In the Left Corner (CTUSAB), Right Corner (BWU)

Two media reports caught the eye of the blogmaster on May Day, a day set aside to “commemorate the efforts and victories of the workers’ class and the labour movement”.

The first was President Edwin O’Neal of the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) giving notice in his May Day address under the Clement Payne slogan Educate, Agitate But Do Not Violate to all and sundry, he intends to defend the organization with all he can muster see – CTUSAB: Don’t mess with us.

The other item was from General Manager Toni Moore of the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) in a SEPARATE address at a DIFFERENT location delivering a May Day message. The BWU withdrew from CTUSAB the umbrella union body in 2013 readers may recall – see earlier BU blog Barbados Workers Union Boots CTUSAB.

Why are the two items of interest?

We have two entities promoting themselves as advocates for the rights of workers and in the glare of the public it presumes to represent are unable to reconcile differences going on for 9 years and counting. In the same period , workers have been embarrassed to ALSO witness incompetence, political interference and diminishing role of other major unions in a period labour has been under attack given a cataclysmic shift in labour capital dynamic in the last 20 years in Barbados and internationally. The shining light during a growing period of darkness, Caswell Franklyn and his Unity Workers Union. Through the embarrassing nine year imbroglio, successive government ministries of labour have satisfied the description of being moribund and supine.

Piss in the blogmaster’s pocket do.

35 thoughts on “In the Left Corner (CTUSAB), Right Corner (BWU)

  1. @ David BU

    From inception May Day was established as a Holiday for the Labouring Class. The organizers of Labour Unions changed it into what it is today.
    They certainly did not envisage that it would be an adversarial combat among trade unions of different classes and occupations. But some of us only know the adversarial approach to life. And this is sad. The Labour movement to be effective must unite. That is what CTUSAB was about. Unfortunately leaders tend to let their egos get in the way. The unions and political parties are bigger than the temporal leaders. This lesson needs to be sent to them in the shortest possible time. They serve Labour not Labour them.
    Some of us are too wedded to the mythical Charismatic Leader notion. The shelf life of that notion has long past expired.

  2. @ David BU at 10 :51 AM
    No! We are not infatuated by the notion of ” maximum leader”. Barbados is too small and in the digital age, information flows quite freely and the Electorate act on it. That is why predictions are very unreliable and commenters are experts in postdiction.
    Maximum leadership depends on an element of mystery.

  3. @ David Bu

    Yes. Like the effects of a leaked poll on voting behaviour of supporters on the day of the election.
    Life would be boring if we knew what the future holds. It is also true that many of us can influence the outcome of events…

    • @Vincent

      You differ with Bushie who seems convinced the human path of our temporal existence on earth is preordained?

  4. @ David Bu at 1 :03 PM
    Perhaps. the difference is in our interpretation of the stories. I always believe that man has a choice in the directions in which he lives his life and his reaction to the outcomes. Some treat the outcomes as preordained and take no responsibility for them. Others treat them as learning/teaching exercises. So it is a matter of perspectives. The whole of life is about diversity.

  5. You differ with Bushie who seems convinced the human path of our temporal existence on earth is preordained?
    Not at all!!

    There is another Bushie David?
    ‘Preordained’ is one of those words which require definition before application.

    • @Bush Tea

      Accept the blogmaster’s apology. Thought you were a disciple of the Book of Revelations.

  6. that’s what neglectful governments do, allow criminal employers to violate worker’s rights…

    “Businesses are being accused of reducing employees’ work hours weekly to prevent them from collecting benefits under the minimum wage legislation.”

  7. And once more the crocodile tears. We all know that Toni Moore, is sending a clear message that she is happy in Mia’s pocket. I honestly think she is handling herself rather loosely in public appearances with Mia.
    While we all know that Frank Walcott and Leroy Trotman, were Dems. They were very careful not to come over as their party leaders’ little pups.
    Moore needs some very serious coaching, when it comes to how she appears in public, especially when in the company of the Prime Minister. A picture often tells a thousand words.

  8. Increase in productivity must follow pay hike – BPSA boss

    Article by Anesta Henry
    Published on
    May 4, 2022×456.png

    Amid trade union calls for wage hikes for public servants, chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA) Trisha Tannis has contended that any pay increases must be matched by enhanced productivity, output, and efficiency.

    She said this is necessary in order for wage adjustments not to contribute to further increases in the cost of living.

    “What we do not want is that the adjustment goes in one pocket and comes out in the other, which we have seen in the last 18 months,” Tannis said as she briefly touched on the issue on Monday, when she delivered remarks at the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) Labour Day Rally and Concert at the Golden Square Freedom Park.

    Her comments come on the heels of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) and the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB), the umbrella body for the island’s trade unions, calling for a wage hike for public servants given the increased cost of living in Barbados.

    During her address, Tannis also indicated that she was prepared to work with stakeholders to spearhead long overdue but critical analysis and research to identify the major sources of value chain inflation and inefficiency in the cost of goods and services in the country.

    The BPSA chairman said that in that analysis, the value of re-examining the concept of capital when speaking of business, to one which better conveys the concept of inclusion of all involved in business, should be heavily weighted and prioritised.

    She stressed that the time has come for workers to get involved in capital ownership.

    “It is high time that labour, workers, look in the mirror and see the face of capital ownership as their right. A revised concept of capital, I believe, will result in a paradigm shift that would also redound to a national awakening of our customer service, quality, personal motivation, and productivity. And this shift would also hasten the incubation of a new class of capital ownership that springs forth from the grassroots and belly of the working class of this nation,” Tannis said.

    She said such research is necessary if sustainably affordable market prices of goods and services are desired in the country.

    Tannis said that in looking to the future, in the spirit of collaboration, Labour Day this year should signal a commitment to the engagement, leading to wealth creation in Barbados not only for a select few but for the majority of the population. (AH)

  9. This writer’s second to last article adumbrated a number of technical financial problems likely to emerge at this time of transition within financial imperialism when neoliberalism can go no further.

    And no ‘coghhh blemeh body’ even referred to them – knew what they were.

    Elsewhere, and more recently, this writer contended that Mottley’s blue economy will see the waters of Barbados sold off under some environmental master plan conceived elsewhere in exchange for debt reduction and the opening up of new so-called ‘fiscal space’ as the next phase of imperialism is being plotted in Western banks.

    Nobody from the global south is in these meetings, except our group. Titular leaders will receive instructions as to what they must do if they have the technical capabilities to be counter-parties in such transactions.

    Notwithstanding the war in Ukraine, Covid-19 decimation and the specter of nuclear war looming large, for the masters of empire it’s business per usual.

    • @Pacha


      Good word, one which former MOF Sinckler uttered out of context on the floor of parliament.

  10. @ Pacha
    Mottley’s blue economy was mainly about the minister trying to salvage old abandoned fishing boats.
    Can’t believe you actually took them seriously.

  11. David

    Adumbrate as far as we recall means an outline representing or reporting. Something like dat.

    Was not aware of Sinclair’s malapropism and trust that no such error is here made.

    No, never took them seriously at all. We figured they might of had villas in the water for the White people to invest in etc.

    However, this deal to extend Western imperialism was not beyond idea stage when Mottley was suggesting a blue economy back in 2018, except maybe the thinktanklandia types in Washington. And if it was this writer knew not about it.

    Besides Vladimir Putin,
    of recent, and a dead Hugo Chavez and ilk there are none if any politicians worthy of being taken serious. Certainly, not the ones in Barbados, the Caribbean.

    We’re also surprised you would so be surprised.

  12. William Skinner 08:48 yesterday

    You reprimanded this writer earlier today but yesterday you yourself made a Moore, pun intended, real snafu.

    Certainly, you must know that the dictator in chief commands and demands absolute obeisance. That no other benchmark will do or be tolerated.

    That is from the one end.

    On the other, this BWU boss is willingly submissive to the elected dictator. We have long estimated that Moore will be the heir apparent given that in this Aquarian Age that sweet thing duh got is large and in charge😁

    You talked about Walcott and Trotman, have you not seen that the days where the country had real labor unions as independent actors even while seniors members were politically associated are dead and gone.

    Unions, not only in Bim but throughout the world , have turned in poodles with rubber teeth as a result of neoliberalism and a century of war waged by business against them. Moore is no different and she sees no value in so being.

  13. @ Pacha
    Nothing surprises me brother. It’s all unfolding as predicted by the despised radical black nationalists of the sixties.
    And this not only pertains to Barbados but to the entire global Eurocentric lost intelligenstsia and it’s blind followers everywhere.

  14. @ David
    Shiite man!!
    Bushie is missing the good old days when it was just the bushman with the lotta gloom and doom. Now everybody and their second cousin can see the jobby approaching the fan….
    There GOTTA be some shiite worthy of praise….
    So Bushie will focus on GOOD NEWS going forward, since you (the eternal optimist) have been negligent this regard of late…

    On that note, Bushie likes the local DIS-UNITED ‘Unions’ BAD!!
    They have split for no apparent reason (other that the Duke getting vexed about some appointment,) All the so-called ‘leaders’ looking for political favor, while the ‘workers’ wondering around like sheep.
    …and these people keeping a straight face yuh!!! …talking about ‘Unity is Strength’….. LOL ha ha ha
    What a joke place..

  15. Bushie
    Not so fast. The Bajan national mind was never constructed to deal with revolutionary and radically transformative projects as conditions precedent.

    We still have a parliament of 11 plus school boys and girls and their sidekicks here on BU like Vincent Codrington seeking to keep the dead imperial systems going.

    Even you like the old time religion 😅

    In any event we shall be destined for the last bus out of Dodge City.

  16. Reunited labour vital

    The political importance of the labour movement to this country is phenomenal.
    There is no other way to put it.
    The people of this country were yet labouring under the oppression and indignities of their personhood 100 years after the official end of slavery. A form of unofficial slavery was still operational in the 1930s and it was the labour movement that first lit the fires of the freedoms that we enjoy to this day. It is not mere chance that of our original National Heroes, pride of place is taken by those who pioneered the labour movement.
    The political parties which form the backbone of our political system owe their origin to the conjoint work of the labour and political effort, aimed at securing seats in the House of Assembly to improve the lot of workers and people generally.
    It is now therefore more than disconcerting that at this juncture of our history there is a significant split in the ranks of the trade union movement to such an extent that the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU), by common consent the major union, has split from the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB).
    Toni Moore, the BWU’s general secretary, is reported as having said that a magic wand will not be enough to mend the nine-year-old rift between the organisations. She said the BWU pulled out for principled reasons, and that while a number of the issues have not reached the public domain, it is because her union does not believe in washing dirty linen in public.
    Now, while that is a commendable approach when
    issues between public bodies arise, this imbroglio has been ongoing for some nine years. There seems to be no end in sight to this turn of events in the lives of two vibrant organisations which have the same or similar interests at heart, and whose combined voice is the more likely to bring about the results they both desire.
    We have now reached the stage where there were two separate and distinct May Day celebrations. Those of the BWU took on the aura of a family fun day, entitled Reset, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the National Botanical Gardens.
    CTUSAB’s Labour Day Rally And Concert started from 3 p.m. at Golden Square Freedom Park.
    It is singularly unfortunate that there cannot be a settlement of this dispute.
    Trade unionism in this country is not dead. Indeed, it is a living organism and is all the necessary in these difficult economic times. Co-operative and responsible action by workers’ representatives is critical to fine-tuning the position of labour on any suggested economic adjustments.
    All unions in Barbados have a vested interest in local economic developments.
    Our challenged economy cannot recover without the input of labour.
    Tough, uncompromising decisions will have to be taken in the national interest, as this country navigates its way back to economic safety. Visionary leadership will be required of capital, labour and Government as we claw our way back to economic safety.
    The reunited voice of labour will be critical to these proceedings. It is in the national interest that this dispute is resolved. Let the talks begin.

    Editorial_ Nation newspaper

  17. @ David
    “The blogmaster does not take your snide reference well.”

    [code lang=text]
    Humble apologies Boss.
    But Bushie KNOWS that you will get over any perceived slight quickly.

    @ Pacha
    "Not so fast. The Bajan national mind was never constructed to deal with revolutionary and radically transformative projects as conditions precedent.”

    Please make up your mind.Pacha…
    Is this ‘Bajan natural mind’ not to a large extent, a derivative of the “Ancient African ideal” of which you profess so loudly? If so, how can it be said that it was NEVER CONSTRUCTED TO DEAL WITH TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE?’
    It seems therefore, that you are in agreement with Bushie that, Whereas local brass bowls WERE INDEED blessed with superlative natural instincts, we have – LIKE SHEEP, chosen instead to try to adopt the albino-centric philosophies of the ‘lesser endowed’ (pun intended) and are now suffering the inevitable consequences of brassbowlery.

    The main point being that your romantic attachment with ancient African greatness has no real bearing on twenty first century, post slavery, brassbowlery, and in FACT, only REINFORCES the degree of IDIOCY involved by the black belly sheeple in getting to this point.
    Somewhat like the prodigal son who left the wealth an security of his family, lured by the glitter of the albino-centric world…
    At least he had the sense to crawl back to safety….

    @ David May 4, 6.46pm
    Boss, Revelation is NOT about ‘preordination’.
    It is about prophecy …. ie, a tale of what will occur in the future as a result of the freely CHOSEN actions by brass bowls.
    Prophecy is therefore ONLY available from sources that operate OUTSIDE of the time/space realm.
    It is really meant to DEMONSTRATE to intelligent people that ‘time’ is really only a temporary CONSTRAINT that has been imposed on BBs, and not an absolute reality.
    There WAS a time = Zero. AND, Time will in fact END!

    The counter from the spiritual ‘Evil side’ (and there is ALWAYS a counter) has been to introduce the concept of ‘predestination’ …to suggest to BBs that their free choices are meaningless – like sheep….or brass bowls…
    Most of us have accepted this nonsense….
    But NOT stinking Bushie… LOL – so count the bushman out of that…

    • Sorry Bush Team but to a lowly blogmaster whether preordained, prophecy- it seems all too self fulfilling.

  18. … to a lowly blogmaster whether preordained, prophecy- it seems all too self fulfilling.
    But that is ONLY because sheep tend to accept the inevitable, and to follow the wide and easy path to the slaughterhouse.

  19. Pre-ordained suggests enforcement from outside, having no choice in the matter. It means that we are simply actors obediently following a script. That would absolve us from all responsibility for our actions and simply cannot be reconciled with free choice. Why then should we be punished? Why should even a Judas be cursed for all time?

    This is a contradiction that escapes many, many Christians.

    Prophecy simply means being able to predict, based on available evidence, what humans will do.

    Unlike most, I do not believe ANYONE can see into the future. HOWEVER, on observing the character of humankind we can make reasonable predictions.

    Of course, we may indeed come to our senses. The question is – will it be in time to save us from anhilation?


    A person free from enslavement by religious books. No hoity toity pretzel contortions trying to fit in with absurdities.

  20. It would appear Edwin O’Neal the man heading CTUSAB is intent on training attacks on Walter Blackman for rightly calling out a moribund and supine trade union movement of recent years on the airwaves. O’neal needs to stop the huff and puff and allocate his organization’s dwindling influence and resources to more meaningful pursuits. He can start with healing the fracture between itself and the BWU.

  21. A person free from enslavement by religious books. No hoity toity pretzel contortions trying to fit in with absurdities.



  22. No Bushie
    The way to the slaughter house as a matter of fact is always narrow if not even sheep and sheeple would stray.

  23. @David
    O’Neal is already one of the “included”.” CTUSAB is a colossus waste of time and simply a stage for a few huffers and puffers to claim some relevance with the occasional press release.

    A united trade union movement would be great…for workers. No one else. All governments of the day know they only have to control labour, satisfy the lower class with handouts and provide perks for the upper class and all will be well. The current government has perfected this.

    You talking chess when most of us reading checkers.

    Just observing

  24. A friend of mine once likened the God of the Bible to a person playing chess with humans as his pieces.

    I saw nothing in a straight literal reading of the Bible to contradict his youthful assessment.

    Which is why I disregarded most of it! Men cannot be trusted to get anything straight.

  25. Under Dr. Suckoo CTUSAB was appointed to represent Barbados at the ILO. This position was historically viewed as the birthright of the BWU. The friction started when Sir Roy stepped down as CTUSAB head and was no longer heading to the ILO.

    CTUSAB has not escaped the politcal gimmickery you see. The political incursion into CTUSAB is noteworthy. The DLP appointed the last president of CTUSAB, Cedric Murrell, to head the board of management at St. George Secondary while he was president. And he accepted. So who are the labour leaders serving?

    When the head of the Congress agrees to represent the government on a board where labour is to be represented, something is not right but that is the norm for labour leaders in Barbados.

    So Toni Moore is not alone. O’Neal was Braddy’s boy long time in the Pine. Mary is in the bosom of the government. Kimberley Agard is right beside her on the bus. Poor Akanni fell off the bus. Pedro Shepherd decided to run when he should have walked instead.

    The new BUT president is connected to the former Minister of Education who nominated his father to the QEH board. There is a lot more in that boardroom than the executive.

    They are hush-hush but the public is aware that last month’s election results are being challenged by losing candidates who ran for 2nd VP and 3rd VP.

    With all of the infighting in the BUT and Mary’s politics the teachers are suffering.

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