SSA shutdown tomorrow as NUPW continues protests
Yesterday they called a national strike. From tomorrow, the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) will shut down the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA).
There will be no garbage pickups or burials by the SSA, as the NUPW moves into Phase 2 of its industrial action to press for the reinstatement of 13 employees of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC), 10 of whom have reached age 60, who were forced into early retirement.
Additionally, there will be a ‘go-slow’ at the Bridgetown Port, along with other forms of action which the union refused to disclose.
And the union’s acting General Secretary Roslyn Smith has warned that if there is no move by either the Ministry of Labour or Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to address the matter, there will be a “total shutdown of the island between now and Friday.”
The decisions were made following an almost two-and-a-half hour meeting with councillors, divisional committees of management and shop stewards from the various statutory boards this afternoon at the union’s Dalkeith, St. Michael headquarters.
The NUPW is demanding that the BIDC either rescind the letters, or pay the retired workers until they reach age 67.
Smith insisted that the NUPW had been forced into action.
“We are announcing our second phase of action because to date we have not heard anything from the Minister of Labour or the Prime Minister on the issue, in terms of holding a meeting to discuss the issue.
“As a result…effective tomorrow, there will be no collection of garbage by the SSA throughout the balance of the week. Secondly there will be no burials tomorrow and that will continue throughout the week,” Smith announced to the media, while flanked by the union’s President Akanni McDowall, the First Vice President Fabian Jones and Second Vice President Dr Ricardo Kellman.
“If the government refuses to intervene, then between now and Friday you will see a total shutdown in Barbados.”
Smith said the NUPW was willing to continue its industrial action for as long as it took to resolve the issue.
However, despite its firm stance, Smith was hopeful that a resolution would be found before the end of the week.
“For the sake of the nation we should hope that something happens, because we are not moving from our stance,” she answered, when asked if the action would continue into next week if an amicable solution were not reached by Friday.
She reiterated the NUPW’s position that union was willing to meet with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart if he requested a meeting.
“The NUPW can say that there has been no effort by the Prime Minister to contact the NUPW. As the head of state he has the responsibility to the nation.
“If he cares about the country and the workers he would not wait for anyone to call him, and that is our position,” Smith maintained.