Empty promises

General Secretary Dennis Clarke

The National Union of Public Workers is sending a warning to its members across the civil service – watch what is happening with colleagues employed by the Sanitation Service Authority.

General Secretary Dennis Clarke also issued a warning to Minister of the Environment, Dr. Denis Lowe, telling him the union had heard so much and seen so little, it was not accepting any of his comments or promises regarding the SSA or its employees until it saw tangible evidence of action.

Clarke told Barbados TODAY the union was disgusted that after all the talk from the minister more than 50 employees were still waiting for permanent appointment to the SSA, including the Acting General Manager, Stanton Alleyne, who had been acting for almost a decade, and whose work had been praised by the same minister.

Under the circumstances, Clarke added, the union could not ask its members to trust any promises from the Government, particularly in relation to the formation of a new revenue agency, a statutory body, which Government is proposing to replace a number of existing civil service departments.

“The NUPW is not at all impressed with anything that is being said by the minister of the environment in relation to the SSA, whether we are talking about the provision of trucks of the status of the workers. The union sees his promises as nothing more than a pot of cold soup warmed over…

“He has been talking about appointments, but we want to see the letters… We want to know what is the problem with the appointment of Stanton Alleyne… As far as we are concerned, in the current circumstances the entire board of the SSA should resign and the entire public service should take note of what is going on – and what could happen if their welfare is in the hands of a statutory corporation.

“In fact, I would wish for workers at the Customs and Excise Department, Inland Revenue, Land Tax, cashiers at the Barbados Licensing Authority to take note of what could be their fate if they are transferred to work with this new statutory body.”

The NUPW boss said he also believed that the cause of Alleyne and some other employees of the SSA should be drawn to the attention of the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

“These people must understand that trade union rights and labour rights are also human rights,” Clarke said. “How can you keep a manager acting for nine years and never give him any explanation for why he is not being appointed.” (RRM)

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