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BL&P consultant resigns following ‘kicking’ incident

A white Canadian consultant, at the centre of what workers at the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited’s  (BL&P) Spring Garden generating plant alleged was a kicking incident involving a black Barbadian employee, has tendered his resignation with immediate effect.

At an early morning meeting today, management reportedly told assembled workers of the Generating Department that Health and Safety Officer Joe Machellan had resigned with immediate effect and would be returning to Canada. He reportedly determined it would be difficult for him to get the support of staff.

The Canadian-owned BL&P’s Director of Shared Services, Roger Babooram, confirmed the immediate departure of Machellan. However, Dwaine Paul, deputy general secretary of the Barbados Workers Union (BWU), which represents BL&P employees, could not be reached for a comment.

Over the weekend, there were unconfirmed reports that Machellan was expected to return to work this week and that management was planning to take disciplinary action against workers who had participated in brief industrial action on June 1 which was triggered by the alleged incident which the BL&P has disputed.

In a statement issued immediately following the protest, Human Resource Manager Gail-Ann King said what occurred was “a misconstrued nudge between a supervisor and an employee at a meeting”. The statement had also said the supervisor subsequently apologized and the employee had accepted the apology.

“The company’s investigation showed that there was no harmful intent and none was perceived,” said the statement in which King expressed disappointment that the dozen employees had chosen to stage the protest “when there is an established, agreed procedure to deal with all grievances”.

The workers staged the protest to demand the removal of the Health and Safety Officer. They carried placards which read, among other things: Who Gave a Work Permit to a Safety Officer after 150 plus Workers Gone Home? Happy 50th Kick, Kicknadian.

While most of the protesting workers remained tightlipped, one was overheard saying at the time: “The country has gone to the dogs and someone must take a stand”, as another told Barbados TODAY: “We do not intend to disrupt work today, but it is important that we get the message across through the media that a Canadian consultant employed at the generation plant kicked a worker.”

During interaction with reporters on the scene, another angry worker had warned that “if we allow this incident to be swept under the carpet, the situation would get worse. Barbadians must be told that this incident occurred on the 50th anniversary of our Independence.”

In keeping with their promise not to disrupt the power supply to consumers, the workers had filed back into the plant after an hour, leaving their placards on display on a fence near the entrance.                    

8 Responses to BL&P consultant resigns following ‘kicking’ incident

  1. Maria Leclair Dasilva
    Maria Leclair Dasilva June 21, 2016 at 3:35 am

    The Canadian consultant kicked another man, is that not the issue? Unless it was racially motivated (which there is no mention of) why is race mentioned? Talk about racial profiling. The issue here is the man kicked another employee and should have been charged with assault and fired regardless of race. However the media has chosen to point out race above all else to start a racial war.

  2. Maria Leclair Dasilva
    Maria Leclair Dasilva June 21, 2016 at 3:52 am

    The company’s investigation concluded there was no harmful intent nevertheless it appears the employee’s protested their co-workers was kicked therefore this must be what the co-workers has stating. Why did the employee who was supposedly kicked not file an assault charge? This story sends a number of red flags in every direction. Things don’t add up!

  3. Mark Fenty
    Mark Fenty June 21, 2016 at 5:07 am

    Maria Leclair Dasilva, be careful because some people get offended very easily, when you have an opinion regarding a certian issue, and that opinion doesn’t coincide with the prevailing orthodoxy here. I have to chuckle sometimes when I hear intelligent people make statements that make me stop and question their level of intelligence. Listen! It is becoming rather difficult to advance an opinion on this blog without someone misinterpreting it as a sign of intellectual arrogance, rather than advancing their own opinion to discredit that proposed opinion with substantive and corroborative evidence.

  4. Lennox hewitt June 21, 2016 at 6:55 am

    Maria anytime a White Person kick , slap , or spit on a Black person that’s a big issue there it’s racist and can’t work n Bim it seem like u want it go down as a man kick a man u like u don’t want we no a White man kick a Black man so i glad d racist pig gone or gine .

  5. The Negrocrat June 21, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Thing is, he didn’t get a good bajan cut arse. Them men down there soft.

  6. harry turnover June 21, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Maria…you talking a whole load of SH8 !!……a black man kicking a white man is ALSO racist. Do you know why the BLACK man that was KICKED didn’t press charges ? do you know why the WHITE man wasn’t fired ?
    Do you know what would have been the outcome if that BLACK man had filed charges against the WHITE supervisor in a WHITE owned Company ?
    @ Gail Ann King……we all know that you have to TOW THE COMPANY LINE…BUT… don’t have to pretend that you are smarter than anyone…. “a misconstrued nudge between a supervisor and an employee at a meeting”???….it is obvious that those words were planted in your mouth BECAUSE….you are saying that the man in question don’t know know the difference between a nudge and a kick?
    Look up the meaning of the word NUDGE…anytime someone uses his foot to NUDGE someone. else….HE IS KICKING.
    Looks as though this matter was settled behind closed doors by the ” BIG BOYS “and the supervisor asked to resign.

  7. Donna June 21, 2016 at 10:45 am

    A black woman is before the courts for “playfully nudging” an elderly patient with her foot. If what she did was a kick then explain to me what is a nudge. There was no real force behind her actions but we all felt a strong aversion to her actions.

  8. Sue Donym June 21, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Euphemism and corporate speak.
    If there was no assault, what did the supervisor apologise for?

    “He reportedly determined it would be difficult for him to get the support of staff”, but no doubts about management’s support.

    If he resigned rather than being fired, no stain against his work permit or his ability to rejoin the company in another location… officially

    No prosecution, no conviction, no deportation, no conviction etc. etc.

    Deal or no deal?


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