This was how General Secretary of the Barbados Worker’s Union, Sir Roy Trotman, described the action taken by LIME to make 62 workers at their retail stores redundant.
About 4 p.m. the BWU received a letter informing them of the action and this evening about 6 o’clock Sir Roy met at the Sir Hugh Springer auditorium at Solidarity House in emergency session with more than 300 workers from various outlets to discuss today’s development and a strategy going forward.
Speaking with Barbados TODAY after the highly animated two-hour meeting, he said the action taken by the telecommunications company was “improper and distasteful” since the union and the company met as recently as December 31, 2012 under the chairmanship of Minister of Labour, Dr. Ester Byer-Suckoo, and agreed to resume discussions next Monday, January 7.
“Our union met with the workers because today we received surprising information that informed us that even though we had held a meeting at the Labour Department, … that the company had unilaterally and without notice, moved to institute industrial action by terminating all of those persons who were the subject of discussions regarding redundancies at the retail stores of Cable & Wireless.
“The minister was involved and the minister asked both sides to continue to observe all of the proper industrial relations practices. Both sides agreed to honour the demand by minister Suckoo… The company left the meeting on December 31 with the clear indication to minister Suckoo and the BWU that all of us were going to honour and respect the industrial relations status quo.
“Everybody is most surprised, particularly since we are perfectly aware that negotiations have been proceeding at pace,” he said.
The BWU will hold an emergency staff meeting at 7:30 in the morning at which time they will discuss with workers what he called the “lockout” of staff by LIME and the “threat to the entire work force by this level of highly unprincipled industrial action”.
“When we meet with our colleagues tomorrow morning we will effectively determine how one deals with such reprehensible behaviour being taken by the management of Cable & Wireless,” he added. (KC)