Now is not the time to strike, warns employers

The umbrella trade union for employers in Barbados is cautioning that a major strike in the current economic climate would definitely not be good for the country’s recovery.

Executive Director of the Barbados Employers Confederation (BEC) Tony Walcott said today the proposed “national” strike by the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) could not be welcomed.

BEC Executive Director, Tony Walcott
BEC Executive Director, Tony Walcott

Walcott was speaking against the backdrop of a warning this morning by Barbados Workers Union (BWU) General Secretary Toni Moore that the union would likely opt for “one big” strike, rather than pockets of industrial action that involved sectors such as tourism, construction, financial services, agriculture, utilities, private security and Customs.

Moore said union officials were tired of talking for years with employers who, in her opinion, were simply disrespecting workers and failing to honour their commitments, as well as unilaterally changing conditions of employment and refusing to pay outstanding monies.

However, Walcott told Barbados TODAY while he had not received any formal notification of any industrial action from the BWU, he did not support any such move at this time.

“Any disruption to the economic activity in an economy, which is struggling to recover, is not welcomed,” he said.

Walcott also responded to Moore’s comments that the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA), which the BEC represents, was seeking to resume negotiations on a new collective agreement before a five-year salary and back pay dispute, involving Sandy Lane, was first resolved.

His comments follow a meeting held this morning between the BWU and representatives of the BHTA.

At the end of those talks, Walcott said he left “with the understanding that we would try to seek some further clarification. But as far as I am aware, we are still at the negotiation table,” he added.

Walcott also said he could not respond to other complaints levelled by the BWU against other employers in the absence of specifics.

“I don’t respond to general comments, I deal with specifics. Until they give me specifics for us to respond to them, I ain’t got nothing to respond to,” the employers’ spokesman emphasized.

5 Responses to Now is not the time to strike, warns employers

  1. Alex Alleyne May 22, 2015 at 6:00 am

    BWU (new) leader is trying to stamp her mark .This is where its about “self” and not COUNTRY.
    If Barbados go down WE all go with it , not one set and not another .
    Think about it.

  2. Tony Webster May 22, 2015 at 6:29 am

    A real double-edged sword. Previously owned by Damocles, and admittedly…looks quite rusty, and forlorn. But has been freshly re-sharpened, and can yet cut weeds; trees; and feet (or even heads) of any innocent citizen just walking-by to work, and trying to make ends meet. Yes, it’s very definitely sharpened on both sides.

    Would be best used….not to actually cut anything or anybody…but just drawn from its scabbard…and displayed…so all might see.

  3. Watchman May 22, 2015 at 8:36 am

    As if the BEC would ever say there was a time to strike. To the corporation tough economic times simply mean wanton abuse of laws and workers. Loyalty and fairness are extinct concepts, useless in today’s working environment. Of course, employers know this, they led the charge to stamp them out. It’s the employees who are slow to adjust to it.

  4. dave May 22, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Agree -Watchman !

  5. DAP May 23, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Do we all see what is happening around the world today,yes things hard in Barbados but it is not only a Barbados thing and for a country that have nothing and still standing we have a lot to be thankful for,what we must do is be our brother keeper and go back to the days when we as neighbours use to live like family,but now every man is for himself.Over in Canada where there is so much resource things get so dread that thousands of ppl got sent home from the oil field and lose their homes and ect, thousand of foreign workers were sent back to their countries,we still have a lot to be thankful for there is no place like Barbados.


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