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BWU threatens ‘wider protest’ over CBB intern

The Barbados Workers Union has threatened to intensify industrial action at the Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) if the matter concerning the promotion of an intern is not settled soon.

While not revealing a deadline by which the issue must be resolved, BWU General Secretary Toni Moore today warned that the union would consider asking the “wider BWU family to participate in a wider protest”.

Over 100 employees of the bank stayed off the job for the fourth straight day today in protest against the promotion of an intern to a temporary position with a bigger salary than some appointed staff. The appointment is for one year effective September 1.

BWU General Secretary Toni Moore (in yellow shirt) speaking to Central Bank employees today.

BWU General Secretary Toni Moore (in yellow shirt) speaking to Central Bank employees today.

Moore claimed the CBB has displayed a lack of urgency in dealing with the issue and said the time had come to show the bank that the union meant business.

Only yesterday, shortly after talks broke down between the CBB and union officials, Moore warned that the CBB, along with other employers, “would soon be taught a lesson.”

“For the day so far we have not heard any change in position from the bank’s management. In fact, we only spoke when the union contacted management to find out what the situation was,” Moore lamented.

“The BWU is therefore satisfied that the bank has not been made to understand the gravity of the situation at hand, and we recognize that perhaps it is time for things to be ratcheted up somewhat towards a firmer understanding to exactly what is at stake.”

She said the union had withheld comment on the matter “in the interest of the national good” but that a meeting of the BWU Executive Council had been scheduled for this evening at which the row with the CBB would top the agenda.

“. . . agenda item number one has to be the situation confronting the [Central Bank] and how the BWU as an organization would wish the wider BWU family to participate in a wider protest,” she told the media minutes after addressing staff outside of the bank’s Church Village, St Michael headquarters this afternoon.

The BWU head said the union had been advised that Central Bank Governor Dr DeLisle Worrel, who is currently abroad, had been apprised of the situation.

However, she indicated that the BWU had been waiting in vain for  word from management of the bank on the directives the Governor might have given.

Moore said the situation had reached such worrying proportions that stakeholders both at home and overseas had been keeping abreast of the situation and monitoring the developments.

“We have a number of stakeholders not only at the national level, but internationally, who have been making contact with the office of the General Secretary to ascertain exactly what the situation is confronting the workers and the bank and what is causing the fracture,” she explained.

She reiterated that workers would remain off the job until the intern’s appointment was rescinded.

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