Private sector playing both sides, warns Sir Roy
Former General Secretary of the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) Sir Roy Trotman has accused the private sector of “playing both sides” in the ongoing dispute between Government and the island’s two main trade unions.
While stating that he felt there was no malice on either the Government or the trade unions’ part, Sir Roy said the private sector had chosen to support either party only when it benefited them.
His comments have come following several disputes in recent times between Government, the National Union of Public Workers and the Barbados Workers Union.
“In what has been happening recently, I would not say that the problem that there is comes from malice on either side of any of the protagonists . . . but I am wondering the extent to which those of us who are looking on are recognizing that there are other interests in this particular period of protests that nobody seems to be thinking about very much,” he said.
“In this country, a private sector has now presented itself as being the supporter of, the guardian of, a position of a trade union movement, when in fact, that same private sector has told the Government of Barbados, ‘We don’t want to talk about trade union rights, we want to talk only about trade union rights when they serve our purpose. So when you bring Social Partnership before us and when you bring a protocol before us, we don’t want to hear about that, we only want to hear about a piece of legislation’,” Sir Roy explained.
He also argued that the same people who were making claims of being spokespersons for the employers in the private sector, were the same ones who had been disrespecting the Social Partnership for the past four and a half years.
He maintained that the private sector was using both Government and the trade unions for financial gain.
“Nobody is willing to call that spade a spade . . . but [we have] a private sector that believes that now that the trade union has helped to bring them to a position where they are out from under the worst, no longer requires to have a trade union-political party nexus, but want to divide the Government and the trade union movement and divide and rule them so they can maximize their profit levels,” Sir Roy charged.