Submitted by Just Observing
The history of the Trade Union movement is a checkered one, but, regardless, it has always been consistently associated with numbers, strength, values and representation. Oh for the good old days. The past 3-5 years has seen a rapid decline in the interest, membership and integrity of our trade unions through the actions (sometimes shameless) of its leaders. It has also seen a clear strategic attempt by the powers at be to “integrate and include” labour when convenient for specific goals and certain silence. Take for example…
After fighting for 23% wage increase with backpay, our leaders capitulated for 5% going back 18 months only
For the first time in the history of Barbados, Trade Unions joined, marched with and locked arms with Private Sector bosses to appeal the NSRL and “reduce cost of living.” Well I am sure we all have seen that reduction.
We have seen bitter battles, contentious insults and massive shots across the bow of a previous government for many matters sometimes minor. Yet, silence abounds in times of clear economic and employment uncertainty even BEFORE Covid-19.
The Social Partnership was touted as a beacon of collaboration and communication. When last has it met? Where’s the BWU’s place? What is a CTUSAB???
It’s clear to a blind man on a trotting horse that trade union leadership and politics are like kith and kin. However, the blatant display of this incestuous relationship recently and the continued tone-deaf actions by the leaders give little to no hope to current members or prospective members. What’s the sense, what’s the point. Think about it….
One can argue that there are more “conversations” and “talks” but to us workers, that’s all it is. Talk. Talk doesn’t rehire or repay. It doesn’t lower the price of gas or goods. It doesn’t give comfort to the temporary or superceded employee. And it sure doesn’t give comfort to those blatantly overlooked and disadvantaged for purely political or nepotistic reasons. To end let’s look at the profiles of our leaders
BUT President – clearly waiting to put on running shoes for a jog to the south east
BSTU President – never a negative word said about her “boss” despite the clear failings and missteps in the sector
NUPW President – Trying to be Houdini and transform into a General Secretary with a full time salary while public workers struggle. Wow.
BWU President – or should I say the MP for St. George and Lord know what else in the organization. What was that verse about God and Mammon?
CTUSAB President – who is CTUSAB President? Does anyone know? oh yes, He is the newly appointed Chief of Security at the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority. (https://gisbarbados.gov.bb/blog/role-for-security-providers-in-medicinal-cannabis-industry/)
We all know 6 is half dozen, but if employees and workers can’t find a good omelette to eat when they are hungry then it’s a sad day in Barbados. May the good Lord help us. Let’s hope the other Union with that Senator fella continues to scramble some eggs whenever he gets a chance.