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.

BWU general secretary Toni Moore (centre) at Saturday’s conference

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.

BWU delegates attending the 74th annual conference

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.

18 Responses to More workers on the breadline

  1. Matie Siew
    Matie Siew August 30, 2015 at 12:21 am

    Sad truly …what are these ppl going to do?

  2. Andrena Ceasar
    Andrena Ceasar August 30, 2015 at 12:41 am

    So why can’t she name the company if she is telling the truth

  3. Ryan Bayne
    Ryan Bayne August 30, 2015 at 12:52 am

    This is not a pretty sight at all.

  4. Antoinette Rochester
    Antoinette Rochester August 30, 2015 at 1:39 am

    Wow. Really sad indeed. On another note I don’t think what the company did is illegal. At least they offered them a salary adjustment. Some places just give you termination papers and severance. The company should have considered offering packages first and see who was willing to leave on their own.

    • Maria Leclair
      Maria Leclair August 30, 2015 at 1:50 am

      Agree, that should have been the first process of elimination.

  5. carson c cadogan August 30, 2015 at 4:02 am

    So what is the Union going to do about it?

    March, shut down the Island, stop the SSA from picking up garbage?

    This is the Private sector, I am eagerly watching what the Union will do this time around. Or maybe they wont do anything at all!!!

    It is said that the Unions see Govt. as a soft target.

  6. carson c cadogan August 30, 2015 at 4:08 am

    “as they grapple with a weakened economy.”


    With companies showing increased profits at the end of their Financial years, you really believe this?

    I have some swamp land to sell you as Beach front property!!

  7. carson c cadogan August 30, 2015 at 4:23 am

    Bajan Unions are so afraid of the Private Sector, she would pull a Lion’s tale before she names the company.

    If this was the Govt. of Barbados, now that would be a different story……

    Workers would be called off to meetings at Union HQ. , etc., etc. Sir Roy really knew what he was talking about when he recently Lambasted the Private sector. But these new Leadership in the Unions played right into their hands.

    Let me see what their next moves will be if any at all.

  8. Loretta Griffith August 30, 2015 at 6:07 am

    Although I am sympathetic to the cause of workers,
    I still would like to know from when does a worker dictate to an employer?
    It is alright for the unions to want a swell payroll, but at the end of the day who will pay these workers when all funds have been depleted or exhausted. For sure they can’t be paid with talk. It takes real money to pay them.

  9. seagul August 30, 2015 at 6:14 am

    The private sector is dragging this country towards a revolution.
    No sitting around waiting for promotion. No welfare lines
    When people rise up, these private parasites must run
    but then where…..

  10. harry turnover August 30, 2015 at 7:38 am

    Laying off people is not against the Law.When the Government started laying off thousands about 9 months after winning the elections and after they said BEFORE the elections that that they would be NO LAY OFFS,the Unions didn’t shut down the Country nor did anybody go on strike.

    The Unions only THREATENED an Island wide shutdown and only the SSA went on strike BECAUSE workers at the BIDC were being told that when you reach 60 you must retire,when the NATIONAL retirement age was 66 1/2 years……..THAT WAS SOMETHING TO STRIKE FOR because it had IMPLICATIONS FOR THE WHOLE WORK FORCE….YARD FOWLS included.

  11. Alex Alleyne August 30, 2015 at 7:46 am

    If this company can say to workers “take it or leave” after they refuse a fifty percent pay cut is more than enough to list the name for one and all to see . I wonder what this company and the Union boss got going on .

  12. harry turnover August 30, 2015 at 7:53 am

    This C C C chap is a classic example of a yard fowl taking yardfowlism to the EXTREME.

    Every other person in Bim knows that the Barbados Economy is a WEAKENING ECONOMY.

    He is saying that because Companies make profits the Economy can’t be weakening.He needs to look through the other eye and he would see which Companies are reporting serious losses,staff reductions,salary cuts,no salary increases and so forth and so on.

    Someone also needs to tell him that the Government is the BIGGEST ” COMPANY ” in Bim.He needs to ask himself which “Company” sent home the MOSTworkers,which ” COMPANY ” hasn’t given its employees a pay rise in 6 years and if that ” COMPANY ” is making a profit.

  13. Donna August 30, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Why do you people bother to respond to Carson Cadogan? Better just to ignore. The daily experience of most people will not allow them to be persuaded by his nonsense. No amount of spinning is going to win the next election for the DLP. And since Barbadians are not going to attempt to get rid of them before then, it really doesn’t matter. Unfortunately I have no real hope in the incoming BLP but most Barbadians are so desperate they will try anything. Anything other than this government because they don’t think things can be made any worse.

  14. Kevin August 30, 2015 at 10:38 am

    There is already a divide amongst folks working on pvt & public sectors. The pvt sector was laying off people and cutting hours and salaries before government started. But many of them say noone saw it fit to fight for them. But the Unions will not in this age have sway with pvt sector entities due to numbers like they have over the government. You cant force someone to keep you employed. The employer should go through the right channels but still if you have to go due to insufficient cash flow, you have to go.

    I truly feel very sorry for those construction workers and all who have loss a job in these trying times. I would accepted the cut wages and started to look for another job immediately. Its better than getting nothing.

  15. carson c cadogan August 30, 2015 at 10:48 am

    “take it or leave it”!!!!!

    Now if that is not pure disrespect for workers and their representative Trade Union, then I dont know what is.

    But the Barbados “Workers” Union has put its tail between its legs and accepted the insult.

    Now if that was the Govt., wahloss, all hell would have broken loose long time ago.

    This is very interesting, what we are seeing unfolding is the Unions dealing with the Govt. one way and whimpering in the face of a Private Sector assault on workers and they , the Unions , are doing nothing about it.

    And the thing is nobody who is commenting here on this article is worried about “these people have Mortgages, they have to feed their children, etc. etc. ”

    Go figure.

    I have said over and over that the TRADE UNIONS were only interested in overthrowing the Govt. , it had nothing to do with THE WORKERS!!!!

    This situation proves it.

  16. Thomas Katt
    Thomas Katt August 30, 2015 at 11:34 am

    A 50% pay cut? These companies are making big profits. Them just using the word recession as an excuse to increase their margin of profits. Trying re enslaved the workers, that’s all. As for you, bagawire, you need a trim. I hope you’re among the first to go if SSA send home workers.

  17. carson c cadogan August 30, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    I know how the Unions can bring this company to Christian feeling. I know the company as well.

    It is really very easy…..

    But of course with the Unions of recent vintage, it is not about the WORKERS, never has been.

    The puppet masters in the shadows pulling their stings want to bring down the current Govt. That is what it all about.


    “…….on the last election day two years ago the private sector leader the current leader wrote to the current Prime Minister of B’dos at 4 pm in the afternoon of the election and it said “you have been asking to meet me for the longest while and I am not ready to meet you but I am ready to meet the Prime minister right after the elections” he didn’t expect the Prime minister then to be the current prime minister……….”
    Sir Roy

    When one of the news houses asked him to comment on his email, he replied that he was not about to get into a shouting match with Sir Roy.

    These lil people at the top of the Unions at present dont know who their enemies are.


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