Strike won’t solve issues, says Byer

Minister of Labour Esther Byer does not believe a national strike is the way to go

Labour Minister Esther Byer is calling for more consultation between the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) and the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC), to resolve the impasse over the retirement of 10 workers over age 60.

The union has called out its members for a national strike on Monday, after talks between Minister of Industry Donville Inniss and the NUPW broke down last Wednesday.

But Minister Byer told reporters today she is surprised the situation has reached the level of calling for a national strike.

“There is usually a process for escalation of these matters, and this was dealt with essentially at the domestic level between the BIDC and the NUPW.

“And you know you would have other levels of consultation and negotiation before you get to the level of a national strike or a national protest, and I don’t think that we have endeavoured to exhaust those means before jumping to this,” Byer said.

She stated that protest action will not resolve the matter, and government would welcome an opportunity to meet with both parties for further discussions.

“Bringing workers out to strike… it’s not going to accomplish what the desired effect is,” she insisted.

She does not believe, however, that the impasse is a test of the social partnership, but rather a situation that “speaks to the strength of our society and our social partnership that there is an opportunity that our labour force can feel this is what they need to do”.

The NUPW had called for the letters of termination to be withdrawn, or alternatively, for the workers to be paid until they reach age 67, which the union said was the legal age of retirement.

14 Responses to Strike won’t solve issues, says Byer

  1. Patrick Blackman July 4, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    First time you have ever said anything that made sense, I am very proud of you.

  2. Marsha Peppa Fly Hinds-Layne
    Marsha Peppa Fly Hinds-Layne July 4, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    wining and feting the CARICOM heads at Hilton for a week doesn’t solve anything either but we did that!!! so we could strike and see…if the gvmt hardheaded and need more than one strike we could see about that too…

  3. jrsmith July 4, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    @,Patruick,B, hail, you have beaten me to it. who was she talking to, well the honourable lady , has come alive, does this mean , we are going to see some action, this could be the rumble in the political jungle in Barbados, watch this space.

  4. Tony Webster July 4, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    My dear Senator just needs to pass one more law: dat all citizens must obey all current laws ( especially those penned to cymbals and trumps of the labour kind), and any infractions will require the miscreant to retire…at aged 85 ( unless earlier dropping dead of own volition) in which case, no pension, or funeral grant shall be payable.

    Nota Bene: I never said anything about “relevant authorities” discharging their duties to actually implement current laws. Dat is de job of the Minister of Implementation, soon to be announced as de big boog-a-loo administrative shake -up, coming soon to a cinema near you.

    BTW , ma’m there seems to be something gooey on your face …I’m not sure, but it looks very much like a lot of raw egg.

  5. dave July 4, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Industrial relations is a continuum . This Govt has not treated the workers well. This is WAR and all the talk is over Time for action !! When we declare WAR it is WAR –NEGOTIATING OVER. One suspects the PM will try something between now an tomorrow but this might only serve to delay the inevitable because this Govt is a bad one. This DLP that forms the Govt told a lot of lies during the last election campaign and the campaign in 2008 too. They said that they were not going to lay off Public servants; it was the BLP they said , that would lay of 10, 000 public servants. The old lady on the Bus ! (remember)
    The PM said that the students would continue to enjoy free at the point of delivery education at University. That was a lie.

  6. Patrick Blackman July 4, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    @dave – You have constantly focused on the government (DLP) and party politics, this issue (BIDC) is about neither. Please move beyond the superficial and address the real issues. No one cares about the government (whether bad or not) , what is relevant is whether the BIDC board had the authority to execute the retirement of the 13 under the law and that should be the focus of the union, not marching up and down B’dos as this action serves is just power tripping.

  7. Alishakka July 4, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    I am amaze at the position the union is taking. When hundreds of poor people were layoff why did the unions call for a national strike. Is it because these people were paid at the lower end. ( I wonder.) Today the unions are calling for a national strike for 10 persons at 60+ soon ready to retire of go to meet their maker and they want the nation to back this move. Who do the unions really represent the poor and desolate or those who are well off. The unions need to be real about the decision they are taking and look at the big picture, not 10 persons who are at retirement age take a look at the masses and then call for a national strike.

  8. Charmaine July 4, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    I don’t often agree with the actions of the labour movement in Barbados; I actually think they are sellouts, but …ITS ABOUT TIME. The unfair treatment has to end. It’s not just about BIDC, though that may have been the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back; but about NCC, Beautify Barbados, etc; all those workers who have been unfairly treated and disrespected over the years. Send a message to the bullies (yes i mean the government) that we will no longer tolerate the disrespect. Stand united and don’t back down. Expect the sleeping giant or his minion to jump in soon to try to save face.

    @Esther Byer Suckoo…Left up to your government, 10 years from now the talks would still be going on with no end in sight. You all are clueless, but very good at spinning circles.

  9. villager. July 4, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    I said my piece already this action is nonsensical and i being foisted on this people of this fair land by an immature young boy who is misguided and led astray by political operatives and affiliations, but somehow i am inclined to believe that they will be disappointed when all is said and done, god watch the proud and arrogant from a far off, he sees their wicked plans and he laughs, for he knows that their time is coming,no one who has the good of people and country at heart behaves this way,god is not the author of confusion the enemy is. and those who promotes and thrives on confusion,then it is clear whose sides you are on, i wish you all well in this misguided endeavor.

  10. jrsmith July 4, 2015 at 3:20 pm


  11. villager. July 4, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Jr smith,i know here’s an interesting one for you check the rabbi Johnathan Cahnn, on youtube the harbinger series and the Shimitah,see what you think.

  12. villager. July 4, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Wait that is Marsha layne that was on the Dems Podiums during elections some time back?

  13. Marcus Edghill July 4, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Now that the ‘old guard’ have all gone the unions seem to have rediscovered their purpose – to defend the rights of workers, not the interests of the ruling party. This planned action should’ve been taken a long time ago.


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