Jobless rage

Tomorrow would have been six years that Daile Sutton (centre) was happily employed with the NHC department. However, earlier this afternoon her joy turned to tears when she got her walking papers. Here, she is embraced by some of her former colleagues.
Tomorrow would have been six years that Daile Sutton (centre) was happily employed with the NHC. However, earlier this afternoon her joy turned to tears when she got her walking papers. Here, she is embraced by some of her former colleagues.

Workers broke down in tears, some too distraught to even consider leaving the office, as they struggled this afternoon to cope with being laid off by Government.

Their colleagues who escaped being among the first batch of public sector workers to be sent home, attempted to console them even as they themselves cried.

That was the emotional scene at the Warrens Office Complex this afternoon as National Housing Corporation (NHC) employees, some of them single mothers, began receiving their green papers just after 2 p.m. The president of the National Union of Public Workers, Walter Maloney, later confirmed that a total of 300 NHC workers were sent home today as the Freundel Stuart administration began instituting its retrenchment programme that will see an overall 3,000 workers being sent home.

Single mother Daile Sutton, who has three of her four children living with her, received a pay slip of around $1,651.

“I am the only breadwinner in my house and I have my kids to send to school and deal with my big son ’cause he ain’t working, and its real, real hard. I ain’t know what to do. They shoulda leave me on the block, lemme stay on the block because I wouldn’t owe nobody nutten: the bank, nobody,” she told Barbados TODAY outside the Warrens office.

Saturday would have marked six years since Sutton began working with the NHC.

She said almost everyone in her department was given walking papers.

She voiced anger and frustration about the way the terminations were handled, stating that letters were delivered by an official accompanied by “the police”, while the manager and the person in charge of human resources were no-shows.

“I really disappointed in the Prime Minister and Chris Sinckler because they know me so well that I thought I got my job. I worked so hard for election and they treat me like a real dog on the streets. They can’t get another vote from me. I done with them for life.”

Rosemary Brathwaite was clearly stunned when she received her envelope containing her $1,000 pay slip and letter of termination.

“Dem t’ings ain’t right,” said the 56 year-old, who worked with Government for eight years. “[I have to] go home and see if I can find something else to do.”

She explained being the only breadwinner in her home, which she shares with her mum, daughter and three grandchildren.

Mother of six Sandra Hope said she was at a loss how to support her six children with her mum being the only person now working in her household.

“It’s a shock because I got six boys. The only person working now is my mother and it’s going to be real hard now, because I used to help she pay the bills. It’s going to be real hard now on me and my children, because I still have children going to school and I have a little boy who is five years old, and the next one going skills training. So it’s going to be really hard on me now,” said the former NHC worker.

In a direct message to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance, she stated: “They said not a single one was going home. Remember that? That was a speech they made. But how many gone home now?”

With his son requiring surgery for hernia, a process that was delayed due to lack of funds, the situation is even more urgent for Jamal Forde, who is receiving $914.

He tried to remain calm in the face of the bad news.

“I aint quarrelling. I got an old car I just going to sell when I ready and keep the money until I get a job. That’s all I could do,” he said.

Asked if he had a message for the Prime Minister, the St Philip resident said if he spoke his mind, he would be arrested.



22 Responses to Jobless rage

  1. Dora D. King February 1, 2014 at 5:45 am

    Back in 1982 when the Barbados Labour Party led by Tom Adams sent home workers no one was given a warning of what would happen. At exactly 3.o”clock in the afternoon the Head of Department called all the Supervisors into his office and broke the news. You could imagine the chaos. No one had a warning until that moment. Two employees took ill immediately. There was so much hollering and wailing in the office that you thought that someone had lost a loved one. I would never forget that scene.
    Talk about cold and indifferent treatment.. I saw it all then. When I mention this retrenchment some individuals conveniently choose to forget this event. We were later told that it was necessary as the IMF had instructed that it should be one of the austerity measures. IMF what IMF. the late Tom Adams did not even tell the people that he had meetings with the IMF. You should have seen the Personnel section hustling to compute vacation eligibility for these distressed workers. My sympathy goes out to the retrenched workers but the Barbados Labour Party has retrenched workers before and not in a very Humane way. There are some persons who are waiting to see this island hit rock bottom. Now is the time for us to join hands and fight to ensure that we survive the storm.

  2. Victoria Lily
    Victoria Lily February 1, 2014 at 8:42 am

    weep not, God is faithful!

  3. Andrew Charles
    Andrew Charles February 1, 2014 at 9:21 am

    So sad! 🙁

  4. Julia Whitehall
    Julia Whitehall February 1, 2014 at 9:38 am

    @leah husbands the dlp could have fixed that if they wanted to last time they were in office when they had the 2/3 majority but they didn’t so you can’t really blame the previous administration either when this administration had 5 years to change back the law if they wanted to.

  5. Sammie N. Doyle
    Sammie N. Doyle February 1, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Sad, but this is world wide.

  6. Damian Clarke
    Damian Clarke February 1, 2014 at 9:59 am

    They lied to the people of Barbados and continue to do so there is no sign of leadership mass confusion within the government ranks and many seem to don’t know what is happening or going on in this country!! So who is captaining this ship or is this ship being run on auto pilot?!!!

  7. Damian Clarke
    Damian Clarke February 1, 2014 at 10:06 am

    One should take note and open their eyes at the fact that former prime minister Sandiford ask the question how did we get back here and didn’t we learn anything from 91!! This government is known for passing laws and being the first to break and be the gross violator of the said very laws they pass!! these terminations are violations of the employment rights act just passed that adequate notice of termination should be given weekly workers should be given 2wks notice while monthly workers given 30days notice in lieu of termination but were given their termination letters of the the same day they were to be terminated without adequate notice

  8. Elke Hassell
    Elke Hassell February 1, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Sad but necessary. Private companies do this on a daily basis. Its unfortunate but people gotta start realising the recession is far from over, you haven’t seen the worst yet.

  9. Julia Edwards Robinson
    Julia Edwards Robinson February 1, 2014 at 10:14 am

    I hope some of those unmannerly immigration and custom folk at the airport gets pink/green slips.

    • Julia Whitehall
      Julia Whitehall February 1, 2014 at 11:07 am

      The minister of finance said that customs,police,prison officers,teachers and people at the hospital wouldn’t be touched. so he says.

  10. Lise Hansen
    Lise Hansen February 1, 2014 at 10:26 am

    so SAD …….. hope something will turn up ……

  11. Nicole Griffith
    Nicole Griffith February 1, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Not all apples within the government service are bad…..I’m amazed at how the public service is criticized heavily but I’ve gone to the some private sector businesses and the service was either insulting or horrendous or in cases where you have to call customer service you either spend about 15-20 minutes trying to get through or the reps are sometimes rude. What is needed in Barbados is renewed professionalism in both sectors and that will serve as the catalyst to increase productivity and even revenue in this country. This should be a time where we all look deep within and examine our own personal work ethics, unite and do what it takes to see our country through this difficult time. This is no time to become complacent!

  12. Julia Whitehall
    Julia Whitehall February 1, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Smh i see some people are not being sensitive to those people because they are government workers and all government owrkers get paint with the same brush. Some people will not understand because they don’t have to go through it but look at it this way those same workers who are paint with the same unproductive brush keep many public sector workers employed so without their spending power some public sector workers face the possibility of being let go too. I find it ironic that people only love to talk about government workers when some of the attitudes in the private sector aren’t any better and you see and hear it everyday. barbados has a serious problem with customer service and that can help to kill tourism also. So before we point fingers we must realize that we have some serious human relations issues both in the public and private sector.

  13. Poetry Dancer
    Poetry Dancer February 1, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    people are angry because their livelihood is being taken away.

  14. Clyde February 1, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Stop the blame.
    All parties have done it,New parties will do it.
    Bees and Dees will do it again as is necessary.
    Believe me Barbados will come out of this with flying colours.
    No Political party in Barbados wants to see it fall.(this is stupid talk)
    Forget the politics and pray.

  15. Wayne P Hoyte
    Wayne P Hoyte February 1, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    wow in Barbados people believe a gov job is a lifetime contract. things will happen things will change … its not biz as usually. emotions will run high for a while but people will move on.

    When the Gov set standards for how people should be employed in the Civil Service only people who meet the requirements will be employed so these type of issues wont so much.

    Its clear from the extra above that the individual was given a job for a VOTE. That needs to be stamped out.


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