Whither Labour?

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 It doesn’t give comfort to the temporary or superceded employee.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.

53 comments

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU

    Is it possible that the unions as we knew them are gradually becoming an anachronism in an evolving different economy and society? We understand what roles they played in the post WWII era. Can we say that the issues faced by workers in this transitional phase are of the same genre? Is there still a” we” and a” they”? Should there not be collaboration rather than contention? Within the last three decades we have legalised the social outcomes of contentions. These pieces of legislations seem to be death knell of unions as we knew them.
    Again just thinking aloud.

    Like

  • @Vincent

    The Trade Union model is not fit for purpose and is being manipulated by capital (politicians) at the expense of labour.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU at 6.05 Pm

    Precisely. You have put my position more succinctly. I would not put the blame entirely on Capital they have gone through their own metamorphosis ,probably ahead of Labour. You are correct the purpose has changed .They both have to adapt themselves to the New Normal.

    Like

  • @Vincent

    As far as blame allocation there must be weighting assigned based on roles and responsibilities in civil society. A key factor is that this is a result of a lazy burgeoning so-called middle-class.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU

    Again I am in agreement with you about the functioning of the Middle Class. From my visits to other blogs and the comments made by thought leaders, I get a sense that instead of making things happen they are waiting for some one else to do the heavy lifting. And this is disconcerting.. But maybe they too are in transition. and plenty is taking place in the background of which we are not aware. I am an optimist and I hope interesting strategies are in the pipeline.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Vincent
    ” I get a sense that instead of making things happen they are waiting for some one else to do the heavy lifting”

    That’s our challenge as a country. As we often ask, “will the real leaders please stand up??”

    @David
    Do any of the current crop give any indication that they are evolving to make things “fit for purpose?”

    Just observing

    Liked by 2 people

  • @ Davie
    N case you missed BBC Breaking News’s Tweet
    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds were married in a small ceremony at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday, No 10 confirms
    https://bbc.in/3wLeBTY

    People say he is Elton’s biggest UK fan.
    Toffees & truffles, who calling…Sweets n more Sweets….All dem sweeties..

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    You have spoken of the changing phenomenon of the Trade Unions of the Post-World War II Era, but we have to talk about the Trade Unions of the 70s and 80s, and how they carried out their mandate, and delivered to the workers what were justly deserving to them.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    As a member of a Trade Union for more than three decades, I have witnessed the changing face of the Trade Union, from the 80s, 90s and in the 2000s, and it is has been disappointing, because the Trade Union has done a poor job in its efforts to negotiating contracts, as well as it has struggled to retained those pensions and benefits that were fought hard for in the previous decades.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Observing

    So far “fit for purpose” is the cliche of the moment.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    @Dompey
    It is 2021. It is up to the paying members of any Union to seek change. If they don’t seek it who will?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ David and BU elite.

    ” Tech giants and tax havens targeted by historic G7 deal ”

    https://ca.news.yahoo.com/g7-nations-near-historic-deal-080128063.html

    Liked by 1 person

  • @hants
    Does this cripple or 1 – 2.5%??

    Just observing

    Like

  • @Observing

    It is not looking good for tax havens like us.

    Like

  • Critical Analyzer

    The original problems necessitating the rise of Trade Unions such as worker victimization has been all but addressed with the passage of various pieces of legislation and employee/employer rights bills over the years. Just like the crime rate will never be zero, worker victimization, pay issues, etc. will always exist but the traditional trade union issues are now on a much smaller scale than previously and there now exists legal avenues for redress, such as the Employee Rights Tribunal.

    Trade Unions need to recognize their role must change to meet the current and future needs of their membership if they are to attract new members. Their focus should now be on
    1) Ensuring all frameworks supporting all the laws on the statue books affecting their membership are working efficiently and grievances are addressed in a timely manner. e.g. An Employee Rights Tribunal is a great idea but becomes a total waste of time if it is so poorly staffed that simple cases take far too long to be heard.
    2) Empowering their membership with on demand presentations/videos on various topics such as financial management, debt reduction, know your rights, etc.
    3) Encouraging their membership’s entrepreneurial spirit by providing services, training programs, newsletters, etc. relevant to this budding class of worker that needs a different kind support than the traditional worker if this new class is to flourish in the shortest possible time.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @CA

    The role of the trade union get more awesome if you factor employer/capital not retooling the business to sustain competitiveness; fit for purpose. Labour is vested in the business sustaining competitiveness.

    Symmonds: Businesses must adapt to survive > > By Colville Mounsey colvillemounsey@nationnews.com > > Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Kerrie Symmonds is > concerned businesses in Barbados are not adapting fast enough to the > COVID-19 environment. > > He said some appear intent on sticking with the storefront model rather > than tapping into the vast potential of online shopping and deliveries. > > In an interview with Sunday Sun, Symmonds, who was responding to concerns > raised by the retail sector over closures due to COVID-19-related > difficulties, said there continued to be an unwillingness to shift from the > old way of doing things. > > Last month, the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry warned Barbadians > to brace for the closure of a number of retail stores, especially within > The City, as the protracted hardship of COVID-19 was proving too much. It > was noted then that the customer base had vastly shifted towards malls > and many store owners were now left with few options. The comments followed > news of the closure of Material Things’ flagship outlet in Bridgetown after > more than three decades. > > Symmonds said while he acknowledged that COVID-19 continued to pound the > retail sector, he wanted to see more adaptability from the business sector > to meet the changing times. > > Make model fit > > “It is necessary for all of us, and I mean from the smallest of businesses > to the highest, to sit down and look at their model and to make that model > fit into this environment. It is very important for us to do some > fundamentals and, where possible, to ensure that services are available > online. Social distancing is still a requirement and people are still > reluctant to come out, and I suspect that if you go online and make > yourself accessible, one may see someresults. The bricks and mortar thing > is not the only option,” he said. > > “Businesses must also look at working together to make sure that > deliveries can be done. Even though you are my competitor, we can work > together to make sure that we deliver product and this would not only > ensure that our product gets into other people’s homes and businesses but > that you are employing other small people to deliver the product,” he added. > > The minister pointed out that during the lockdowns to mitigate the spread > of COVID-19, many businesses were trending in this direction, but as soon > as the restrictions were lifted they returned to business as usual. > > “Where I have a lot of concern is that I saw a lot of people doing this > thing instinctively during the COVID-19 shutdowns and immediately after I > am seeing a fall-off of it now. I have a concern with the supermarkets. I > am going to be brutally frank; it disturbs me that if I go to Trinidad and > Tobago business sector website, I can see that they are doing deliveries > to the home by major supermarket chains. I am not seeing it to the same > extent, if at all, in Barbados. It happened during COVID-19 but it has > stopped now. We need to hold the feet of the businesspeople to the fire, > not just Government, because there has to be innovation,” he said. >

    Source: Nation Newspaper

    >

    Like

  • Critical Analyzer

    @Hants June 5, 2021 11:19 PM

    It serves us right grabbing at other people’s money we did not rightfully earn and we all know it too.

    What can we expect when China fooled us and almost all the other countries in the world into overreacting and tanking their own economies over a pandemic that would have been like a severe flu season if the real science had been followed instead of ignored and people were treated in a timely manner instead locking down people. The countries are simply tightening their belts and taking back what is rightfully theirs; had to come sooner or later.

    It is high time we do the same and start earning our foreign exchange the proper way i.e. producing and offering tangible products and services unique enough that we can charge a premium for. instead of borrowing money and refinancing debt to prop up foreign reserves to waste buying things we don’t need or can produce locally if we do it right.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Critical Analyzer

    @David June 6, 2021 5:07 AM

    That article sounds all sweet and nice and I don’t know what profession Kerrie Symmonds is in or what businesses he has had experience running successfully but what he says is wishful thinking.

    Everything he is telling business people to do is not free at all, it costs money, time, effort and significant risk at a time when businesses just don’t have the funds to survive the cost of failure of said changes. Government is in no different boat than the business sector. The only difference is government has the power to shape, set and change the rules they operate under where businesses must operate under those same rules and can only agitate for changes. The only business I can see in Barbados that has gotten the online ordering correct is Chefette.

    This COVID pandemic has shown how inept almost all governments worldwide and various people we have put in huge decision making position to set policy are.

    Like

  • @CA

    All the reasoning you have offered applies if businesses maintain traditional models distributing products and services.

    Like

  • The move by Akanni to make a grab for general secretary position seems a bold face move.

    Like

  • A trade union must aim to resolve a dispute as quickly as possible. However, there is a perception that a trade union may not do so – if it is “politically inconvenient”.
    For example, see https://www.nationnews.com/2016/03/29/all-ah-we-is-one-trade-union-battles/

    The members of the BWU must determine if Ms Toni Moore can effectively represent the interests of the BWU – if there is a dispute between the BLP Government and the BWU. And if there would be a conflict of interest.

    Like

  • It is obvious that trade union mismanagement has come to its disgraceful end. We don’t need unions these days, we need a strong Prime Minister who will work with businessmen to set wage conditions that will make our island internationally competitive. What we urgently need is a ceiling on salaries for local workers of a maximum of USD 10 per hour.

    What is left of the unions should be merged into a single union and placed under the direction of the Minister of Labour. The union assets should be held in trust by the Minister of Labour.

    Like

  • “Political strategy to weaken the Union here in the States”

    There is a pushed by government here in the States to strategically break the Union, by passing pieces of legislation that enables newer employees in private and governmental sector, to choose as to whether or not they wish to participate in the Union.
    Now traditionally, if you were chosen for a particular job with an Union you had no alternative or were forced to pay Union dues, however, newer employees are demanding that they be given option to choose between these two alternative, and thus far, it is an effective strategy by Republican government here in the States to dismantle the Union, and it is working in some States here in the US.

    Like

  • Republican government here is using the old strategy of Divide and Conquer to render the Union ineffective because an effective Union can only be had in the unification of the workforce.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hanis at 11:19 PM

    Thanks for upload. This confirms what I have pointed out for years. It is competition for tax revenues and the death knell for tax havens. The off shore sector is another sector in which we have to press the reset button as well. Managing small open economies is not easy. We need to be a less critical and more supportive of the efforts of Administrations.

    Like

  • From what Avinash Persaud is positing, the counter to the OECD move is to lure international companies to headquarter in Barbados.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU at 2:13.PM

    It all depends on what one means by “headquarter”. Unfortunately that eventuality has already been covered. But lets wait and see.

    Like

  • @Vincent

    One must give credit to the gentleman he knows what he is talking about.

    Like

  • “Grabbing at money we did not earn” sounds familiar. Where did I hear that before?

    Oh yeah! The white nations who had the forced labour of our African descendants.

    Like

  • Not to mention the land they stole.

    Like

  • They ruled that they must have access to our markets thereby pricing our manufacturers out of our own markets.

    Must they have everything their way????

    Critical Analyzer is a one-eyed jack!

    Like

  • @Vinnie
    “It is competition for tax revenues and the death knell for tax havens. The off shore sector is another sector in which we have to press the reset button as well. Managing small open economies is not easy. We need to be a less critical and more supportive of the efforts of Administrations.”

    Was good to see your contribution. It would appear that in addition to Covid-19, other sectors of our economy will be under attack. The world as we know it is changing. Silly statement.

    Like

  • Walrond calls emergency meeting

    by MARIA BRADSHAW
    mariabradshaw@nationnews.com
    THE NATIONAL UNION OF PUBLIC WORKERS (NUPW) could appoint a general secretary by the end of today, spurning attempts by some members to have president Akanni McDowall elevated to that post.
    Sources told the DAILY NATION that acting general secretary Wayne Walrond has summoned an emergency meeting of the National Council for today and high on the agenda are the posts of general secretary and deputy general secretary.
    Walrond, who has been acting in the leadership position for some time now, could be given the nod since the National Council is responsible for appointing people to those positions.
    Last week he was blindsided when union member, Natalie Murray, submitted a resolution, accompanied by a petition with 135 signatures, to make McDowall leader of the trade union.
    As a result, the NUPW would have to convene a special general meeting within 14 days to allow members to vote on the resolution. The resolution also contained a significant change to the constitution which would involve the leader being referred to as secretary general and holding that position for four years.
    Yesterday sources told the DAILY NATION that even if the meeting proceeds, it would be unauthorised and declared null and void since, according to the rules and standing orders, only the president or the National Council had the right to summon a special meeting at any time.
    When contacted about today’s meeting, which is being held via Zoom, Walrond was tight-lipped, only saying: “You would be informed in due course.”
    During an interview last Friday, he said the move to make McDowall leader could destroy seven decades of governance structures and further jeopardise management relationships at the union.
    Secret meeting
    While McDowall could not be reached for comment, Murray told this newspaper she was appalled to learn of the “secret meeting”.
    “I brought my petition because I have lost confidence in the acting general secretary. Over 100 other union members who signed the said petition feel the same. We want change.
    “I am therefore appalled but not surprised to learn that the acting general secretary is trying to hold on to power by convening a secret meeting to have himself installed as general secretary. How can he justify silencing 135 of his own members? This is highly disrespectful. This meeting is not even allowed according to the rules. He is clearly desperate but this is strictly for the members to decide,” she added.
    McDowall, who has served as president for three terms, was expected to contest that position again next month.
    He, however, said last week that he was willing to serve wherever the membership desired him.
    An NUPW official explained yesterday that nominations for the presidency close on June 24, “long after the special meeting to vote on the resolution”.

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • Critical Analyzer

    Are these the same people that want to talk about a song, young people and raising kids. Too many people like they gone crazy fighting for power and control?

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/06/08/police-called-to-restore-order-at-nupw/

    Like

  • Observing asked ‘whither labour’ in the submission – now we know.

    NUPW showdown
    Police called in as tempers flare at National Council meeting
    POLICE had to be called in yesterday to keep the peace at the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) after a meeting of the National Council came to high words, with some irate members even having to be pulled apart.
    The union has been embroiled in turmoil in recent days in a battle for its leadership.
    Last week member Natalie Murray submitted a resolution, accompanied by a petition with 135 signatures, to the union’s Dalkeith, St Michael headquarters to make NUPW president Akanni McDowall the first secretary general of the largest public sector union, rendering the post general secretary redundant.
    Yesterday, the council met to discuss the issue but came to an impasse with McDowall claiming that the meeting was improperly constituted. Things worsened after Murray, who is not a member of that Council, entered the meeting and refused to leave, which then led to police being summoned.
    Earlier, McDowall said he was ordered to leave a “secret meeting” held with the union’s executive and some of its past general secretaries and presidents.
    (CLM)

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • Trouble brewing at the NUPW

    by COLVILLE MOUNSEY
    colvillemounsey@nationnews.com
    THERE WAS CHAOS at the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) as the ongoing fight for its leadership heated up yesterday.
    Police even had to be called in to the Dalkeith Road, St Michael headquarters to quell the melee that erupted during a meeting of the National Council.
    The meeting, which was convened at 2 p.m. to discuss a petition to make NUPW president Akanni McDowall the first secretary general, as well as to discuss the position of the general secretary, deteriorated after the petition’s proposer Natalie Murray, who is not a member of the National Council, walked in an hour after and refused to leave when asked.
    The ensuing fracas spilled over into the cafeteria adjoining the meeting room, and even members of the media had to help diffuse the situation by pulling some angry individuals apart.
    Police arrived just before 4 p.m. and despite their strong presence for 90 minutes, there was no resolution to the impasse. The meeting had to be adjourned to a date still to be determined.
    It was revealed that the council appointed second vice-president Charles Bostic as the chair, who would also preside over the rescheduled meeting.
    McDowall, however, has already indicated his intention to challenge this move, arguing that the rules did not allow for such a provision.
    Acting deputy general secretary Richard Greene said that even before the entrance of Murray, the meeting was off to a contentious start after both McDowall and acting general secretary Wayne Walrond were asked to recuse themselves from the meeting, given that it was standard practice for officiants not to be involved in deliberations that related to their tenure. He said Walrond left as instructed, but McDowall refused to, charging that the meeting was improperly constituted in the first place.
    “There were some unfortunate events relative to how that meeting was conducted. The president held the position that the meeting was convened outside of the rules and standing orders of the union. The members of the council disagreed with that opinion and asked the meeting to continue as they had instructed the general secretary to. What was instructive at that meeting was that since the matters related directly to the president and the general secretary, they were both asked to recuse themselves from the meeting. The general secretary stepped out of the meeting, but the president did not,” Greene said.
    He added the meeting was not convened by Walrond as previously asserted by some people, but rather the National Council wrote to the acting general secretary demanding the urgent meeting.
    “Things escalated to the point where the proposer of the resolution and petition barged into the meeting, even though that proposer was not a member of the National Council. She refused to leave the meeting and subsequently the police were brought in,” he said, noting that in his 27 years as an employee of the NUPW he had never seen such an escalation of events.
    In response, McDowall said he felt duty bound to ensure the council did not veer down the wrong path with regards to the legality of the meeting.
    “I came here to this meeting to tell council members that the meeting that was called by the general secretary was not constitutional and therefore we needed to defer the meeting until a time and place that would allow the meeting to be constitutionally held. I told the members here that I am not against anybody discussing anything. I certainly would be willing to facilitate any meeting, but there needed to be a process and that process was clearly outlined in the constitution.
    “Even after that advisement, the council still felt they should continue with the meeting and I held my ground,” said McDowall, who was flanked by Murray and other supporters.
    He added: “The union is run by rules and regulations and if you don’t follow rules and regulations, you are going to have anarchy . . . . My feeling on the whole matter is that members have a right to speak, members have a right to discuss issues that are before them, but let us do it properly.”

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • Atherley: Politics in move
    OPPOSITION LEADER Bishop Joseph Atherley says the move to have National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) president Akanni McDowall become its first secretary general “has the fingerprints of political actors all over it”.
    He told the MIDWEEK NATION he believed a concerted effort was being made to undermine the effectiveness of the trade union movement.
    He added that labour needed to stand up and take notice before one of this country’s major bastions of workers’ rights was rendered impotent.
    Making reference to the decision of Toni Moore, general secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union, to join the fold of the ruling Barbados Labour Party, the Opposition Leader said the labour movement could ill afford to lose the NUPW to partisan political agendas.
    “I am very concerned as to what is happening with union leadership in Barbados and I am particularly concerned with what is happening now in the NUPW, which is the largest representative body for public servants in Barbados.
    “I am concerned that there are persons in Barbados whose agenda is to make sure that the potency of union leadership is reduced, and that the effectiveness of unions on a whole is diluted. I have a view that there is a lot of politics at play in this development and an attempt is being made to ensure that certain partisan interest within the NUPW is given a greater certainty of tenure with respect to the leadership,” said Atherley.
    “There is more than one way in which a political agenda could be meted out, especially with respect to union leadership.
    “There are those who are already acquainted with what has happened with respect to the Barbados Workers’ Union and now we have to be concerned about what is playing out with the NUPW. There are forces outside of the NUPW who have a political agenda and they are trying to ensure that those who serve their interests stay in power for as long as possible.”
    Atherley argued that infighting only served to divide the union at a time when labour was under increasing threat from capital.
    “This is a time when workers need to be as unified as possible because of the threats out there,” he said. (CLM)

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • Unionists: Out with the politics

    by CARLOS ATWELL
    carlosatwell@nationnews.com
    THERE SHOULD BE no room in a trade union for political influences, but Senator Caswell Franklyn says it is fast becoming too late.
    The veteran trade unionist, who heads Unity Workers Union, said it was already too late for the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) and the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) was swiftly heading in the same direction as politics was at the heart of the attempt to make NUPW president Akanni McDowall the union’s first secretary general.
    “When this present administration realised how dangerous unions can be if not controlled, they set about to control them . . . . The NUPW is the next battleground because there are still a lot of ‘Dems’ (Democratic Labour Party supporters) who will not stand idly by and allow the NUPW to be completely taken over by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP). The problem is, the union should not be controlled by any political party.
    “This is a fight to control the trade union movement in Barbados – the BLP has already captured the BWU and they will make the NUPW follow suit or die trying,” Franklyn said, adding the ruling administration also had a measure of control over the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB).
    Last week, NUPW member Natalie Murray submitted a resolution, accompanied by a petition with 135 signatures to the union’s Dalkeith, St Michael headquarters to make McDowall secretary general of the largest public sector union, rendering the post of general secretary redundant.
    On Tuesday, police had to be called in to keep the peace after a very heated follow-up meeting of the union’s National Council, with some members even having to be pulled apart.
    Franklyn said political fingers had been snaking into trade union affairs for a long time.
    “Political shenanigans have been going on for years but it reached a height when the Barbados Labour Party enlisted the help of all the unions of Barbados to secure [an election] victory, all except Unity Workers Union of course. When [it] did that, and saw how effective it could be, [it] harassed [former Prime Minister] Freundel [Stuart] and made the last administration very miserable. Even things which were in the best interest of workers, like the NSRL (the National Social Responsibility Levy), they had everybody demonising it,” he said.
    ‘Did not look good’
    Franklyn said there was no fear his union would become compromised by the People’s Party for Democracy and Development despite his being chosen by its head, Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley, to be a senator for the Opposition.
    “When [Bishop] Atherley asked me to become a senator, it was with specific instructions to speak from my heart, whether or not I agreed with him. He is not looking for anyone to follow him blindly, and besides, I’m not looking to run
    in any election. Somebody must look out for workers; no one else is doing it,” he said.
    Former deputy general secretary of the BWU, Robert “Bobby” Morris, also said the current unrest within the NUPW did not look good.
    “Bad press is not good for any trade union movement. What is happening at the NUPW seems to be a constitutional matter and for a union as old as the NUPW, the procedure should be very clear. To me, the union should be looking internally for a secretary general but somehow, it missed the boat in terms of grooming someone from within its ranks.
    “If it is a political group which is calling for Akanni to become secretary general, that does not augur well for the union,” he said.
    Sir Roy Trotman, the former BWU general secretary, said it was not his place to speak on the internal affairs of the NUPW as he did not think that would help matters.
    General secretary of CTUSAB, Dennis de Peiza, said the agency did not get involved in the internal affairs of member unions, but the umbrella body would intervene if asked to do so.

    SOURCE: NATION

    Like

  • @ David

    Back in 1986, the Deputy General Secretaries of the BWU represented the DLP at the polls (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=459023327455586&id=186710391353549).

    Like

  • Former deputy general secretary of the NUPW Dr. Derek Alleyne lost to the BLP’s Rommel Marshall in St. Michael West Central in 1994 and 1999 (http://www.caribbeanelections.com/bb/constituencies/SMWC.asp).

    BUT president Pedro Shepherd has been eyeing St. Michael East for a decade now (https://www.nationnews.com/2012/08/06/trio-after-dlp-ticket/).

    BUT General Secretary Toni Moore took the baton from Gline Clarke for the Bees. There are warring factions at the NUPW. The silence of the teachers’ unions is as unprecedented as COVID and meetings with members are out of style.

    A recent former BSTU vice president is now an ambassador while another continues acting as Chief Education Officer. BSTU president Mary Redman has also become more understanding of government’s efforts (https://barbadostoday.bb/2019/02/13/bstu-urges-educators-to-be-patient/).

    When former BUT presidents Minister Jones, Parliamentary Secretary Harry Jones and Chief Best were in charge the BSTU was much more aggressive. Remember Alexandra.

    CTUSAB is just as useless. The first vice president is the man eyeing St. Michael South East. He will soon look to his school Wilkie Cumberbatch to push his ambitions. A former CTUSAB president accepted the chairmanship of a secondary school board from the former government while president.
    So President O’Neal is just following suit.

    We are witnessing the unions’ collapse. Their members are leaderless, misguided or being led astray by the political agendas their leaders represent, bold opportunists and union parasites feeding on the dues of members.

    Like

  • What can the workers do?

    A trade union is setup that the workers should be able to demand change?

    The truth is like most member bodies in Barbados there is a high level of apathy.

    Where do we go from here?

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ all
    The unions were duped by the Duopoly to sit at the table of something called a Social Partnership. And then like magic, we could not tell the pigs from the humans; just like Animal Farm.
    Union leaders paraded in marches in their party of choice colors. Any half ah fool would have discerned that they had stupidly carried a joke too far.
    But, it has always been like this with the unions. The leaders are either members of the Dees or the Bees and these days, Union leaders see themselves as part of a partnership that muzzles them and have them eating crumbs from the politicians table.
    So, if it’s the BEES turn to dominate them that is in keeping with the status quo. Quite frankly Mottley and company is using the same stick that beat Tom to beat Harry.
    I remember as a young unionist, my Union wanted to protest some issue while Barrow was PM. We approached the BWU for some support. The “ heavy roller”- Sir Frank Walcott told our delegation: “Flying fish can’t swim with Sharks “
    Back then the unions in great measure were in the pocket of the DEES. What goes around comes around.
    A bundle of bold faced hypocrites pretending that unions should be free of politics. Their memories are conveniently short. Mia is large and in charge . She is very much like her “ real” grandfather , Barrow. She publicly said that when she got home from school
    , he was there to greet her. Lessons learnt. Brek them up Mia!

    Like

  • And while the union leaders were duped so too the general body consisting of ordinary educated workers. We are all vested in the outcomes.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ David
    Of late , I have been quite impressed by your efforts to come across as balanced. I sincerely hope you join us who have written off the BLPDLP.
    Good governance cannot be measured by constantly trying to give ones party some fake moralistic pass.
    These two parties continued dominance ,is a testimony to how , in some cases unintentionally decent , law abiding citizens, get drawn into political skullduggery.
    They are seeing the same movie every weekend but unfortunately think that it will end differently.
    And that’s the tragedy of it all . The sad reality is that we seem incapable of calling a spade a spade.
    There is always a defining moment in events. For me , it was Barrows public order act of 1974.
    The second defining moment was when Tom Adams got on the floor of the house and said that the collective bargaining process must never be broken. He was in opposition when Barrow had legislated salaries. Tom did the same thing about two years later.
    By then O’Brien Trotman was the general secretary of the NUPW. He ended up as a Senator and minister.
    So, the Toni Moore episode is nothing new.
    Nobody plants okra and reap corn.
    Those who continue to see hope in the Duopoly or try with long basically regurgitated nonsense to prove there is some difference live in world of make belief.

    Like

  • At 3.15 am on 11 June 2021, David asked –

    “What can the workers do?”

    The workers can seek to change the trade union or they can leave it.

    The argument for being or becoming a trade union member is very feeble – if the trade union places its political interests before the interests of its members.

    Like

  • @William

    The blogmaster is not trying to impress boy or girl, only to stay try to conscience and ideals.

    Like

  • The hot air being spewed by the NUPW president trying to catapult himself into the position of General Secretary to be renamed Secretary General is timely. As the blogmaster stated in the preceding comment, it shall be up to the membership read You, You and You.

    Like

  • @ Paula Sealy June 10, 2021 11:41 PM
    (Quote):
    We are witnessing the unions’ collapse. Their members are leaderless, misguided or being led astray by the political agendas their leaders represent, bold opportunists and union parasites feeding on the dues of members. (Unquote).
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That’s a fair prediction on the inevitable predicament of trade unionism in Bim.

    Very few workers in the coming jig economy would waste their money joining a trade union given the quality of the current leadership and the blatant political partisanship on display in the decision-making process of the ‘major’ politically-controlled unions like the NUPW and now BWU.

    Future employees in the tourism industry would be engaged on contracts which would effectively preclude them from joining trade unions.

    The existing unions can expect to see a significant drop in members right across the local labour market and, as a consequence, membership dues which make up a significant share of the revenues needed to underwrite the highly-remunerated management payroll.

    Not even Caswell’s small outfit can save the workers and the unions sorry asses.

    Like

  • NUPW affair goes on air
    The present discord at the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) dominated the popular
    Down To Brass Tacks radio call-in programme yesterday morning with several members of the public calling in to discuss the matter with moderator David Ellis.
    Union member, Natalie Murray, who brought the controversial resolution that has literally placed the union in a tailspin, defended her actions saying: “I would not do anything to destroy the union. The reason why I brought the resolution is that for the past three years the national council of NUPW refused to appoint a general secretary,” she said, adding there were thousands of workers who were paying their dues but not receiving representation.
    “For the last six years Akanni McDowall was the only person who we saw vigorously representing workers in this country,” she noted, pointing out that as president he could not do as much as the general secretary.
    First vice-president Kim Webster agreed with Murray.
    She said the special meeting to vote on McDowall’s promotion to secretary general will be held on Thursday at 5 p.m at the Horatio Cooke Auditorium.
    Responding to criticisms about his stewardship over the past six months, acting general secretary
    Wayne Walrond charged that obstacles had been put in his way.
    He said the proposed change to the constitution would give McDowall “absolute maximum power”.
    In terms of the disruption of this week’s national council meeting, he said: “If this behaviour is the way forward, God help NUPW . . . . People are looking on and they are disgusted.”
    No support
    Council member Fabian Jones also spoke on the matter, criticising his nemesis, whom he had competed against for the post of president.
    He suggested that McDowall did not have the support of any of the arms of the NUPW.
    “The discord, a lot of it surrounds him and his stewardship. So it needs someone who has that relationship with the council, he doesn’t; the secretariat, he doesn’t; the divisional committees . . . he doesn’t to a certain extent. So to appoint a such a person in such a position would only escalate the discord that is being felt at this time,” Jones said.
    However, McDowall defended himself, pointing out that this was not the first time a general secretary had been appointed by a special conference. He reiterated that there would be no changes to how the general secretary presently operates.
    “The members have indicated
    to me that they want me to fulfil this position as general secretary, here on referred to as secretary general. The position is no different than what exists now. It is not about absolute power. When this meeting is called all that will happen is that the vote is taken by the membership . . . . The difference is that the secretary general position is [for] a four-year period as opposed to the general secretary, which is at the pleasure of national council,” he said.
    However, a caller associated with the union questioned who would be conducting the voting and overseeing next week’s special meeting. (MB)

    Source: NATION NEWS

    Like

  • Interesting workers at Sandy Lane have turned to government. We recall what happened the last time when BWU went against Sandy Lane. Labour is struggling.

    BWU raises concerns over Sandy Lane salary cut
    Workers at the world renowned five-star Sandy Lane hotel are upset about a salary cut.
    As a result, the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) is calling on Government to put stringent legislation in place to stop employers infringing the rights of workers.
    Some workers told the Sunday Sun that their wages were cut by about 15 per cent.
    “You have to work a 40-hour week only to be paid for 32 hours and some staff members, after deductions, are going home with only $3.96,” said one disgruntled staffer at the West Coast hotel, who requested anonymity.
    “The staff at Sandy Lane are suffering every day and are stressed out to the max, yet Sandy Lane still expects the staff to perform duties at 100 per cent.”
    In a statement on Friday, the BWU asked the Chief Labour Officer to investigate the matter.
    “It was brought to the attention of the Executive Council of the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU), that at or around the end of April 2021, the Sandy Lane hotel sought to alter the conditions of work for some members of staff.
    “These changes followed correspondence sent by
    the management requesting acceptance of a proposed pay reduction. Though the proposal was met with vehement refusal from a significant number of staff, the hotel’s management presumptuously proceeded to apply the said reductions dictated in the document.
    “On May 7, the BWU wrote to the management of the property, informing them of the breach and pressing for a restoration of all monies to the affected staff by May 14, 2021. This letter of representation was also copied to the Chief Labour Officer . . . requesting that the matter be investigated, with a view to having an urgent resolution to the grievance, so as to avoid any unfortunate delays in the receipt of retroactive payments to the staff.”
    Do more
    The BWU said Government needed to do more to protect workers’ rights, especially during the ongoing pandemic.
    “Upon receipt of the letter from the BWU, the Sandy Lane management responded that they would be seeking legal advice in the matter.
    “In far too many instances, especially since the start of this pandemic, the BWU has found itself battling in the defence of workers
    who have had their conditions of employment unilaterally varied by some establishment or other.
    “There is a need for more stringent legislation to be enacted by the Government, for implementation by the Labour Department that sends a stronger message to corporate entities who seek to defy our laws in the protection of workers’ rights and wages in this country,” the statement said. (SB)

    Like

Join in the discussion, you never know how expressing your view may make a difference.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s