Disorder in Port
CEO upset over latest Customs walk-out
The head of Barbados Port Inc (BPI) today expressed concern over what he called the “total disorder” at the crucial port of entry as a result of the go-slow by Customs officers who are protesting plans to absorb their department into the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA).
A noticeably upset Chief Executive Officer David Jean-Marie told Barbados TODAY the Customs officers who were on duty today, packed their bags and walked off the job without prior notice or warning.
“What we have is total disorder. And we need to see this come to an end soon. This is not working in the national interest at all.
“Just at talk of Tsunami or Kick Em Jenny, without any official announcement, people just walked off the job,”Jean-Marie complained.
The BPI boss said the industrial action was causing serious challenges to operations at the port, and was inconveniencing the public.
He said customers had to be turned away today because the Customs officers stopped working in Shed 2 at around 3 p.m. and called it a day in Shed 4 at about 3.20 p.m, some 25 minutes before the normal closing time.
”By then, the majority of the Customs officers had gone. Customs officers were not doing any examinations or anything else, or releasing any documentation. So that would have impacted us significantly,” he said.
“We need order restored.”
The unions representing the Customs workers have demanded the withdrawal of option forms issued to the officers while the two sides are negotiations the proposed consolidation.The unions have threatened to continue the go-slow until their demands are met.