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Damaging strike

Chamber President Lalu Vaswani

The Barbados Workers Union planned national strike will “cause great economic damage” to Barbados’ “very fragile” economic recovery.

Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry President, Lalu Vaswani, said his organisation was alarmed and “extremely concerned” at the threatened action, which followed a breakdown in negotiations between the BWU and Chamber member LIME.

“It is our understanding that the BWU is contemplating national strike action. The BCCI is alarmed at this development as it believes that such action will cause great economic damage and is not the time for a strike given the challenging economic environment. The national recovery process is very fragile and would not sustain such disruption,” Vaswani said in a statement.

“In the spirit of good industrial relations, protocol should be followed and negotiations completed with the aim of reaching an outcome satisfactory to all concerned. To strike at this time will further cripple and undermine the economy — something that no one wishes. The BCCI is urging that both parties return to the bargaining table and respect the negotiating process with the aim of reaching an amicable solution.”

The businessman said commercial entities had to make difficult decisions from time to time but were “still trying to be fair to all concerned”. “They are trying to protect the longevity of their businesses whilst maintaining the job security of remaining employees,” he added.

He said his hope was that “everyone will keep a positive outlook and I am confident in the ability of both parties to ensure that the best interest of the country will prevail once the negotiation process can be conducted in a mature and responsible manner”.

“The BCCI remains confident in its role of influencing the social, economic and business environment of Barbados in order to create sustainable economic progress and quality of life for all residents if this island,” he stated. (SC)

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