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 political gimmickry 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.
All of a sudden we have the union leaders running around like headless chickens, trying to do for their members what they should have been doing long ago – giving them proper representation, instead of hanky-pankying with Government, and the heads of the private sector bodies. They should have anticipated what is happening now, if they had not buried their heads in the sand, and forgotten that they had people’s livelihoods in their hands.
“The position which will see 3000 public servants placed on the breadline between January 15 and March 15, 2014, is “unfortunate”, and clearly . . . a situation where Government had no other choice. This is the position being held by the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB), and articulated by its president, Cedric Murrell, following a meeting with Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Chris Sinckler, this morning. What I will say to people generally in this country, because we don’t know who is going home, is that they must have faith. They must have an understanding that there are times when an economy goes through trials and tribulations. (But) what we have to recognize is that the only way we can positively move from this position by growing this economy. By growing this economy, it means that every single person in this country, has to see how best they can contribute to the sum total of the output of this country. With regard to a perceived snub by Government, and them not being informed about the plans to sever workers, he noted that that matter had been discussed and resolved – page 3 of “Barbados Today, dated 18 December, 2013
My, my, my, My mind boggles, Mr. Murrell!
What kind of drivel are you spewing to 3000 people – whom you and the other head honchos are supposed to be representing, but are doing a very poor job of doing – by telling them to have “faith” in these harsh economic times? Why don’t you, and your ilk who are in your tax bracket – and especially you three – give at least 10% of the money you receive – whether you have earned it or not is a horse of another colour; I do not think that you have earned yours, as you have done a great disservice to the public servants of our country – to the Inland Revenue, to help this Government which has boxed in itself by having an incompetent Minister of Finance, and help those you are supposed to represent?
Recently the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Dale Marshall, accused the National Union of Public Workers of playing politics. That caused me to reflect on the state of trade union representation in this country and wonder if the accusation was true for other unions. A comparison of the roles played by the unions during different political administrations would suggest that Marshall had justifiable reasons to come to his conclusion. During the DLP administration, you tend to get the impression that unions are bending over backward to accommodate the Government. When the BLP is in office, unions tend to be a bit more active which can be attributed to the fact that most union leaders appear to favour the DLP.
From inception workers have been complaining that the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) has not been acting in the best interest of workers, and that it has been used to keep workers quiet while the employers and Government, as the other members of the so called Social Partnership, gained at the expense of the workers. The list below which speaks for itself represents most of the major actors who played pivotal roles in the formation and continued existence of CTUSAB, and others who were active in their individual unions: