Submitted by William Skinner
Prominent supermarket owner, Mr. Andrew Bynoe, has said that employees in that sector, must be multi-tasked, as we navigate, the challenges emerging from COVID. He contends that cashiers must be prepared to render services that will necessitate, them moving from their stations at the cash register.
Mr. Bynoe is, suggesting that Barbadian workers, in the retail sector, perform like their counterparts, in other markets, whose job description includes cleaning the stores- including lavatories, taking the customers’ groceries to their cars, returning the carts to the store from the carpark and other more physical duties.
He is therefore promoting a change, in our working culture, which could lead to reduced staff, and more profits for the owners, but no improvement to the workers, who would work harder without the guarantee of improved benefits. A worker could be at the register one day and then be a janitor the next.
Workers unions should be quick, to point out to those who control this sector, that they should not expect, such changes to terms of employment, without long denied improvements for their members.
Mr. Bynoe should know that multi-tasking cannot be considered in isolation from multi-benefits. These workers need: safer workplaces; continuous training skills to have upward mobility; health insurance; assistance with improving their education and profit sharing in the business along with job security.
Under the guise of COVID, employers may seek to further exploit workers, who historically, have been treated as insignificant to national progress. Retail sector workers will be a prime target.
Workers unions in this sector, should remind Mr. Bynoe and others, that asking workers to multi-task without offering multi- benefits, is not an attractive proposition.
Unions beware. Workers unite.
Listen to Andrew Bynoe’s call from 3min 49 sec of the VOB audio file.