No permission

Smith: Immigration looking to derail protest

The National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) is accusing the leadership of the Immigration Department of attempting to undermine the industrial relations process.

General Secretary Roslyn Smith Friday complained that the recently appointed Chief Immigration Officer Wayne Marshall, who took up the post on September 1, had denied a request for permission for officers to attend a union meeting.

NUPW President Akanni McDowall in discussion with General Secretary Roslyn Smith following this afternoon’s meeting.
NUPW President Akanni McDowall in discussion with General Secretary Roslyn Smith following Friday afternoon’s meeting.

“We had a meeting this afternoon with representatives of the immigration and the customs [departments]. We know that persons would have been pre-empted from coming to the meeting.

“We had written for permission which they [Immigration Department] did not give, but we still had representation from Immigration who came to the meeting,” Smith told Barbados TODAY.

The NUPW had called out its members in customs and immigration for a meeting at its Dalkeith Road headquarters Friday, to which only a handful of members responded.

Smith said the meeting was called to update customs and immigration officers on internal issues, as well as to bring them up to speed on the ongoing dispute with Government over the reversion of NUPW President Akanni McDowall to an entry level position.

Although the trade union leader did not reveal the numbers in attendance, one person who attended the talks told Barbados TODAY there were seven customs officers and four immigration officers in attendance.

“We were still able to listen to the grievances of both customs and immigration,” Smith said.

“The immigration was able to put a ten point layout of grievances, which we promised we would take into the Chief Immigration Officer. As you know Customs has ongoing issues with regards to a transition to BRA [Barbados Revenue Authority].”

The veteran trade unionist said the officers pledged their support to McDowall, and she confirmed that industrial action would begin tomorrow at the ports of entry in the form of a go slow.

Pressed to say how much pressure had been applied to its members over their participation in the ongoing industrial dispute, Smith said temporary workers were the most.

“There would have been pressure placed on the temporary persons, but be that as it may, the issues are real and we are satisfied with the commitment of the representatives. We even had a representative from the airport who have committed to the support of the cause. We have strong representatives throughout the public service,” Smith warned.

However, the NUPW General Secretary declined to confirm whether the unions had orchestrated protest action to coincide with the visit this month of Britain’s Prince Harry.

8 Responses to No permission

  1. Jai Khan
    Jai Khan November 11, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    And so what?? A political novice just won an election on Twitter and Instagram. It is time for the Union to get with the technology. Surely by now you know how to reach your membership and how to share relevant information with them

  2. RC November 12, 2016 at 7:47 am

    The Union cannot be serious to expect serious Officers to go on STRIKE at 2.00 p.m. on a Friday with approximately 15 Aircraft due at the Airport and several thousand visitors due at our Seaport. Also how can they call on our School Teachers to go on STRIKE during School hours and still expect the Government to pay the offenders?

  3. Patrick November 12, 2016 at 8:37 am

    I f Miss Smith wants to show that the NUPW is getting the support of customs and immigration just call the meeting on Sunday when most workers are free to attend.

  4. Coralita November 12, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Tired of these silly people.

    Members of the NUPW calling brasstacks every week saying they will not be supporting McDowall in this nonsense because when they were acting and were reverted to their substantive positions, the said union stated they could not do anything for them because they were acting the job was not theirs. They want to know if McDowall any different from them.

    These people need to go and find something worthwhile to do.

    As another blogger said in another section of the media, “McDowall has two jobs, some people don’t even have one.”

  5. Sue Donym November 12, 2016 at 11:22 am

    LOL! The union declares it will flex some muscle. Is it really surprising that the authorities decided to flex theirs?
    @Jai Khan, @RC, @Patrick, @Coralita have given NUPW good points to ponder. Your move!

  6. Kevin November 12, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Hold the meeting on a Saturday.

  7. Carson c Cadogan November 12, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Maybe someone can explain this to me.

    The customs and Immigration Dept. work S.L.O.W already. They are already very inefficient departments. On a good Customs day one has to wait a whole day to clear a simple barrel. Dont talk about the airport the complaints against Immigration officers and their tardiness are legendary. It is amazing that Tourists come to our shores and have to put up with our Immigration officers. They are surly in the best of times. They finger raped Shanique Myrie and the tax payers of Barbados had to pay Shanique tons of money.

    Business people in Barbados are always complaining about the sloth in the Customs Dept..

    So what go slow is Roslyn talking about?

  8. Hal Austin November 12, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    This is an ego-driven show of strength. Govt, not even Freundel’s, must not back down. What do airport workers and teachers got to do with the inflated ego of a union official. Govt should introduce emergency legislation and anyone who goes on strike should lose their jobs. And, if the unions call out all their members, call a general election and see who the vast majority of silent Barbadians support.


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