BWU defends absence from tribunal meeting
The Barbados Workers Union (BWU) has defended its absence from Friday’s meeting with the Employment Rights Tribunal that is seeking to settle the National Conservation Commission (NCC) dispute surrounding the dismissal of around 200 workers.
BWU deputy general secretary, Toni Moore said the tribunal was notified that the union’s legal counsel could not attend the meeting due to the short notice given, and had requested that another meeting be convened at the earliest time that was mutually convenient.
Representatives of the National Union of Public Workers and NCC management were the only ones present for the discussion with members of the tribunal at the Labour Department.
However, Moore said the tribunal secretary had assured them that the BWU’s position was understood and accepted.
The tribunal, she said, had promised to inform the union of the administrative procedures that must be adhered to as well as any other relevant information.
“The Barbados Workers’ Union wishes to assure its members at the NCC and its wider membership that, as communicated to the Employment Rights Tribunal, its involvement of legal counsel and excused absence are consistent with the need to ensure that, in this groundbreaking and precedent-setting case, every effort is made to align the intent of the Social Partners during the discussions which paved the way for the Employment Rights Act with the conduct and outcome of the proceedings,” Moore said.
“The Barbados Workers’ Union insists that there is therefore no need for speculation or apparent analysis to conclude that there is any animus, lack of readiness or premeditation at work to deny workers the earliest and most expedient outcome in this exercise.”