Byer-Suckoo intervenes in union deadlock

Minister of Labour Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo
Minister of Labour Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo

The Minister of Labour has intervened in the impasse between the Barbados Workers Union and the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados.

Esther Byer-Suckoo will publicly address the issue tomorrow morning, when she meets with news reporters at her Warrens, St. Michael office.

Just last Friday, General Secretary of the BWU Sir Roy Trotman announced that his union had pulled out of CTUSAB with immediate effect, citing a conspiracy on the part of that umbrella body and the Ministry of Labour to marginalise the workers’ organisation.

He explained that this move meant his organisation would not have a voice at the social partnership. One of the contentious issues which has split the two labour entities, claimed Sir Roy Trotman, was CTUSAB’s decision to potentially end†70 years of the BWU being the entity which represented the tri-partite delegation attending ILO meetings.

“And we were doing that because Barbados could only afford one spokesman for the employers and one spokesperson for the workers,” Sir Roy declared last Friday when he announced the cutting of ties.†

“We continued to represent workers in private sector and the public sector, and I have continued to be the most senior Caribbean representative making a very significant contribution and bringing technical support to the region. That support is continuing.

“But it suits CTUSAB, and now it suits the Ministry of Labour, to join in what I call a conspiracy to remove the possibility of the Barbados Workers Union being the representative, and hence the delegate for Barbados and the workers of Barbados to the International Labour Conference.”

Sir Roy revealed that his union would be seeking to “correct” that by approaching the Credentials Committee of the ILO and “the Congress of the Barbados Workers Union” will ask that global body to look at this matter of representation.

He argued that the BWU had the numbers, the tradition and the culture to be the true representative delegation for both public and private sector workers, while CTUSAB, at most could only speak for about 25,000 employees.

CTUSAB will also go public regarding Barbados’ representation at this year’s major ILO conference, during a news conference tomorrow morning at its new headquarters at Jessamine Cot, Beckles Road, St.Michael.

Assistant General Secretary of the BWU, Orlando “Gabby” Scott meanwhile, has denied reports that CTUSAB had been evicted from its former offices at the union’s Solidarity House headquarters. Scott said “they left”.

General Secretary of CTUSAB, Dennis DePeiza, confirmed that his organisation had moved out since February 1 to its new permanent headquarters on Beckles Road. DePeiza said it’s a paradise compared to the Solidarity House location. (EJ)††

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