It appears the month-end deadline Government has set to
have its retrenchment programme started could be nothing
more than a pipe dream.
This as one union involved in the process reports that it
has not yet received any word or promised documentation
from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart on the how the process
will be conducted or who exactly will be affected.
General secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union
(BWU), Sir Roy Trotman, told Barbados TODAY
yesterday that by his understanding, the timetable outlined by
the Prime Minister was an absolute and the BWU would not
be pushed into any tight position on the matter.
“I can’t be pushed into a position where I speak about
absolutes because the only thing that is absolute is death, and
we are still in the business of negotiating. We are still in the
business of trying to find alternatives, and even if you want
to commence a process, then you can’t push a position to
the other side which forces you into a box from which you
can’t move. If you can’t move you can’t negotiate, and if you
can’t negotiate you can’t do the best you want to do for the
“So, yes . . . the Government has timelines and we respect
the timelines, but I have never heard anybody say to me, and I
have not agreed with anybody, that there is any absoluteness,
any rigidity that is cast in marble that can’t be varied in any of
“We are talking, we are going to make adjustments . . . as
they can be made, and both sides, or everybody in this case
has to be looking to doing the best we can, including doing it
as quickly as we can,” the union head said, while at pains to
point out that he had much respect for the Prime Minister’s
position on the January 31 date.
Sir Roy was speaking after attending the BWU’s executive
council’s annual church service at the St Philip the Less
Anglican Church in Boscobel, St Peter, where he made it
clear the union was not fighting anyone who had set the end
of the month as a target.
“That is fair as a proposal and we are very desirous of
wanting to make sure that we don’t compromise the overall
objectives, because we, everybody in Barbados, recognize that
we have a crisis.
“But because you have a crisis you can’t bludgeon your
way through the solution.
“We are not going to sit down and push it back like
everybody feels because it is not in the interest of the
country to do so, but if we have got suggestions and we are
working them through the day –– 30th or 31st of January
cannot be held against us, particularly since we don’t have
the working material as we speak and today is the 19th of
January,” he stated.
Outlining the next step for the BWU, Sir Roy explained
that the union would now have to await word from “the
powers that be” and the various statutory boards.
“The statutory boards will put their positions to us, in our
case to the Barbados Workers Union, and we will endeavour
to meet as soon as they want, day or night. As we meet, we
will bring an open mind and we will put Barbados first, as
we have always been doing throughout these years. We are
not going to be guided by any interest group other than the
interest of the working class.” (RG)