Party before unions
Senior NUPW member says political affiliations killing movement
A potential candidate for the presidency of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) has suggested that the commitment of some people to political parties rather than trade unions is “killing” the movement in Barbados.
Danny Gill, who is expected to contest the April 1 election, leveled the charge as he contended that workers had lost interest in the movement because they did not see them as effective.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, he disclosed that some union members did not agree with the NUPW-organized protest march in support of retrenched National Conservation Commission (NCC) workers because of their association with the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Government.
“There were some members who did not think that the union should embarrass the Freundel Stuart administration. Paramountcy of the party and not paramountcy of the trade unions is killing the movement in Barbados,” said the NUPW national council member.
“We have a situation where members of the unions are seeing unions as places where persons from the ruling Democratic Labour Party can worm themselves into positions of power. They are not about representing the workers, but about party. This became crystal clear during the retrenchment process when workers were complaining about it.”
Gill further charged that all the island’s major unions were losing members because workers believe they are “not doing anything” for them.
“Trade unionism in Barbados is at the crossroads and something needs to be done. This is why I am involved in the movement,” he declared.
Barbados TODAY understands that in addition to Gill, first vice-president Akanni McDowall, second vice-president Margo Bannister, and Ronnie Greaves-Thorpe will throw their hat into the ring for the post of president.