BWU fully behind NUPW
The country’s two most powerful trade unions will walk hand in hand this week, as the threat of a national strike hangs over the island.
The largest private sector union, the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) said it would throw its full weight behind the largest public sector representative body, the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), in the ongoing dispute with the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC), over the retrenchment of 10 workers who have reached the age of 60.
The BWU held a two-hour meeting at its Solidarity House headquarters, Harmony Hall, St. Michael, this evening, at which the executive council updated the packed audience on “what had transpired” and discussed support for the NUPW. Following the meeting, General Secretary Toni Moore kept the union’s plans close to her chest.
“The executive council of the BWU called a meeting of its committees of management across its 208 divisions for this evening because the immediate matter of our support to the NUPW in its impasse with the BIDC preoccupied our attention, and we needed to update our divisions on what had transpired so far. This was done to obtain the support of our divisions for action. This action will be taken, not only in support of the NUPW, but action will be taken in abhorrence to the approaches that we have been seeing creeping into our system of industrial relations, not only by the government in this case, but generally,” Moore said.
The BWU boss told reporters that during the meeting the committees of management indicated their “strong support” for industrial action to be pursued this week. She added that there were a number of suggestions and the union would determine how the proposed action would have its greatest impact.
Responding to reports that the NUPW was about to escalate industrial action, Moore stressed that the BWU’s meeting was not convened specifically to deal with what the NUPW wanted, but was about the support the BWU could lend.
“We at the BWU have determined the level of support that can be given in this situation. The meeting was not exclusively about the support, but the BWU family wants to demonstrate its abhorrence to the approaches that have been undertaken in this matter with the BIDC, approaches that are also replicated in the private sector more generally. We will outline to the NUPW what has come out of this meeting, and the BWU will be engaging in industrial action this week, once there is no resolution to the immediate matter before us.”
Moore claimed, that the labour movement was being disrespected, and the union was saying enough was enough.