BLP: More jobs on the line
The Barbados Labour Party has warned Barbadians to expect more job losses in the public sector.
BLP General Secretary Jerome Walcott told a St George North party branch meeting Sunday evening that the Government continued to be saddled with high debt obligations and an uncontrolled deficit, leaving it with no choice but to retrench more Barbadians in order to cut overhead costs.
“Even after the 3,000 [lay-offs] of last year, we are going to be faced with having many more this year, and it has started,” Walcott contended.
He said “persons went home” when the Government replaced the Barbados Tourism Authority with the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc and the Barbados Tourism Prouct Authority and warned that the consolidation of statutory boards including the Urban Development Corporation and the Rural Development Corporation, as well as those identified for mergers, will result in more job losses.
“The Minister of Finance has spoken repeatedly about the consolidation of statutory boards . . . . They’re not going to keep all the staff. People will have to go home,” he told party supporters gathered at the district office in the Glebe.
Walcott’s remarks came one night before the country’s labour unions came today in solidarity with the National Union of Public Workers in a march against the Barbados Investment Development Corporation (BIDC), which severed 13 workers, ten of whom were over the age of 60.
“The matter of the BIDC is currently on everyone’s radar,” he observed, and advised Barbadians against believing that was the end of public sector retrenchment.
“But don’t rest. With all of the sacrifices, and of the so-called transparency and good governance, a government is still faced with this deficit, and still has to send home people, and is using this theory of persons reaching the age of 60.
“And you have a Governor of the Central Bank who reached 70 in January, and was given a five-year contract, and of course there is a Prime Minister who is sailing around at 65,” said Walcott, adding that the Freundel Stuart had no solution to the balance of payments problems or the deficit.