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The trade union movement in Barbados is asking the Freundel Stuart Administration to include its views as an integral part of the Government’s plans for the development of the country.
Addressing the Upper Chamber this afternoon during debate on the 2013 to 2014 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, Independent Senator Sir Roy Trotman noted that the Opposition and Government proclaimed their plans during the recent general elections and it was time the labour movement’s views were also “taken on board” as part of its broader forward planning.
Sir Roy revealed that his Barbados Workers Union would soon be having a retreat to study the manifesto of the re-elected Government, considering the BWU had to interact with the ministers.
He identified such matters as decent work, human rights, equal treatment and reduction of poverty as some of those issues the union wanted the government to consider.
The veteran trade unionist told the senate he hoped the ruling Democratic Labour Party and the Opposition Barbados Labour Party would embrace, or continue to embrace respect for the ILO standards and the Human Rights Commission.†Sir Roy also disclosed that he would be seeking to hold discussions with Prime Minister Stuart regarding a visit he recently made to Brazil.
He said that country was interested in assisting Barbados in the technical job training in various areas, which could have employment spin-offs.
He also responded to earlier comments by Opposition Senator, Jerome Walcott, about the Barbados Water Authority and the United Commercial Autoworks Limited.
Sir Roy declined to say much on the BWA issue, only that he would soon be holding discussions with the authority and ministers of government as well.
With regards UCAL, the union leader asked Walcott not to use the company as a football, especially considering he was a chairman. The BWU chief, whose union represent the workers there, blamed both major parties for failing to settle the half million dollar debt owed to UCAL.
“We (UCAL) lost work that went to politicians in both parties. Both parties stand condemned by me,” asserted Sir Roy.
He also warned government ministers not to encourage chairmen of statutory boards to feel as though they were gods and unaccountable to no one.
“This must stop,” Sir Roy declared. (EJ)††