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BWU looking into ‘kicking’ incident at power plant

The Barbados Workers Union (BWU) is seeking to broker a speedy resolution to a potentially explosive situation at the Spring Garden generating plant of the Barbados Light & Power Company (BL&P).

Close to a dozen workers from the Generation Department walked off the job last Wednesday, alleging that a white Canadian consultant had kicked a black employee.

Details surrounding the incident remain unclear, but the protesting workers had made their feelings known through placards, many ridiculing the Canadian, who some referred to as Joe.

“Joe must go,” one placard blared, while another stated: “182 days remaining for Joe”.

“Who gave a work permit to a Safety Officer after over 150 plus workers gone home?” screamed a third, while another tied in the 50th anniversary of Independence, stating, “Hi, I am Joe from Canada. Happy 50th Kick, Kicknadian”.

With the situation at a sensitive stage, BWU Deputy General Secretary Dwaine Paul told Barbados TODAY the matter was being investigated and the union would meet soon with BL&P management in an attempt to stave off an escalation of protest action.

“We understand that at the Barbados Light & Power there’s an incident that took place. The union has been informed of the incident [and] we are investigating. We met with the workers [last week] and we are going to meet with the company very shortly towards having the matter addressed,” Paul said.

The trade unionist refused to provide further details, insisting, “that is as much as we are prepared to say at this time as it relates to the issue at Light & Power”.

Following last week’s protest, the company issued a statement in which Human Resource Manager Gail-Ann King expressed disappointment that employees had chosen to protest “when there is an established, agreed procedure to deal with all grievances”.

The company stated that the work stoppage was in response to “a misconstrued nudge between a supervisor and an employee at a recent meeting”.

It said the supervisor subsequently apologized to that meeting and the employee had accepted the apology.

“The company’s investigation showed that there was no harmful intent and none was perceived,” the statement assured.

10 Responses to BWU looking into ‘kicking’ incident at power plant

  1. Alex Alleyne June 7, 2016 at 7:34 am


  2. harry turnover June 7, 2016 at 7:35 am

    Yeah right… as expected from a big up in the Company who obviously must tow the Company line….BUT…kicking someone and then offering an apology is an insult on an insult.
    His work permit should now be REVOKED and an APOLOGY offered too.

  3. Mark Fenty
    Mark Fenty June 7, 2016 at 8:28 am

    The black employee needs to press assault charges against the Canadian who kicked him. This is police matter and ought to be hand as such as far as I am concerned.

  4. Elloitt June 7, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Mark Fenty I agree with you. Assault and battery on an employee, or anyone for that matter, is a police matter and if the union wishes to get involved , then it should advise its member to go through that channel. Work with the police and the legal system to have the matter resolved.
    The very thought of a white employee\ supervisor kicking a black employee can be very emotive and can escalate into something nasty, but it can be resolved civilly with everyone keeping the peace.

  5. lester June 7, 2016 at 9:48 am

    the canadian should be in dodds all like now, bajans foolish or sain?

  6. Alex Alleyne June 7, 2016 at 10:38 am

    I remembered a (white) employer called a (black) employee a “chink” and the guy cried for hours saying that in his country a chink was one of the worst things on earth. He took the employer to court AND WON HALF OF A MILLIONS DOLLARS.
    Now here in Barbados a WHITE MAN KICK A BLACK MAN IN THIS DAY AND AGE AND HE ACCEPT AN “APOLOGY”…….are you serious.
    I will keep my ears to the ground on this one because I know for sure that employee will be “laid off ” for eons……. not fired.

  7. Leroy Parris June 7, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    How interesting, because in the 1960’s a foreign store owner kicked a customer in a Swan Street store. The outcome brought some serious and angry crowds to the store. In the end the store owner had to be hurried off the island for his own safety. That Canadian should be made to be booted out the island and not allowed back in again. This is 2016 not 1916. Wake up wake up, kick him out. You don’t even kick dogs further more a human being.

  8. Tony Waterman June 7, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    @Mark Fenty!!!!!Press Charges??? he needs to have Charges presed against him for putting a Bull Pistle to this Guy’s Back, and if he is incapable of doing this, pay someone to do it, i am sure that $200,00 for one Lash would have Multiple Takers.

    @Leroy Parris, that in all probability will NOT Happen, we are only 50 Years Politically Free, but our MINDS have NOT yet Caught up.

    @Alex Alleyne!!!! That was before we became Highly Educated, and Sophisticated.

    @lester!!!! How can we accomplish that, when the ALLEGED KICKEE, has not Lodged a formal Complaint of ASSAULT with the POLICE.

  9. Rose Lorde June 7, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Tony Waterman, I agree with you the kickee has not lodged a complaint with the police or asked that the man be prosecuted. We always get our selves involved in things we do not have the facts about, Where is the person receiving the kick, has he gone into hiding. Take care, remember the Sandy Lane Saga, and don’t forget the Royal Shop Issue. We do not know if it was a deliberate where a foot was taken up or a “nudge” as was reported. Please wait for the facts and then make an informed decision.

  10. Alex Alleyne June 7, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    Was it not so long ago that an employer of one of our TELECOMMUNICATIONS company call a set of BAJANS working there “a bunch of African snails”. When word got to the then PM
    OSA that person was given about a week to leave BIM.
    How much time the present PM will give this fella.


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