Byer-Suckoo reacts to union president’s demotion

As far as Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo is concerned, there was no foul play involved in the removal of President of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Akanni McDowall from his acting position.

In fact, Dr Byer-Suckoo said as far as she was aware McDowall’s time in the acting position had simply come to an end.

Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo
Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo

Last Tuesday, Barbados TODAY reported that the outspoken labour union official, who has been acting as a health promotion officer within the Ministry of Health for the past two years, would be returning to his substantive post as an Environmental Health Assistant.

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

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

However, when asked by Barbados TODAY to share her views on the development on the sidelines of the 10th Annual Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) Occupational Health and Safety seminar at the Hilton  Barbados Resort Monday morning, Dr Byer-Suckoo said she did not suspect any foul play.

“I do know that Mr McDowall was acting and the acting was for a defined period. That is as much as I know and that period has come to an end. He was acting for a defined period. You would normally get your paper saying you are acting from here to here, and as far as I know that is what was the case with Mr McDowall,” Dr Byer-Suckoo said.

“I don’t know anymore than that so I am not at liberty to say anymore. And I believe the right thing is being done in that he has sought a meeting with the Chief Personnel Officer, who once she has the details will meet with him, but as far as personal involvement or any mischief afoot, it doesn’t sound that way to me,” she stressed.

Dr Byer-Suckoo said she was also aware that the Chief Personnel Officer was doing her “research” and would honour the NUPW’s request for a meeting to discuss the situation.

6 Responses to Byer-Suckoo reacts to union president’s demotion

  1. Tony Webster October 25, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Ahhh….I can smell the delicious aroma of the coffee….but shutes…the toast is burning. Reality T.V., Bajan style. Even the blind can see this one clearly.

    Stay strong, young man!

  2. Donild Trimp October 25, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Tony Webster, as you stated, “even the blind can see this one clearly” but the blind also know that an employee cannot be an activist against his or her employer especially if that employer is the Government.

  3. Caswell Franklyn October 25, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    The Minister must know by now that the information she supplied about the acting period coming to an end is untrue. She needs to come back and apologise for misleading the country. It would have been far better if she had said that she did not know than resorting to mislead. That denial only confirms that the demotion was instigated at a very senior level.

  4. Natalie Murray October 25, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    What does the Minister know – the Severance Payment Tribunal was a clerical error. This government has a record of this kind of behaviour.

    UDC workers going home
    George Edgehill
    Andrew Payne
    Peter Scott
    NCC workers
    NCF Board Secretary
    Clyde Cummins
    Mark Morris
    BIDC workers
    Let us see how much money the government will have to pay out!

    The List goes on and on…Let us see how much millions this gover

  5. Tony Webster October 25, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    @Donald: thank goodness that my dad explained to me the expression: “The thin edge of the wedge”.

  6. Tony Waterman October 25, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    @Caswell Franklyn!!! ” AS FAR AS I KNOW” that is what was the case with Mr McDowall,” Dr Byer-Suckoo said.

    wyh would you be asking the Minister to apologise after the way she worded that reply,

    It does not matter if it is true or not, that as she has said is as far as she is aware, NOT as far as she KNOWS.

    stop trying to inflame the situation and let Mr.McDowall handle it himself, he always seem to have a lot of Mouth, now is the time to use it.


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