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Layoff let-down

CTUSAB upset Govt didn't discuss first


The Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) is very disappointed that it was not informed by Government that 3,000 public sector workers in Barbados were being laid off from January 2014, before it was announced in Parliament.

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler made the announcement in a Parliamentary Ministerial Statement yesterday while the sub-committee of the Social Partnership was holding a routine meeting at the National Union of Public Workers headquarters, Dalkeith, St Michael.

Speaking to Barbados TODAY after that meeting, which was attended by Minister of Labour Esther Byer-Suckoo, and other officials from the social partnership, CTUSAB’s president Cedric Murrell said the congress was “very disappointed over the turn of events in terms of that presentation because we believe that the Social Partnership, as has been practised for a long time, is the body to which we ask employers, including the Government, to make a clear presentation as to its intentions and proposals”.

Murrell said he was unable to comment on the logistics of the measures outlined by the minister in the statement because “we have not been privy to them from the minister”.

However, he said: “Minister of Labour [Ester Byer-Suckoo], who is the chair of the Social Partnership, did say to us some of what have been included.

“That is a fundamental breach of the protocols and the intention because clearly the measures as they are and the proposals, as I understand it, speaks directly to a layoff situation in the public sector. So we are registering our deep disappointment in the way that has been handled.”

On that note, he indicated that if the “Social Partnership is going to be part of what saves this country from ruins”, being trumpeted as the model of Government to take the country forward, its protocols and established understandings about how business was done in Barbados must be respected.

“To do otherwise, is really to degenerate into each person, each partner, doing what they want. That is the least that our country needs at this point in time.

“What our country needs is a cohesive approach as to how we struggle out of the present financial and economic difficulty. All parties and all partners, including Government, must respect the tenants of the protocols.

“It is primarily the private sector that has over time come to the social partnership to present individual entities when there are difficulties and what has to be done. Our position is why not more so the Government now that it is affected by the whole company of Barbados because the public sector employs some 28,000 and as we understand it, these measures will impact a number of those individuals directly as of January,” the president said.

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