Inniss to meet with BIDC

Industry Minister Donville Inniss will meet with the Board of Directors and senior management of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) tomorrow, in the latest attempt to resolve the protracted dispute between the BIDC and the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) over the retirement of 13 BIDC employees over age 60.

The NUPW is demanding that the BIDC reinstate the workers, as they have not yet reached the legal retirement age.

Previous talks between the union and Inniss ended in a stalemate, prompting the NUPW to stage a protest last Monday. The union stepped up its industrial action on Wednesday, calling on sanitation workers to down tools, suspend burials and the collection of garbage.

Labour Minister Dr Esther Byer met with the NUPW and the BIDC on Thursday, in an attempt to resolve the impasse but those talks also ended without agreement.

According to a statement from Inniss, tomorrow’s meeting, which will also include legal and policy advisors, will “seek to determine if there is anything more that the BIDC could do to avoid disruption of services at the national level”.

“As Minister of Industry I remain extremely concerned about the possibility of major industrial action on the part of the labour movement in Barbados and its likely negative impact upon our fragile economy. As such I will continue to make every effort to avert a major strike at this time,” Inniss said.

He added that the discussions, which are scheduled for 3 [p.m.] at the BIDC’s offices on Harbour Road, will review the current and possible situation, not just within the BIDC but in the island on the whole.

“In as much as the unions are now claiming that this is no longer just about the BIDC, rest assured that as Minister responsible for the BIDC I have to address it as a BIDC matter.

The Minister noted that there are clearly differences of opinion in relation to the interpretation of the Statutory Pensions Act and the Employment Rights Act, and such differences of opinion are best resolved by the courts of law.

The BIDC has agreed to make an urgent application for a hearing and decision on the matters by the court.

“I am advised that the BIDC has taken this course due to the failing, or unwillingness of either the NUPW or Mr. Gregory Nicholls, attorney at law, to place the matter in court.”

In his statement, Inniss, a former member of the NUPW, stressed that the court of public opinion “must never override the law courts in a maturing democracy”, adding that “where there are deficiencies or ambiguities in the law, then we should work collectively to address them via changes in law.”

“Matters that relate to industrial relations policies and procedures will also be discussed. Rest assured that if there is clear evidence that the BIDC is in the breech on such, corrective steps will be taken without delay.”

Inniss added that he would welcome the opportunity for the BIDC to attend the meetings of any and all unions and their councils to address any concerns they may have.



23 Responses to Inniss to meet with BIDC

  1. Caswell Franklyn July 12, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    Someone should point out to the minister that there is no ambiguity in the law. The problem is that government’s intentions or rather its action conflicts with the law. There is no ambiguity just because the law does not say what he wants it to say.

  2. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole July 13, 2015 at 1:59 am

    Now that everyone is aware that restructuring by staff reduction is part of that IMF report the government is trying to do damage control to prevent a national shutdown. It maybe a waste of time if all the near and over 60’s feel that they will be sent home. However, Mr. Lowe is offering to temporarily have the haulers fee waived and the Minister of Industry want to meet with the BIDC to see what can be done. This in itself makes no sense if the BIDC is still headed to court with this matter.

  3. Donna July 13, 2015 at 5:49 am

    What is imputus?

  4. Mark Rudder
    Mark Rudder July 13, 2015 at 6:46 am

    My hope is that the unions makes it clear to government and the private sector that they will no longer be dictated to but will negotiate in good faith. There is too much disrespect of the social partnership.

    • Cheryl A Rollins
      Cheryl A Rollins July 13, 2015 at 4:19 pm

      They have not met in over a year that should explain a lot..

  5. Gavin Dawson
    Gavin Dawson July 13, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Violet Patricia Piggott,Since when has letting Ms Motley getting her turn in running the country ever been a joke ? The joke is happening now and is not at all funny.

  6. Gavin Dawson
    Gavin Dawson July 13, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Violet Patricia Piggott,Since when has letting Ms Motley getting her turn in running the country ever been a joke ? The joke is happening now and is not at all funny.the other big joke is you yourself Violet Patricia Piggott, but no one is laughing they are laughing at you which is what you deserve.

  7. k July 13, 2015 at 8:41 am

    buddylove um is GRAMMAR

  8. Philip Matthews
    Philip Matthews July 13, 2015 at 10:28 am

    the strike could end with the end of the Age discrimination , simple common sense

  9. Sandra Madea
    Sandra Madea July 13, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Violeta Patricia Piggott u are de JOKER….f@@king IDIOT.

  10. Sandra Madea
    Sandra Madea July 13, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Violeta Patricia Piggott i know u can’t look in the mirror cause it would

  11. Gavin Dawson
    Gavin Dawson July 13, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Violeta Patricia Piggot, does Matron know you have left the compound without her knowledge, there are enough problems around without you been on the loose.

  12. Sandra Madea
    Sandra Madea July 13, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Pigface pigface go and kissass for de dems DLP must Go..shutdown for wonna rass..the zoo missing a pig. Violeta pissy piggott

  13. Olutoye Walrond
    Olutoye Walrond July 13, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Age discrimination? This concept seems to be cameleon – able to change its colour to suit the circumstances. So if a worker is retired at 76 on account of age would that be age discrimination?

  14. Gavin Dawson
    Gavin Dawson July 13, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Violeta Patricia Piggott, Ignorance is bliss!

  15. Tony Waterman July 14, 2015 at 3:57 am

    @Olutoye Walrond!!!! Don’t be silly, where did 76 come from, the age was 65 and was moved LEGALLY to 67, the exact same thing was done here in Canada, and NO ONE was sent home because they were 60, but the Doe Brains we have in Control in Barbados has sen it fit to to CREATE a problem where there was NONE. The solution is Clear except to King Froon and his Cohorts, you can offer a Package to those who have reached 60, and if they ACCEPT it then OK, but if they want to work until 67, according to the law there is Nothing that can be done LEGALLY to stop them, it is their RIGHT. what is there that is so difficult to understand ???

    You said:”We have to retire at some point; people don’t normally work until they drop.” yes we do and in Barbados as in Canada the Maximun you can go to “”LEGALLY”” is 67.


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