More workers on the breadline
General Secretary of the Barbados Workers Union, Toni Moore has announced that just under a dozen workers employed at a local company have been placed on the breadline as of yesterday.
Moore made the disclosure in her address to the 74th Annual Delegates Conference at the union’s Solidarity House headquarters today.
While not naming the company, she told a packed hall: “Only yesterday (Friday) one of my officers came to me noting that the union is experiencing a situation with a group of companies who approached almost a dozen workers and offered them a 50 per cent salary adjustment downwards.
“The company said take it or leave. So when those workers decided that they would not accept the adjustment, termination papers were issued to them.”
Moore’s revelation came just over one week after Arawak Cement plant announced the termination of 40 jobs from October, which represents 20 percent of the company’s workforce, as part of a restructuring programme to prevent the plant from going under.
A day earlier the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) also announced a comprehensive restructuring and reorganizing programme.
At the time, Roslyn Smith, acting General Secretary of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), which represents SSA workers, told Barbados TODAY that she doubted any of the workers would be sent home as a result of the restructuring.
Other entities from the private and public sector have also announced job cuts in recent times, as they grapple with a weakened economy.
In her address to the BWU conference, Moore also raised concerns about the current global industrial relations climate, in which she said workers’ rights are being eroded.
She pointed to “an apparent threat to weaken workers’ bargaining position”, noting that “it is a kind of intimidation that some say mirrors the Reganism and the Thatcherism from which the USA and the United Kingdom have never quite recovered.”
She told the audience that workers’ rights need to remain at the top of the union’s agenda, given the current challenges being faced by employees and their bargaining agents.