFUTED (OR CONDEMNED)

    Liked by 1 person

  • John 2,

    This has ALWAYS been my point. There is blame on both sides.

    I have known some totally obnoxious and resistant stay-at-home Bajans.

    I have known some equally obnoxious and condescending returning Bajans.

    My mother studied nursing in England. Many people often asked her how she could get co-operation from the junior nurses and have the ward running so smoothly. She said instead of giving orders she always asked if the junior would mind doing this or that task for her, PLEASE. And she was generous with her thank yous. It was as simple as that!

    It is ALL in the attitude. People can be won over, but not by others who see themselves as superior and cannot hide it.

    Liked by 1 person

  • David i submitted a comment and i am awaiting to see the posting
    Some how i am beginning to believe in all reality that with so much fire being heaped on govt orders are being handed to shut out ingoing criticisms
    My last comment which you have not posted was fair and on point
    Deal with freedom of speech and avoid shooting the messenger

    Like

  • Monday this week I had to give an impromptu speech to a group of colleagues for two minutes. Can you guess what came to mind. I talked of Independence day and a little of my history. I surprised the hell out of myself.

    The review: We could see your passion and your love for your country.

    It is quite possible that some of what I write my cause some of you to think that I show shade, but the love is there.

    TheO Independence Day Honors: The blogmaster for creating a place for different voices.

    —————————xx————-
    🙂 One recipient refused a TheO’s honor.
    Guess who is off of TheO’s good list but is on the committee’s other list 🙂

    Like

  • I had a well-qualified friend who had even worked for some years on Wall Street. She had to leave due to worsening asthma, maybe triggered by 911 toxic dust. She was told that if she ever returned there would be a job waiting for her without delay.

    Down here she had to leave a couple of positions because they brought some white guy from overseas and expected her to train him to be her boss.

    Everybody knows the “NO SUITABLE APPLICANTS HAVING BEEN RECEIVED” scam. I think Trevor Marshall has identified that as his post-Nelson project.

    Caswell should join forces with him.

    Somebody needs to compile a folder on the work permit applications. It would be a good task for an investigative journalist, if we had one.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Yup! I refused. Did not want to be in that company. Still don’t.

    Like

  • @ William

    I have been singing the praises of the Jamaicans since I was a young man, with their strength in athletics. But they are now beating the rest of the English-speaking Caribbean across the board – academic, business, sports, etc.
    The Jamaicans have just opened a bank in the UK _ they insist on calling it a CARIBBEAN BANK, AND QUITE RIGHTLY. And they have done something that I have been calling for in Barbados for years. (www.jn-UK.com)
    The chairman, a former Bank of England adviser, and chief executive of the bank are both Brits. This neutralises all over-scrutiny by the Bank of England.
    But, here is the key, the deputy CEO is a young Jamaican woman, who has lived in the UK for a number of years and has had her education, including degree and post-graduate degree, in the UK. In time, all things being equal, this young lady will smoothly move in to the CEO’s chair.
    Remember, the BNB tried for years to get a branch in the UK and failed. Our national problem is not only one of competence, but of a deep psychological urge to tell the world we are world class, as individuals and as a nation.

    Like

  • Let me say something about the blogmaster.

    I believe that the man does not fully recognize his ‘genius’ or the true value of his product.

    I see a man who tries to wear too many hats- a champion of change and improvement, lobbying for a more constructive discussion and then in the words or Mariposa “holding an umbrella over Mia”.

    Three cheers for the blogmaster.

    Have a fun morning guys. Catch you later

    Like

  • Well almost two hours and counting havent seen my comment
    Any how this is a summary in a nut shell
    Toni Moore and Mia threw govt workers under the bus not once but several times
    The promised of a wage increased which turned out to be nothing but pennies not enough to buy food
    The Boss implementation which all but took back the measly increase
    Now the Severance pay revision which gave the benefits to the employer while workers rights were left hanging by a thread
    Moore and Mia looking out for workers right when past evidence has shown they have not is like putting the mongoose in charge of the hen house

    Like

  • @ Artax
    We spend so much time looking at the messenger that we never get the message. We are still at the “half a loaf is better than no loaf at all stage”. The damn thing is that we never even got close to the blasted half loaf ! Imagine after nearly three decades of independence , we can’t tell a hotel that if they don’t employ quailified nationals or put a specified time to train Barbadians to fill positions , we will shut your ass down.

    @ Hal
    The greatest entertainer Barbadoshas ever produced was Jackie Opel. He was instrumental in developing the Jamaican music scene. He came back to Barbados and created the Spouge beat. We failed to develop it. Look at reggae and jerk-they are internationa products/. brands. Our national stadium has been in disrepair for donkey years. Look at Jamaica, one of the most advanced high school athletic training programs in the world.
    Peace.

    Like

  • @ Mariposa

    Plse note that we have had nearly 3000 blogs about the nauseous US presidential elections, something we have never had to my knowledge about anything in Barbadian politics. This tells you everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  • And of the 3000, 2000 were posted by 2 commenters so what is your point?

    Like

  • I was on my way out..
    I do not usually comment on the Trump blog, but to me it is now the funniest section of BU.
    It has everything…a daily sermon, John telling nuff lies, critical posting useless stuff, sargeant, dpd, he/she off theo’s xmas list, the blogmaster, Hants (whose keyboard is only producing numbers), mariposa who doesn’t know which side she is on, cuhdear who is punching well above her weight, et al.

    Enjoying it.

    Stick in your lane and let others drive where they want.

    Like

  • The second point the analyticals would have taken note – we have multiple blogs about local issues compared to one blog posted a month ago about the US election.

    Like

  • @ William

    I remember Jackie Opel before he went to Jamaica but missed his return with the Spouge. Barbados has always produced great entertainers: Michael Wilkinson, Norma Stoute, Richard Stoute, Clarence Thompson, Ken Jemmott, the Opels, the Draytons, Jiggs Kirton, Tony ‘Fatchild’ Norville, I can go on and on without mentioning Rihanna.
    I have also called for Richard Stoute to be given the highest award in the land, but of course he did not go to Harrison College or UWI, so the powers that be will whip up some bogus case against him. People who themselves are unethical and amoral.
    Remember WIRL? We have failed to exploit the Rihanna dividend in the way the Jamaicans have the Bob Marley spin off. The biggest attraction in Jamaica for Japanese tourists is the Bob Marley trail.
    You may recall I have called on a number of occasion fora the development of a leisure industry, to go alongside our hotels. But we have allowed New Barbadians to capture the tourism narrative with crap about hotel occupancy.

    Like

  • Hal yeap
    It is called the rabbit hole syndrome cleverly created by the master
    Very clever indeed so much so that the posting can attract the attention of the socalled intellectuals some that have no stake in the USA
    Meanwhile the

    Like

  • William Skinner is fond of saying “peace”; whereas I am fond of saying that black Bajans are surplus to requirements in Barbados.

    Mia has merely echoed my long held views. Her masked slipped and she revealed what our leaders and their backers truly think of the black masses.

    It is rare for a leader to use such candid language towards their fellow citizens. It was dismissive at at best.

    We should thank Mia for her candour and move on. She has probably set in train a movement that will mobilise the masses to safeguard their future. Prepare for a rearrangement of the ship deck. I envisage a rejection of our political elite and the growth of a new political party; possibly under the tutelage of Franklyn and Kammie. True Bajans who represent the pulse of the train. We need others to board the train – hint, hint GP2 and the rest of you.

    It should be apparent to all like-minded black Bajans that their very existence is in jeopardy under this current regime.

    Like

  • Nation not train!

    Like

  • And Rudy Boyce the Golden Voice who made the mistake of lusting after a white woman.

    Just yesterday I was speaking to my Rasta cousin about the tremendous opportunities Rihanna has handed to us on a platter. Her success at being genuine Bajan is all she needed to give us. She really should not have to do any more.

    Some of the my young people who are off on scholarship studying in American universities such as Columbia and Stanford tell me that some American girls find their Barbadianness fascinating and bug them constantly to hang out.

    Like

  • SKINNER WROTE
    Imagine after nearly three decades of independence , we can’t tell a hotel that if they don’t employ quailified nationals or put a specified time to train Barbadians to fill positions , we will shut your ass down.

    AGAIN, SOUND DOCTRINE THAT CAN NOT BE CONDEMNED OR REFUTED

    HOW MANY OFFSHORE MEDICALS DO WE NOW HAVE IN BARBADOS?
    HOW MANY OF THEM EMPLOY BAJAN DOCTORS?
    AS FAR AS I KNOW- ONE AND HE IS A WHITE MAN!

    NOW I KNOW THAT ALL OF THESE SCHOOLS MUST PAY THROUGH THE NOSE FOR WORK PERMITS FOR EXPATRIATE TEACHERS

    ARE WE NOT TO WONDER THAT GOVERNMENT ALLOWS OFFSHORE SCHOOLS TO COME AND EMPLOY EXPATRIOTS BECAUSE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ARE MAKING GOOD MONEY POCKETING THE MONEY COLLECTED FOR WORK PERMITS?

    Like

  • No, we are not at the half a loaf is better than none stage. We are at the once we we had none. Then we had the crumbs. Now we have two slices. It’s time for the cheese. Lettuce and tomato will come a little later.

    Like

  • Heather
    I maintain that those entitled to severance pay who apply for it should be paid.

    On your points, could you point me to the amendments to the act that “disadvantaged poor people” and removed employers’ responsibility to pay? What would have been the impact of keeping the 13-week threshold for severance eligibility? Were unemployment benefits extended to 26 weeks and who benefitted? Who will have to cover the cost of the extension? On the $300M, how should it be split between both parties? Isn’t the money only accessible to those who join the programme (which is part grant/part shares) and is to pay for re-engaged employees at 80% of their salary, limited VSEP, training and support retrofit/upgrade plant? Aren’t employees therefore benefitting and are hotel owners required to contribute upfront? Aren’t workers’ entitlement to severance maintained, unemployment benefits restored after 12months and most importantly jobs secured?
    The government thinking of the bigger, long-term picture does not appear to be seeking to “disadvantage poor people”. Disadvantaging poor people is engendering their long-term unemployment for short-term gain. I repeat, we are also experiencing the effects of the Covid pandemic, it has not bypassed us.

    Like

  • Baje we call that short sighted thought process the Mugabe effect.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    @ Lawson you as a white man would like to see the status quo on the 2 x 3 island where the majority of local blacks barely eked out a living dominated by white and to a lesser extend indian owned businesses that they patronise.

    For black Bajan masses to truly progress they need to take their spending power and circulate primarily among themselves.

    THAT IS THE ONLY WAY THE MENTAL CHAIN WILL BE BROKEN AND THEY WILL THEN HAVE REAL POWER AND PROGRESS.

    Like

  • For black Bajan masses to truly progress they need to take their spending power and circulate primarily among themselves

    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Agreed 100%

    Like

  • Mia needs to talk less. Those workers had been more than patient. If she wanted them to be quiet she should have instructed her Minister of Labour to keep abreast of these situations. If she thinks poor industrial relations will deter potential investors she should make it plain to employers that exploitation of workers will not be toletated. We do not need more unscrupulous foreign investors looking to rape the country and leave a ten dollar bill on the dresser. They can stay away from Barbados. Those who are prepared to offer mutual benefit would see the indignities being visited upon workers as the problem and not the noise and protests of the workers demanding respect.

    Who is she looking to attract?

    But really she just sees it as a blemish on the international brand she is seeking to create for herself.

    But ….”[she] belly full but dem hungry.
    A hungry man is an angry man.”

    Bob Marley.

    She knows the lyrics. She ought to be made to write 100 lines in detention.

    Like

  • @ Hal
    I had the experience of visiting the Bob Marley birth place. Talk about authenticity! I have long said that the entire Walcotts Ave where Sir Garry comes from should have been developed into a tourist attraction involving his Neighbour’s and family home etc. I know that English and Australian tourists would have visited and promoted it.
    BTW have you ever seen a proper Tourism ad centered on cou cou and flying fish?Imagine, I visited St.Lawrence gap , looking for a breakfast joint and the people offering me bagels! We could have developed a traditional Barbados kite industry etc. Right now Road Tennis should be earning some foreign exchange. We should have a major agro/ fruit producing industry.
    I have gone to official functions sponsored by overseas government agencies and did not see a single bottle of our rum. I looked around the room and there was no dynamic net working or promotion of the island. I was involved in preventing a major embarrassment when we were trying to promote World Cup cricket. We have political party hacks representing us overseas who cannot give/present a simple speech / presentation etc.
    Peace

    Like

  • “It is rare for a leader to use such candid language towards their fellow citizens. It was dismissive at at best.

    We should thank Mia for her candour and move on. She has probably set in train a movement that will mobilise the masses to safeguard their future. Prepare for a rearrangement of the ship deck. I envisage a rejection of our political elite and the growth of a new political party; possibly under the tutelage of Franklyn and Kammie. True Bajans who represent the pulse of the train. We need others to board the train – hint, hint GP2 and the rest of you.

    It should be apparent to all like-minded black Bajans that their very existence is in jeopardy under this current regime.”

    if they can’t see it now and get rid of black face governments that hold such hatred and disdain for the black population who elected, hire and pay them, they never will, if they don’t STOP spending their money with minority white, indian, syrian and others and circulate that money among themselves instead, they’ll ALWAYS BE REDUCED TO POVERTY….we can only do so much and post so much, before the BLACK POPULATON HAS TO TAKE CONTROL of what is theirs for their own best interest and safety. Black America is having tremendous success with their BUY BLACK initiative in a WHITE MAJORITY COUNTRY, and so to can Black people in Barbados and around the Caribbean in BLACK MAJORITY COUNTRIES..we can only say so much TLSN, but we keep trying.

    Am extremely pleased to see the people at last standing up to tyranny and selloutism…a huge improvement to what obtained before, baby steps before that GIGANTIC LEAP….i just hope they speed it up.

    “The workers are protesting against the hotels (which are responsible for paying the severance) and not against the government who would be heartless not to assist them in their plight (any government in any country).”

    and that’s how Mia exposed herself, she’s taking up fire rage for tiefing, no good hotel industry employers by trying to shut down the press from reporting on the worker’s protesting against said employers, they were not protesting Mia’s big brain cockup of amending the labor laws, most don’t even know she did that, the protest was about getting their money from employers and she went after the press, the workers and everyone who tried to help them…..BIG COCKUP….that is what the yardfowl is missing as usual, that’s what happens when ya operating with only a few braincells…

    Like

  • Theo…I believe Blogmaster will make sure BU evolves, he will be forced to, given the current rapid changes taking place on what websites and informational forums are now experiencing and are expected to accommodate for progress, the extensively increased DEMAND for upgraded information….the info is out there, it’s just to find what’s now in demand and upload.

    i was blown away at the new upgrades, same sites but better information delivery, AGAIN, INFORMATION CONTENT UPGRADE, nothing else was changed..

    Like

  • To the topic at hand.

    Mixed views on industrial actions
    By Michelle M. Russell
    Last week, the media was filled with several people expressing views on the industrial actions that have taken place over the last few weeks.
    The views have been divergent but most have expressed support for the workers’ actions.
    Both Senator Caswell Franklyn and the Opposition Leader Rev.
    Joseph Atherley bIamed the current administration for the protests.
    Atherley accused the Government of favouring capital over labour, causing detriment to the working class.
    Franklyn claimed it was “[PM Mia Amor] Mottley’s attempts to neutralise the country’s labour movement that is now coming back to haunt her administration in the form of wildcat action.
    While empathetic to the plight of these workers, Franklyn advised that he declined invitations to lead aggrieved workers in demonstration as “walking around in the hot sun won’t put money in people’s pockets and food on the table to feed their children”.
    Well, walking around in the hot sun (and rain) allowed the ex-workers of The Club Beach and Resort and The Cliff to get speedier payment of their severance so they may disagree with Franklyn’s latter statement.
    Minister of Labour Colin Jordan also made comments in Parliament last week concerning the strike actions. He chided employers who mistreat their workers and encouraged employers to communicate with their employees. However, he discouraged workers from protesting since “Barbados’ claim to fame . . . in the post-Independence era is to maintain a certain level of order”.
    Wildcat action
    Similar sentiments were expressed by Prime Minister Mia Mottley who, during her Independence address, advised workers that “there are ways of dealing with these matters . . . without undermining the confidence that those who may be watching us from outside have in us literally, because they see all of these examples of what they view as wildcat action taking place in this nation”. She promised that Government would assist workers by providing severance payments through NIS [National Insurance Scheme].
    I found the Prime Minister’s remarks somewhat surprising since while the then Opposition Leader, she participated proudly with the unions and people of Barbados in the July 2017 nationwide protest against labour and other shortcomings of the Freundel Stuart-led administration.
    Perhaps the most pointed comments emanated from Dr Don Marshall, who stated that “the outbreak of wild cat strikes in recent months is an ominous sign of a workforce that is now out of patience after more than ten years of pent up frustration, exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic . . . the workers are saying that they will trust that their institutions will work for us or we will trust that putting down our tools will”. He
    Workers are financially strained and desperate times call for desperate measures.impressed the need to “expand the Social Partnership in order to come up with solutions to this increased militancy within labour or face an industrial relations crisis”.
    This brings me to the meat of the matter. Despite several comments on the industrial actions, particularly from Government ministers, very little was said on practical solutions that would be implemented to reduce the unrest. Will a meeting of the Social Partnership be convened to address the mistreatment of workers by employers including imposing sanctions, policies or agreements to deter the breach of labour laws and best practices?
    Will labour legislation be amended to create penalties for employers who flout the labour laws? Will additional resources be dispatched to NIS to increase the processing and issue of payments? And what additional measures are being considered to assist workers in managing the next six months of the pandemic once their unemployment benefits and or severance payments run out?
    Workers are financially strained and desperate times call for desperate measures.
    Unless speedy and tangible solutions are put in place to assist the unemployed and underemployed, then the remarks of Marshall may prove true and Barbados may face a possible industrial relations crisis. Government must provide not only speedier payments of benefits or severance, but must also introduce legal sanctions to enforce compliance with labour laws and help quiet the unrest. One last thing. What is being done about employers who hide behind corporations while avoiding severance and other payments to previous workers?
    Michelle M. Russell is an Attorney-at-Law with a passion for Employment Law and labour matters. Email: mrussell.ja@gmail.com

    Like

  • Realistic expectations needed by both sides
    by Sheena Mayers-Granville
    The increased activity recently seen in the industrial relations climate is directly linked to both employers and employees struggling under the weight of the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. While the impact continues to be felt across the entire island and in all economic sectors, the tourism industry, our major income earner, has seen the largest contraction.
    Below are a few key considerations that apply to the current industrial relations climate:
    • The decision to retrench staff
    is never an easy one. Employers have been thrown into an operating environment where the level of uncertainty is unprecedented. Many would have been aiming to re-open and recall workers for this winter tourist season only to receive sudden cancellations as Britain introduced a second lockdown. Many employers have also been trying creative ways to remain open only to be met with unforeseen hurdles and therefore forced to make the difficult decision to terminate staff.
    • Only successful businesses have
    employees; closed ones do not. It is easier for a business to recover and reemploy persons from a scaled down operation than from a complete closure. Therefore, businesses must maintain cashflow to weather the storm and re-employ staff in an improved economy.
    • The Severance Fund which is
    administered through the National
    Insurance Scheme (NIS) exists to
    assist employers where they cannot afford the initial payments. However, even when not contested, and with the expedited procedures at NIS, there is
    a process to be followed which takes time.
    Juggling commitments after losing a job or having reduced income is difficult for anyone. We especially empathise with those workers awaiting severance payments. In this reality, there must be effective communication between employees and employers, supported by realistic expectations on both sides, for the
    relationship to work and to settle disputes with minimum acrimony. Employers are therefore encouraged to inform employees at the earliest possible opportunity when it becomes apparent that it will not be possible to maintain existing employment levels and reach out to NIS for assistance where necessary. Employers must maintain communication with employees on matters that affect their employment and therefore their ability to meet their commitments.
    Where employees are unsure about benefits or rights, there are various institutions that can assist them including the Labour Department or trade union. The Barbados Employers’ Confederation (BEC) has been helping businesses to navigate industrial relations issues, with many matters having been resolved without industrial activity. As we continue to assist employers through these difficult and unprecedented times, we again call for greater collaboration in labour management relations, and encourage employers grappling with uncertainty to lean on the BEC for assistance.
    The BEC remains committed to ensuring that all employers have access to the necessary guidance as we navigate these challenging circumstances.
    Sheena Mayers-Granville is executive director of the Barbados Employers’ Confederation.

    Like

  • Sorry i can’t help more than that, but because of prior commitments and a sense of loyalty, this is the best that can be done, which is good info still….and no one needs a useless government to proceed to the more positive and life changing movement to reverse generational mind damage.

    Like

  • PAY WARNING
    Political scientist says Govt letting companies off the hook
    By Colville Mounsey colvillemounsey@nationnews. com
    Government is being warned that its decision to pay protesting former hotel workers outstanding severance through the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) is allowing employers to emerge unscathed despite flouting industrial relations expectations.
    The admonition has come from University of the West Indies political scientist Dr Tennyson Joseph, who said the recent spate of wildcat strikes over the non-payment of severance pointed to an industrial relations system that needed tougher laws.
    On the other hand, fellow political scientist Peter Wickham is arguing that both Government and the hotel sector are in an unprecedented situation and while he is sympathising with the workers, one could not force hoteliers to pay what they did not have.
    Joseph told the Sunday Sun that while paying the severance might solve a short-term issue, it was likely to embolden greater disregard for industrial relations practices.
    “It is actually making them get away with doing the wrong thing. Instead of taking a firm stance against them and insisting that they face their responsibility, Government is taking the option of providing the solution for them. I know that Prime Minister [Mia Amor Mottley] said in her Independence Day message that the necessary steps would be taken to recover the funds, but we all know that if a company goes into a receivership, there is very little that can be done in that regard.
    “What we are seeing is Government stepping in to save capital when capital has broken its industrial relations expectations. So, the workers may eventually be happy, but the broader problem is allowed to fester,” he said.
    In her Independence Day address, Mottley vowed that the NIS would pay the protesting workers but put employers on notice and asked frustrated employees to turn down the temperature.
    Imbalance
    Joseph was adamant the COVID-19 pandemic had shown the imbalance in the industrial relations scales which the Government needed to correct or risk even greater backlash from the workforce.
    Wickham, on the other hand, said people had to appreciate that companies had not earned any revenue to continue paying salaries or severance.
    “I think that the hotel associations are dealing with it the best that they can, and I believe that any political fallout will be minimal and short-term. The vast majority of people are understanding but I do acknowledge that there are some very angry people,” he said.
    “If a company goes into receivership, then what can the Government do about it? My thing is that we can discuss consequence if I do not have a debt profile that essentially says that I do not have the money to pay. That is why Government designed the BEST [Barbados Employment and Sustainable Transformation] plan in order to give people a lifeline,” he said.
    Retired political scientist Dr George Belle said Government was in the unenviable role of balancing the needs of capital and labour during a health crisis.
    “On one hand, the former workers have nothing to survive on now, and at the same time we do not want to call on the employers to take up that responsibility because the employers are not saying that they want to get out of the industry altogether. Rather, it is a case where they just have no revenue,” the retired academic said.
    “So it is ultimately, but unfortunately, falling on the shoulders of Government and taxpayers of this country to say that the industry is too big and too important to fail. If the workers are claiming severance, it means firstly that we have tourism labour deficit when the sector restarts, and then they are putting pressure on the employer, who is not committed to leaving the industry and would be needed when the sector bounces back.”
    Meanwhile, Democratic Labour Party leader Verla De Peiza has slammed hoteliers for heartlessly abandoning employees who gave several years of service.
    “Today, in their time of dire need, they are forced to fight their own battles to secure their entitlement to severance,” she said.

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  • @ William

    Paucity of ideas. Still waiting to hear what tourism officials think are the attractions of Barbados, apart from sun, sea and smiles (sometimes).
    I have said before, tourists do not come from London or Montreal or New York to get a poor intimation of French cuisine; or of Opera; or of luxury.
    They come for the Barbados experience. But our officials, in their shiny suits want to be world class. So if something is important to them it must be important to the rest of the world.

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  • De Peiza’s challenge to PM on displaced workers
    President of the Democratic Labour Party, Verla De Peiza, is calling on Government to speak up on the details of the promised fast-tracking of severance for former tourism workers.
    And she wants Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley to give leadership on the industrial issues in order to calm the brewing unrest.
    De Peiza’s comments came following her recent meeting with hotel workers, some of whom were involved in wildcat strikes over the non-payment of their severance monies. She also expressed concern about the treatment of the workers by their former employers.
    “We call on the Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations [Colin Jordan] to give details regarding the promised fast track: are the tribunals already set up and functioning? What are the time limits for a matter to be heard? What is the time limit for payment? In respect of those who remained in work, what safeguards are there to protect the workers’ right to negotiate their contracts?” she asked.
    De Peiza said the BEST (Barbados Employment and Sustainable Transformation) programme was designed to assist workers who were offered training if they opted to remain employed, and a fast-tracked severance hearing before the Employment Rights Tribunal if the National Insurance Scheme was called upon to pay the severance.
    “The reality is, though, the former workers now find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place. Reports are that those who remained are being pressured to accept much lower wages and disadvantageous working conditions. And those who opted for severance in light of the unfavourable terms in the sunset legislation have reached the point where the unemployment benefits have expired, and they are left without guidance and no word on their severance,” she stated.
    “We call on the several ministers in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and Investment to address the country on the health of the National Insurance Severance Fund in light of the unprecedented numbers who qualify for severance; and to speak positively of the efforts to be expected to recoup the monies from the employers, several of whom receive their funding and capitalisation from outside of Barbados,” she said in a press statement.
    De Peiza said that Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Cynthia Forde should speak up on what provisions would be available over the holiday season to ensure families were provided for, especially children who would be without school meals during the vacation. ( PR/AC)

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  • Talking to myself here but…the same ideas William Skinner has are the ideas I have. I do not understand why we have not Barbadianised our tourism product. I fell in love with this place and its people almost immediately, in spite of the fact that I, as an act of childish defiance, had decided to hate it.

    But there is no paucity of ideas in Barbados. I got a million of them.

    And these ideas involve the whole Caribbean. I love the Caribbean vibe.

    The wrong people are in the wrong positions. That is and always has been the problem.

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  • Too big to fail another old and tired worn out cliche
    Well if they too big to fail
    It then begs the question what have they done with all the govt hand outs and concessions over the years
    Ram was a big company and did serve purpose for many years ( whether one agrees with Ram business approach or not) govt went ahead seize her business and threw many employees on to the street) no talking head cliche of too big to fail was said .
    Fact being that when these companies in the hotel industry behaves acts illegally against employer and govt failure is the only option along with legal recourse
    Letting them go will send a message to other companies that barbados system of govt will not tolerate any illegalities against the people or the govt
    Legal action is the only option going forward
    Meanwhile another door would be opened for fresh and clean investors to enter
    It is not fair to ask the people to pay these one arm bandits bills
    Furthermore accountability is a crucial part of achieving good governance
    Be it private sector or public sector sending stern messages across the board will reap greater benefits long term and in the long run
    COVId has exposed the good from the bad it is up to govt to do what is right by use of a fair and democratic process for the country and people disallowing these business culprits to eternally suck off govt nipples without issuing any form of punishment when they behave badly
    My cliche for these festering eyes sores call business it to let them reap what they sow
    No excuses !

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