NUPW threatens weekend strike

Government workers are planning to go on strike from as early as this weekend, and only swift action by the Freundel Stuart administration to address some long-standing grievances can prevent industrial action, a source close to the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) told Barbados TODAY Thursday afternoon.

According to the source, strategic Government departments have been targeted for the initial impact.

The informant said the NUPW was fed up with Government’s lack of positive response to an accumulation of grievances brought to its attention over time.

“We are gearing up for action beginning this weekend or Monday,” the source said.

The person did not elaborate on the grievances. However, the NUPW remains in a battle with Government over the subsumption of customs officers into the Barbados Revenue Authority.

It is also agitating over the decision by the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) to outsource some of its garbage collection services, contending that the SSA had an ulterior motive.

Earlier this week, NUPW President Akanni McDowall learnt the hard way what it meant to fall victim to Government when he was unceremoniously removed from the senior position of Acting Health Planning Officer 1 and sent back to his substantive post of Environmental Health Assistant 1.

In an immediate reaction, the NUPW had said the “sudden reversion” of its president was nothing short of victimization, pointing out that McDowall had recently been vocal in his opposition to what the union saw as Government’s efforts to privatize the state-run SSA.

“He has also been forthright in his representation of customs officers, GAIA Inc. and BIDC employees among others,” the statement added.

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