Prime Minister, Caswell is no Lawyer but …

Submitted by Senator Caswell Franklyn

Many commentators have weighed in on the application of the COVID-19 directives, particularly with regards to the sentencing of offenders and the apparent gusto displayed by the chief magistrate while presiding over the resulting cases. My own view is that these directives are flawed, but for the purposes of this article I would consider them as valid. Mind you, I am reminded by no lesser person than the Prime Minister that I am not a lawyer. But as a lawmaker, I believe that I have an obligation to question laws that appear to my untrained mind to be applied unfairly or irregularly; and a right as a concerned citizen to ask whether my rights as a member of the public are being infringed by the government.

Under the provisions of the Emergency Management Act, as amended last year, the Cabinet was empowered to delegate its power to make rules to the Prime Minister. As a result, a series of directives were issued by her to regulate, and where necessary, punish people’s behaviour during the state of emergency.

I believe in many cases that these directives are ill conceived and contrary to law but I must point out that they are the law and must be obeyed until such time as they are revoked or struck down by a court of law.

I am concerned by the penalties being imposed by the court on persons who violate the directives issued by the Prime Minister. The statutory instruments made by the PM provide that a person who contravenes the directives is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of one year or to both. Since I am no lawyer and not expected to understand these things, I must ask the Prime Minister to explain how she could specify such hefty punishments in the statutory instruments that she has made so far, in light of the provisions of section 19.(10) of the Interpretation Act? It states:

Where an enactment confers power to make any statutory instrument-

(a) there may be annexed to a contravention of that statutory instrument a punishment by way of a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or both.

My elementary understanding of the law has led me to believe that the Prime Minister has no power to override the provisions of the Interpretation Act. But even if she has, I would still like this Queen’s Counsel to explain where she derived the power to legislate without bringing the statutory instruments to Parliament for approval.

It is my understanding that the Emergency Management (Amendment) Act, 2020 and the Interpretation Act allow the Cabinet to delegate its functions to the Prime Minister or anyone else. But, I’m also aware that section 49 of the Interpretation Act states that any such of delegation of functions shall forthwith be published in the Gazette. At my request, staff at the Government Printing Department, publishers of the Official Gazette, have been unable to locate a copy of the order that delegated those functions. Was that order ever made and published? I shudder to think that the Prime Minister would have been making rules/directives without first obtaining the requisite order that would have enabled her to do so.

As a non-lawyer, I am asking the Queen’s Counsel: what would happen to persons who were convicted and sentenced under these rules/directives? Would they be entitled to compensation or a refund? Or would you amend the Constitution to make wrong things right?

165 thoughts on “Prime Minister, Caswell is no Lawyer but …

  1. “Small wonder she relies on quantity because quality surely is lacking.”

    all the talk ya can’t come with any BLP Slave shite though…😂🤣..ya gotta TONE IT DOWN.

  2. Hope Fowl Slave Enuff didn’t have any big plans to help TIEF billions of dollars in reparations from the Black population cause am sure ya heard by now that yall AIN’T GETTING NONE……..😂

    …what yall are going to get IS EXPOSED for all the crimes committed against the Black population in the CORRUPT SUPREME COURT…

  3. This is called deep thinking. Stop listening to the lying ass deceitful, vote begging, black human rights violating politicians AND THEIR SLAVES. Create a ONE BLACK FAMILY UNIT. Leave their repulsive politics alone, it’s distraction. They akready got caught trying to TIEF OUR ANCESTRAL REPARATIONS…that they did not even get in their hands yet…the chickens before they hatch counters..🤩

  4. Hal Austin March 4, 2021 3:30 PM #: “I believe these are people who have been observing Barbadians, at the university and in regional fora and have concluded they may be smaller than Barbados, but, as I have said, much brighter. They no longer have any respect for Barbadians.”

    Your above comment is NONSENSE.

    You often ‘drop’ comments on BU without offering any explanations or follow up comments.

    I’ll ask what are you reasons for ‘saying’ Antiguans no longer respect Barbadians and challenge you to debate the issue. But, I know you will refuse to do so under the guise you’re only engaging in discussion with a select few. That is an act of cowardice.

    Yet, when contributors engage in a similar activity, you accuse them of being unable to think as a result of ‘learning by rote.’

    For the record, I’m challenging you to explain your comments so as to facilitate a discussion on the issue.

  5. Well this is the excuse being given, but no one is going to pay 4 million dollars for “dwindling appeal” 150K is more than Enuff, too much now if ya asked me……..govenment and the greedy minorities are responsible for the decay and decline of Bridgetown…they spent too many years salivating at the prospect of ROBBING THE DESCENDANTS OF THE ENSLAVED OF 50 billion dollars for their fraudulent St. Lucy Project and left EVERYTHING TO DECLINE…frauds and crooks..

    “The dwindling appeal of Barbados’ capital city is being blamed for ongoing attempts to sell numerous pieces of prime Bridgetown real estate at prices well below their previous market value.

    Barbados TODAY investigations have revealed no less than ten city buildings are on the market ranging between US$1,365,000 and US$9,500,000. They include the property at No. 1 Broad Street, Coles Building/ NB Howell at Bay Street, Waterfront Mall opposite Independence Square, Thomas Daniel Building at Hincks Street, Musson Building also at Hincks Street, Musson Warehouse at Hincks and St. George Streets, James Fort Building at Cowell Street, Fontabelle Complex and the Whitepark Road Complex.

    Further inquiries revealed that some buildings like the former Mutual Building owned by Sagicor Life Inc. have been on the market for a few years, while other listings have been lodged more recently.

    Managing Director of long-standing city business S. Abed and Co. Ltd. Eddy Abed confirmed Bridgetown’s commercial real estate has been losing its “shine” following an exodus of government and private sector enterprises over the last three to five years.”

  6. One positive in a sea of negatives.

    “Chukka, Jamaica’s largest nature adventure tour operator was awarded a 25-year-lease by Government to operate the Cave from last December.

    The company is investing $9 million to transform Harrison’s Cave into a once-in-a-lifetime experience for locals and visitors.

    Among the planned changes is the introduction of ziplines, suspended walkways, a dry slide, a designated play area for children, a challenge course and bird aviary.

    Work was scheduled to begin early this year but has been pushed back due to COVID-19.

    In a telephone interview from Jamaica, Melville said the design for the new-look Harrison’s Cave was at an advanced stage.”

  7. “Leslie Haynes, QC.”

    these types are ALSO accused of being primary in instigating the backlogs at the supreme court…where cases NEVER FINISH..and the system remains stagnant and unmoving for decades.

    also came to learn that these types WHO ALSO REPULSE THE CCJ….hence the many complaints about this one above and all the others…….work on commission from insurance companies, so the longer they drag the cases in the Supreme Court …the MORE MONEY THEY MAKE…so that’s another corrupt reason for cases to never be closed, completed, settled etc….destructive lawyers and judges..

  8. Sargeant March 4, 2021 11:13 AM #: “From a distance It appears that the PM’s strategy is to lure any critic or potential critic into the arms of the Gov’t; why is Commissiong an Ambassador?”

    @ Sargeant

    Don’t you believe David Comissiong was ‘lured’ by the BLP during its tenure as Opposition? In MY opinion, it seems as though he was appointed as Ambassador to CARICOM perhaps under the guise of his pan-Africanist views, role as the ‘people’s advocate,’ and support for CARICOM, regional integration, Cuba, Haiti, etc.

    However, I believe it was more so a reward for the role he played in opposing the former DLP administration. I’m sure you remember his position on Hyatt and Denis Kellman calling him ‘an enemy of the state’ when he sought a judicial review of the DLP’s decision to approve construction of that hotel.

    Recall also when in 2016, he wrote a letter to then SSA chairman concerning the alleged privatisation of some functions undertaken by the Authority. How about when he challenged, in Court, the Immigration (Biometrics) Regulations, 2015 as being unconstitutional and won.

    And, these are only a few. The difference I find between Mr. Comissiong and Mr. Franklyn is, whereas the former, being a lawyer, usually seeks justice by taking issues he opposes to Court or writing directly to the source, the latter gives his interpretation of laws relating to issues he raises and vents them in the ‘Court of public opinion.’

    This brings me to ask the question why lawyers seem unwilling to support Mr. Franklyn, ‘pro bono,’ on matters that may affect the constitutional or human rights of Barbadians?

  9. People found in possession of small quantities of cannabis, will now be fined for the offence rather than face incarceration.

    The Drug Abuse (Prevention and Control) (Amendment) Bill 2020 introduced in the House by Attorney General Dale Marshall today will allow for the imposition of a penalty of $200 for anyone found by the police to be in possession of a quantity of cannabis amounting to 14 grams or less.

  10. @Artax March 5, 2021 9:25 PM

    This brings me to ask the question why lawyers seem unwilling to support Mr. Franklyn, ‘pro bono,’ on matters that may affect the constitutional or human rights of Barbadians?

    Do you really expect any lawyer to take up a huge case like that for free? They have to eat and pay bills like everyone else.

    What is really needed is a go fund me type of non-profit fund where these causes are submitted and funded by donations/pledges. Once the cause is funded, they can use that money to pay the researchers and lawyers.

    I sure people always complaining about racism, discrimination and other wrong will gladly put their money where their mouth is and donate or will all their money and property to the fund on their passing.

    • The Senator has the public profile to start such a crowd funding project, one suspects that for him it is about having the HR resources to efficiently manage. He is one man.

  11. @David March 6, 2021 10:03 AM

    Something like that is not for Caswell but for one of one or more of these enterprising young lawyer types to start. All Caswell should be worrying about is going to the beach, having fun with his wife and grandchildren and livening up parliament debates.

    It calls for someone like the daughter of one of the BU commenters who said their child was interested in being a civil rights lawyer in the USA. They don’t have to start big, just start the fund, get a case, get it funded and start to work. I sure they will be big in no time at all provided they can get the matters through all the red tape to conclusion.

  12. @DavidMarch 5, 2021 11:11 PM

    As I have said before: Local courts lack jurisdiction insofar as they seek to evaluate the constitutionality of our new emergency legislation. The emergency legislation IS he Constitution. Local courts may only apply emergency legislation to the letter, for example imposing prison sentences on Corona criminals.

    Should a local court presume to judge the constitutionality of this law, the judges are openly and deliberately committing perversion of justice. In other words, the Attorney General may then have the perpetrators arrested for open rebellion and treason.

    There is no power in Barbados that is above our elected government. The people used their sovereignty to transform Barbados into a one-party democracy plus unity of powers with the May 2018 elections. In this new state, our Supreme Leader rules unrestricted and unchallenged as long as the people do not personally recall her.

    If ignorant and poor lawyers claim the opposite, they are simply denying the new constitutional order created in May 2018.

  13. @Tron March 6, 2021 10:27 AM

    I am no lawyer but tell me where my understanding is wrong.

    The constitution is higher than government akin to god’s commandments. Every law created and action government performs has to comply with the constitution otherwise that action or law is unconstitutional and is unenforceable. Hence any law or action that goes against the constitution must be enshrined into the constitution for it to be made legal.

    Was the emergency legislation passed as an amendment to the constitution? If it was not a constitutional amendment and something in it conflicts with the constitution, at the very least, that contravening part of the legislation is unenforceable.

  14. @ Tron
    Sometimes in your comedy there are some sparkles of light. Our courts of law are not constitutional courts, our only constitutional court is PARLIAMENT.
    I think that is often forgotten. Parliament has the power to order people to appear before it and if they refuse to be held in contempt and jailed. This is the Westminster/Whitehall system.
    We once had the privilege of raising this issue when someone who appeared before the UK parliament and refused to answer questions.
    We had to remind MPs that he could not refuse, if not he committed contempt. The MPs either did not remember or tried to avoid it.
    The person later returned and answered the questions. He resigned his job soon after, even if, typically British, he got a gong.
    In this case, it looks as if Cabinet assumed the authority of parliament and granted authorities to the attorney general and prime minister it did not have the power to do.
    Gina Miller took Boris Johnson to the Supreme Court and won over Brexit and backbench Tories forced Boris to backdown over his CoVid emergency legislation. They forced him to seek parliamentary approval for his actions.
    By definition, sometimes in an emergency decisions have to be made urgently, but government still has to return to parliament for retroactive approval within a set time ie Matt Hancock’s decision to offer his associates contracts for PPEs..

  15. @ Critical

    I can tell you are not a lawyer, nor familiar with the law. Pro Bono law is nothing to do with eating. Just have a look at the US and UK for the long queue of lawyers (and law students) who join in these fights.
    In the US, nearly all those prisoners (mostly black) released after long wrongful prison sentences have been freed because of pro bono representations.
    Caribbean lawyers and administers were the backbone of the early law centres in the UK; people like the late Rudy Narayan, the great Guyanese lawyer, and Harold Alleyne, no longer with us, an outstanding Barbadian and late brother of one of our best known politician/lawyers.

  16. @Hal Austin March 6, 2021 10:57 AM

    I am willing to bet all that so called pro bono work in the US and UK is trumpeted on the campaign trail to fool people into believing how much they are for the people. Most if not all pro bono work by lawyers comes with a political cost down the road. It is done towards making their political resume look good so they will get elected when they run for office in another 5 to 15 years.

    If pro bono work had more of a say in getting politicians elected in the Caribbean than the other things, there would be much more of it going around.

    • We have associations in the US and other countries that are funded and can recruit (pay) lawyers to do pro on work. In Barbados the career of a young lawyer is effectively curtailed if he touches a case that offends the establishment.

  17. @ Critical

    It depends on the prism through which you see experience. There is a wider world out there beside the narrow, little one through which we see all human experience. Some people believe in justice, they do not all aspire to sit in parliament.

  18. Even though I am not a lawyer, but only a court jester, I think that the legal situation is quite clear:

    @ Critical Analyzer March 6, 2021 10:46 AM

    In substance, our parliament has created new constitutional law with the new emergency law. Maybe not in name, maybe not formally, but in substance. For the emergency act grants our government, and there in turn our Prime Minister, far-reaching powers equivalent to those of a legislator. The emergency act has eliminated the separation of powers for as long as the pandemic lasts. And the pandemic will continue for a very long time. Thus, the emergency law is a classic empowerment law, justified by the catastrophic pandemic.

    Even if the emergency law contradicts the previous constitution, it is valid, paramount and to be applied by all judges and civil servants for two reasons. Firstly, it is the result of a political revolution in May 2018 that removed the previous social order with its duopoly. Secondly, the emergency law is younger than the previous constitution and therefore has priority. For when two laws have equal status (constitutional law in this case), precedence is given to the more recent law. Or as the Emperor’s legal advisors used to say: lex posterior derogat legi priori.

    @ Hal Austin March 6, 2021 10:50 AM

    You are absolutely right that we have no constitutional court. Parliament is responsible for assessing the constitutionality of its laws and, if necessary, amending existing laws.

    Your conclusion that parliament must therefore approve all acts of government is also correct. In principle and for the past. For our parliament, with the new emergency act, has transferred its legislative powers in all Corona matters to our government, which in turn has transferred them to our Prime Minister as the true Supreme Leader of Barbados. In doing so, parliament has abolished the separation of powers in Barbados and established a new principle, the unity of powers between parliament and government.

    Quite independently of constitutional law, we already had no political separation of powers before, because government and parliament are largely the same in terms of personnel.

    Despite these changes, Barbados is a free country and a model democracy. The people wanted a powerful Prime Minister and absolute rule by her. Therefore, if our Prime Minister did not exercise absolute power, she would even be making a mockery of the will of the electorate.

  19. @ Tron

    You are right in terms of parliament and government being one and the same. That is what you get for a 30/0 (29/1) parliament.
    But, when acting as parliament, any emergency proposals must be raised in a formal sitting of parliament, not by the president in a missive to her Cabinet underlings, even if that means sending a Bill to the very people who passed the Bill.
    Have a word with Kamala Harris about her experience as vice president and chairman of the senate. Sometimes Ms Harris cannot contain her laughter. But it has to be done.

  20. @David March 6, 2021 11:22 AM

    It is so in Barbados not for the lawyer offending the establishment nor lack of persons with cases that would hire him but more for people not able to pay for services rendered. Outside of paying a lawyer a few hundred dollars to write somebody a letter, the vast majority of people cannot afford to pay a lawyer to bring even a minor case.

    If such a fund was created by an enterprising individual, it would be crowd funded and people like WARU interested in the cause would be able to contribute money instead of talk to help their fellow poor bajan and they would be able to get something off in taxes too if the fund is setup right.

  21. @ Critical

    There is also legal insurance. I think the lack of legal cover for ordinary people is a result of the short-sightedness of the bar association and the lack of business acumen by insurance companies.
    The bar association can white label legal insurance. As simple as 1,2,3. The other problem, of course is the need for a small claims court.
    Maybe attorney general Marshall should give this some thought. You are right about letters and the fees charged by local attorney. An average letter in England and Wales cost bout £50(Bds$150), in Barbados it can cost as much as $600 (£200).

  22. @ Hal Austin March 6, 2021 11:38 AM

    If the promulgation of an emergency order does not comply with the law, then by not promulgating it in accordance with the law, our Prime Minister has implicitly amended or repealed the promulgation rule. Theoretically, this renders even emergency legislation constitutional and effective, which our Prime Minister signs, puts in her safe in the office and nobody knows about.

    Consider that the emergency legislation grants our Prime Minister all the power to fight the pandemic! This includes legal measures outside the existing law. Our Prime Minister has taken the place of parliament and is accountable to her electorate alone.

    The opposition must finally come to terms with the fact that the people want a one-party democracy without interference from all so-called opposition.

  23. @Hal Austin March 6, 2021 11:38 AM

    Your comment raises something very interesting I never thought of before. If Caswell, a non-lawyer, is correct in that the emergency law is unconstitutional as it should have been brought before parliament for constitutional amendment, it might have been done on purpose to avoid the political ramifications in the next campaign for the BLP abusing power by campaigning on all the constitutional amendments made with this super majority to draw away some BLP support.

    We will see what happens with the case from the minimart guy and if that will open a can of worms Caswell style.

  24. @David March 6, 2021 11:53 AM

    If I were younger and in that field, I probably would. It would be an easy way to pay the bills while doing a worthy cause. I sure someone will see the post and start some crowdfunded non-profit called Lobbying R US – Fighting for the poor and downtrodden via crowdfunding.

    I know that if I had the money, I would bring a case against wearing masks outdoors cause I nearly collapsed the other day struggling with a heavy load while wearing a properly fitting mask in the broiling midday sun and I am certain there is no scientific basis for it but overzealous behaviour on the part of the authorities spending all their time indoors or in their air-conditioned cars believing any measure no matter how illogical is okay once COVID name is called.

    • Your position is being tested in several US states as we engage in our exchanges. We will have the results in short time.

  25. Perfectly apt Mr Blogmaster re “… In Barbados the career of a young lawyer is effectively curtailed if he touches a case that offends the establishment” … BUT…

    … there is an ‘opposition’ bench of well established lawyers who could readily take on a case of this nature which is in the interest of constitutional accuracy or as alluded to above someone in the guise of the former Dean Cumberbatch (in academia) could be moved to opine authoritatively.

    The fact is that unlike larger democracies Bajans over the years have been disinclined (maybe for the reason u noted) from poking the power of the governing elite on these weighty legal affairs.

    And now with the ability to rouse social media public financing (and renown) for the attorney(s) its doubly surprising – or perhaps telling- that no legal eagles are keen to partner with the Senator on this constitutional issue!

    No Bobby Clarkes with dashikis anymore!


    • @Dee Word

      The opposition are members of the political class.

      Good to see you have recovered from Rona.






  28. @GP
    I thought you were engaged in hand-to-hand combat elsewhere. Looks like there were no rules or no holds barred.

    Surprise, you can add a new front.

  29. THEO

    RE I thought you were engaged in hand-to-hand combat elsewhere.

    RE Looks like there were no rules or no holds barred.

  30. Well Mr Blogmaster, it seems I stayed away too long … causing de doc like he did miss me … oh lordie.

    If nothing else I got a smile and laff from his all caps .

    I thought he had mended his wayward ways since last I posted … what a wierd concept that was 😂🙈!

  31. RE There is the boy in all of us some more than others LOL

    Well Mr Blogmaster, it seems I stayed away too long … causing de doc like he did miss me … oh lordie.



    RE I thought he had mended his wayward ways since last I posted … NO I AM CONSISTENT AND PERSISTENT


  32. Lawyers dominate a judicial system that has come under fire for limiting access to its services to primarily the most affluent members of society. Lawyers also have a pervasive influence throughout other parts of government. This is the first book offering a critical comprehensive overview of the legal profession’s role in failing to serve the majority of the public and in contributing to the formation of inefficient public policies that reduce public welfare.

    In Trouble at the Bar, the authors use an economic approach to provide empirical support for legal reformers who are concerned about their own profession. The authors highlight the adverse effects of the legal profession’s self-regulation, which raises the cost of legal education, decreases the supply of lawyers, and limits the public’s access to justice to the point where, in general, only certified lawyers can execute even simple contracts. At the same time, barriers to entry that limit competition create a closed environment that inhibits valid approaches to analyzing and solving legal problems that are at the heart of effective public policy.

    Deregulating the legal profession, the authors argue, would allow more people to provide a variety of legal services without jeopardizing their quality, reduce the cost of those services, spur competition and innovation in the private sector, and increase the quality of lawyers who pursue careers in the public sector. Legal practitioners would enjoy more fulfilling careers, and society in general and its most vulnerable members in particular would benefit greatly.

    251 Pages
    Brookings Institution Press, March 2, 2021
    Paperback ISBN: 9780815739111
    Ebook ISBN: 9780815739128….(Quote)

  33. In Barbados’ case it’s simple to pull off the legal parasites by STOP electing LAWYERS to parliament or anything that requires them to be too upclose and personal to PUBLIC FUNDS, LAND, WILLS AND ESTATES, the registry, etc…they are too dishonest and sellout…more so than any other crooks.

  34. Sent malicious me looking.

    Love it.

    An outsider, but wishing them years of togetherness and happiness.

  35. Opposition Senator: Parliament, not PM, passes laws
    Randy Bennett
    Article by
    Randy Bennett
    Published on
    March 11, 2021×456.jpg
    Government is facing yet another lawsuit in relation to its COVID-19 directives.

    Fed-up with what he described as “unlawful” actions by the Mia Mottley-led administration, Opposition Senator Caswell Franklyn is headed to the High Court tomorrow to challenge the manner in which the legislation crafted by Government to control the spread of COVID-19 on the island was imposed.

    Under the current Emergency Management (COVID-19) (Curfew) (No.4) directive, a fine of $50,000 or one year imprisonment, or both, may be imposed on anyone who fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the ongoing curfew.

    “Only a court in Barbados can rule them to be illegal. I am filing the case tomorrow because I am taking the Government to court. I can’t allow this Government to continue to break the law and flout the law and do as it likes. I have to get it adjudicated one way or the other,” Franklyn told Barbados TODAY in a telephone interview.

    “I’m taking them to court on the COVID-19 directives. They have not been done in accordance with the laws of Barbados. The Prime Minister has no authority under the Constitution of Barbados or any other laws for that matter…the Prime Minister cannot make laws by herself.

    “Any minister who has the power to make a statement must bring a statutory instrument before the House for the House to approve it because only the House can pass laws. So even if the minister makes the law it is only valid after the House approves it and the House has not approved any such directive so far.

    “We as parliamentarians should have a say in these regulations. They are not legally on the books as far as I am concerned and I am willing to put my money where my mouth is. I actually have a lawyer drafting and I think by tomorrow we should be filing in court,” the outspoken trade unionist added.

    It will be the second lawsuit filed against Government in five days.

    Last Friday shopkeeper Benson Straker disclosed he was suing Attorney General Dale Marshall and Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith for acting unlawfully and beyond their legal power of authority with respect to measures implemented following the amendment of the Emergency Management (Amendment) Act, 2020.

    Franklyn said while he had no issues with Government trying its best to contain the spread of COVID-19, he maintained there was a right way to do it.

    In fact, the outspoken senator and trade unionist said the matter was of such importance to him he was willing to go as far as the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) if necessary.

    “I’m not saying that the directives do not have a purpose or that they shouldn’t be done, but if you’re going to do it, do it right.

    “I want the courts of Barbados, and if the High Court doesn’t do anything about it the Court of Appeal will and if the Court of Appeal doesn’t then I’m going to the Caribbean Court of Justice. This Government has to follow the law,” the Opposition Senator insisted.

    “I don’t have the money but I will find it because I believe this is important enough and I am willing to put what little bit I have to get the case put forward because it is too important…and the people in Barbados are seeing nothing wrong with it.”

    Franklyn said he was surprised no magistrate had spoken on the legality of the directives to date.

  36. So Mia and the labor minister dont know to SHUT DOWN this tiefing, racist oppressive parasitic company….and all the other companies that are just like them..

    “Workers of Preconco Limited withdrew their labour today after eight shop stewards were suspended until further notice, reportedly for attending a meeting with Minister of Labour Colin Jordan and the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU).

    And outside the headquarters of the Lears Quarry, St Michael company this afternoon, Deputy General Secretary of the BWU Dwaine Paul accused the company of attempting to destroy and attack trade unionism in Barbados and putting workers back in the dark ages.

    Paul explained that Preconco and the BWU were invited to attend an 11 a.m. Zoom meeting with Minister Jordan today to address disputes at the company and to avoid a work stoppage.

    He said Preconco’s management was informed on Tuesday that all shop stewards were needed to attend the meeting because of the critical nature of the pressing issues to be discussed, including the company cutting workers’ wages without their consent since 2020 and workers being forced to pay for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

    However, Paul said the company insisted that in order for all the delegates to attend the meeting, it must be held at 4 p.m. instead of the scheduled 11 a.m.

    “The delegates came to management this morning and said that they need to go to the meeting and the management allowed them to go ahead. Nobody didn’t tell them they couldn’t go. They were asking them to pick four [delegates], claiming that there is an agreement with the union to pick four. The union has no such agreement with them.

    “Anybody that has been around trade unions long enough knows the union would never agree to such a condition. We have from time-to-time adjusted our delegation numbers because of operational matters. But nobody says to us how that is supposed to be done.

    “But here, they want to dictate how that is to be done. They want to insist that we do four people. And it is not a matter of work you know, because the delegates went to the meeting, the company didn’t shut down and it operated all morning. But it is about trying to dictate to labour what labour must do,” he said.

    The Deputy General Secretary also accused the company of insulting the labour minister by refusing to participate in this morning’s meeting because more than four delegates attended.

    “They say it must be four, we say it can’t be four and they decide them ain’t coming to the meeting. Mind you, the minister said the meeting must go on. So, the union met with the minister. When the delegates returned to this compound, they received two-page letters typed today sending them home on suspension pending investigation and disciplinary action,” Paul explained.

    The letter dated March 10 which was delivered by hand, confirmed that the employees have been suspended from work until further notice pending an investigation into an allegation of misconduct against them. The correspondence stated that the company reserved the right to change or add to the allegations against the employees, as appropriate, in the light of the investigation.

    But, Paul was adamant that Preconco cannot be allowed to continue to victimize shop stewards, cut the workers’ pay, treat them as though they were the concrete slabs being manufactured at the company.

    Paul said the workers were tired of the treatment being meted out to them, and they hold the view that the issues affecting them cannot be allowed to continue.

    “PPE is something that is supposed to be distributed to workers. Preconco in here selling their workers’ PPE. When you want a pair of construction boots, you go to the storeroom and let them take out your pay when the week comes. This is happening in Barbados. And don’t care how you talk, the people refuse to stop. So these guys have had enough and I applaud them for being patient so long.

    “One thing that one should know about Preconco and its subsidiaries, it has produced a lot of rich men in Barbados and none of them ain’t out here. And whilst they were getting rich and building their empire, these men here were providing the funds to do it and they have continued to suffer.

    “There has not been a pay increase in Preconco for more than ten years, but they paid their supervisors and managers bonus last year, but still claiming that they have no work. You don’t have any work but you hiring staff every day to keep up with capacity. But when the workers want what is theirs you are saying you got to wait on me,” Paul said.

    The BWU senior official said he understood from the Chief Labour Officer that there was a scheduled meeting between minister Jordan and the company tomorrow.

    However, Paul warned that while that meeting must go ahead, the union would not turn away from its word that until the letters issued to the workers today are rescinded and a commitment to discuss the pressing issues made, all employees will stay off the job.

    “And I am prepared to go to the General Secretary [Toni Moore] and ask that they be supported. COVID cannot be a time in Barbados to unfair workers and we keep saying that and people keep saying not but here is an example of it. Who wants to see will see, and who don’t want to see will not see, but this union will not be quiet on these matters. So we off the job until further notice”.

    Preconco’s General Manager Joshua Harvey Read who issued a statement this evening said Preconco Limited has an expressed agreement with the BWU relating to the attendance of a certain number of delegates at meetings, which was reached under the chairmanship of the Labour Department.

    He said the BWU breached the agreement in respect of the meeting scheduled for this morning, while Preconco indicated to the union that it could meet another day at a different time if all delegates were required to attend.

    Read added that the delegates were advised that if they left work without authorization disciplinary action would be taken.

    The company said the BWU incited the delegates to breach the terms of their employment contracts in instructing them to leave work without authorization and contrary to the agreement between the BWU and Preconco.

    “All delegates from the factory that left to attend the meeting have been suspended with full pay pending an investigation. The BWU attended the factory with media this afternoon and wrongly claimed that the delegates had been sent home, and sought to incite our workers based on this misinformation. Preconco refutes any wrongdoing and will continue to carry out all obligations in accordance with all agreements and labour laws of Barbados,” Read said.

  37. these racists and wannabe white trash….even DISRESPECT THE BLACK MINISTERS and the unions…but they don’t know how to put them in their place…and SHUT THEM DOWN.

  38. Pingback: Senator Caswell Franklyn NOT a Member of ‘The Club’ | Barbados Underground

  39. AG not fazed
    Marshall welcomes court challenge
    BRING ON THE LAWSUITS and let the courts decide!
    That’s the word from Attorney General Dale Marshall, who said he had no problem with the Supreme Court deciding just who is right and who is wrong about the emergency management directives brought to help the country battle the COVID-19 pandemic while at the same time trying to protect citizens.
    Within the last two weeks, a shopkeeper filed a suit against Government’s decision to now allow his business to operate in a certain time frame.
    Last Thursday, outspoken Opposition Senator Caswell Franklyn also started a challenge, claiming the Emergency Management (Amendment) Act, 2020, which provides the basis for the COVID-19 directives, was contrary to the provisions of the Constitution.
    Marshall said he saw no wrongdoing in Government’s actions in the middle of a public health crisis affecting the entire world.
    “We are confident that we have followed the full requirements of the law and we are happy to defend our actions in court,” he told the DAILY NATION yesterday.
    “From the very beginning, we recognised that there would be some concern about the constitutional ramifications of the measures that we have taken, but at all times we made sure that the limitations on the freedoms of Barbadians directly related to the fight against the COVID-19 virus,” he added.
    He stressed that at all times, the Mia Amor Mottley administration had done things the right way.
    “Moreover, we have consulted with all stakeholders, the health officials in the public sector and with the private sector, in settling the broad principles that we would follow.”
    Marshall said the courts’ decisions would go a long way in determining if and how things could be changed.
    ‘Beneficial to Govt’
    “This administration has no difficulty with subjecting our directives to judicial scrutiny. Judicial review is actually beneficial to the administration of Government and to the protection of constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. Every citizen who feels that the state has infringed his rights is entitled to have recourse to the courts. This strengthens our democracy and our system of governance, and no serious administration would feel hard done by, or take umbrage, when citizens challenge its actions in the manner authorised by law,” he added.
    Last week, attorney Neil Marshall, who was representing Franklyn, informed the media there was a strong likelihood that other shopkeepers would join in a class action suit, following in the footsteps of Benson Straker.
    Straker, a shopkeeper, sued the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Police, claiming the two had acted unlawfully and in breach of their legal power regarding the measures implemented through the Emergency Management (Amendment) Act, 2020.
    Straker claimed the directive breached his rights as a citizen of Barbados under the Constitution.
    Franklyn is not seeking any compensation from Government but instead wants the Supreme Court to state clearly its ruling on about ten grounds which fall under the emergency directive.
    The trade unionist claimed that some Barbadians who faced the courts for breaching the directives had been wronged because the instrument was not properly passed in the House of Assembly.
    He has also taken issue with the $50 000 maximum fine and alternative one-year imprisonment under the directive, saying that under the country’s Interpretation Act the maximum penalty Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley could put in any statute was $500.

    Source: Nation

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