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BWU backing NUPW, says Moore

The Barbados Workers Union (BWU) yesterday threw its full support behind the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) in its escalating dispute with the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) over the forced retirement of 13 employees over the age of 60.

The 13 employees were handed termination letters last week. The NUPW has taken strong objection and has asked for the letters to be rescinded. The union’s position is that the statutory corporation’s action was illegal.

At a news conference this morning, BWU General Secretary Toni Moore said the BIDC’s action should be detested, expressing the view that the people of Barbados should take a stand.

BWU General Secretary Toni Moore

BWU General Secretary Toni Moore

“Where the Government and other Social Partners, meaning the employer, continue to demonstrate attitudes of disrespect and indifference to process, our response, we recognize, must necessarily be altered,” she told reporters.

“In this vein, I wish to make public that the Barbados Workers Union is in full support of the National Union of Public Workers on the matter of the BIDC.”

Moore continued: “The Barbados Workers Union, like the NUPW, is satisfied that where the Government acts in a manner that forces people out involuntarily before their time, that is a situation that must be abhorred. And if the Government continues these kinds of spurious approaches in handling labour market matters, then we the people of Barbados, not the Barbados Workers Union only, . . . must be able to see clearly what recourse we are left with.”

Moore dismissed the notion that the BWU was timid. She said it was time that everybody “stop sitting down and cowing out” of a situation and pointing fingers as to who should effect change in the labour relations environment.

“The BWU will do everything in its power to demand social accountability for actions that continue to diminish the status of working families rather than develop them,” the BWU general secretary said.

“And we urge citizens of this country to see their responsibility in ensuring that social accountability is upheld as well.”

In relation to the severance of a further 16 workers at the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited on June 16, Moore maintained that the move was one of disrespect to the labour movement, the workers and the Government.

Saying it was not a case of whether or not the people would go, Moore said it was more about “ensuring that the process surrounding how they would go was meaningfully addressed to its completion before they exited”.

“From the outset, the Barbados Workers Union never opposed layoffs. We have never opposed layoffs in circumstances where proper consultation is held,” she explained.

“The company, in presenting its case, sought to convince that the layoffs not only served the interest of shareholders but that the layoffs was to the overall good of everyone; other stakeholders including customers and employees themselves.”

She explained that while the BWU accepted that the BL&P might have had to adjust its operations in response to new technologies and that such change could lead to job losses, what was needed was full discussion before staff were laid off.

“We were and continue to be satisfied that meaningful mature discussions involving Government and the social partners could have resolved this issue in the same way that it has resolved other equally challenging issues in the past,” Moore said, adding:

“So the disrespect meted out by the Barbados Light & Power to the Government, the trade union and in our view, by extension to the people of Barbados, is something that should cause much distress to all citizens and residents of these 166 square miles who value the importance of maintaining industrial harmony . . . . ”

7 Responses to BWU backing NUPW, says Moore

  1. jrsmith June 26, 2015 at 4:27 am

    What not seems to be to showing is head , is the failure over decades by certain unions ,who has played along with untrust worthy politicians, gaining nothing and leaving they members out in the cold.
    The union leaders would lay claims, this is not the case, seeing the disrespect and contempt, to and for the unions. You need not look any further.
    There is no consultation, what so ever, seem to be taking place as companies/ businesses just get rid of workers,BIDC like others take on this type of behaviour, because they know they can get away with it , not expecting a fight from the unions.

    My take the issue of the 13 workers, things could never look better, providing they union is willing or able to play hard ball.
    This is a chance for the unions to step up to the plate and restore some credence to themselves.


  2. Meakai June 26, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Moore dismissed the notion that the BWU was timid. She said it was time that everybody “stop sitting down and cowing out” of a situation and pointing fingers as to who should effect change in the labour relations environment.

    I suggest that there was a time when Union leaders would never be found “sitting down and cowing out”, but that was before we had this sham, or is it scam …. I can never get it it right, called a Social Partnership.

  3. Patrick Blackman June 26, 2015 at 10:36 am

    The basis for this support is quite idiotic , the BIDC board has the authority under the pensions act to do this so BIDC is not the bad guy here , it is the pensions act. Focus your efforts on the Act, make your case for amendments to the Act and stop all of this …around.

  4. dave June 26, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    You are so ill informed Patrick. I urge you on another thread to do your research. You are rushing to comment without fully researching the topic. Man look at all sides nuh -Cheese On !!! You are selling yourself Short !!

  5. dave June 26, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    JrSmith ! Sir Leroy and Dennis Clarke should both return their National Honours. They have done a disservice to the workers of this country especially Dennis Clarke as president of the NUPW. They allowed to people to get away with too much.

  6. Patrick Blackman June 26, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    “The Barbados Workers Union, like the NUPW, is satisfied that where the Government acts in a manner that forces people out involuntarily before their time, that is a situation that must be abhorred. ”

    The union has not shown that the action by the BIDC was an illegal act, and that is the only issue here. Under the current economic conditions it may seem a horrible thing to do but we don’t run organizations base on emotions. If the BIDC was wrong in law then let the courts decide, thats what they are there for.

    If the transition to BRA is wrong then put your case to the nation and povide your arguments to support your position.

    To shutdown the country for this is just stupid, as no one benefits especially your members.

  7. villager. June 26, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    As i have stated these new breed of individuals who are now leading these unions appear to have a point to prove,they want to see who will be first to shut down this country, it is not about the workers, it is about their political affiliations, and their misguided egos,i am sick and tired of their rants which are purely designed to create unrest in this country, and to prove what? That they can bring everything to a halt? At the end of the day i hope that they can deal with the situations that they create, because selfish ambitions do no good for anyone, if there is a case for age discrimination place the matter before the law courts, in one breath you hear talk that the budget did no good for the working class, but shutting down a country in these harsh economic times will benefit all and sundry, i wonder where some of these brainiacs come from? Put aside these egotistical ambitions and do good by country first.


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