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:
Derek Alleyne, Director of UDC (on leave from NUPW)
Director of the Urban Development Commission (UDC) Derek Alleyne on leave from the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) has circulated the following by email to some fairly influential players in Barbados (minor edits by BU).
In early April after reading the comments of the President, Walter Maloney in the Nation of April 6th 2011 concerning the cell phone charges of over $6500.00 I wrote to the General Secretary inviting him to take action to recover the money that the members paid through the Secretariat to honour those phone charges made on the cell number xxx 2998 which is assigned to Walter Maloney the President.
I view this matter serious and that is why I wrote to the General Secretary. Moreover I thought that enough time had elapsed that if the President had any intention to repay the money some indication of the amount and time period would have been forthcoming. I further view the excuse given about the NUPW not informing him (the President) about which calls her private was unacceptable.