NUPW executive rubbishes charges

Treasurer of the National Union of Public Workers  (NUPW) Asokore Beckles is staying clear of recent allegations levelled by his colleague Joyann Inniss that some union officials were acting inappropriately on a number of issues

Last Friday, Inniss, the NUPW’s first Vice President told Barbados TODAY that she and some senior officers had been sidelined by the NUPW’s leadership, who she charged had also violated industrial relations protocols, and in some cases was simply ignorant of conventional norm.

Inniss made reference to Beckles, who on Thursday told Barbados TODAY it would be wise to appoint a special independent mediator to help speed up settlements in industrial disputes and avoid protests such as last week’s sickout at the Grantley Adams International Airport and the go-slow at both ports of entry.

Inniss suggested Beckles had no idea what he was talking about, making it clear there already were mechanisms in place for such mediation, including the Social Partnership of Government, labour unions and the private sector.

In response this afternoon Beckles told Barbados TODAY, “I prefer not to comment directly to those statements.”

He however rubbished the idea that any executive member was being sidelined.

“There are six elected executive members of the NUPW and close to 50 council members who, like the rest of Barbados, have varying affiliations. It is therefore safe to say that the decisions of NUPW are not a reflection of the whims of one or two individuals.”

NUPW President Akanni McDowall has indicated that Inniss’ latest public utterances would be discussed by the National Council.





24 Responses to NUPW executive rubbishes charges

  1. Loretta Griffith November 27, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    What unity is this? Does not speak well about the integrity of the union.

  2. Sherlock Holmes. November 27, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    No wonder you were rejected in your political bid,both you and the entitlement president are slowly but surely destroying this union and the only victims in this fiasco will be the workers.

  3. Geoff Small November 27, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    As Ms. Inniss has suggested, if these mechanisms are in place, the process should be followed. She seems to have a good understanding of how an Industrial Relations System should work.

    At some point, the Government will not tolerate the union behaviour, especially in a downturn economy. The immaturity of the union leaders is overwhelming.

    Two pieces of legislation that would be helpful to the government and Barbadians are as follows:
    No strikes or lock-outs during the term of a contract and back to work legislation. One wonders at this time who is governing Barbados.

  4. Sue Donym November 27, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Is Asokore Beckles Vice President or General Treasurer of the NUPW? Is anything recorded at the NUPW, be it duties and responsibilities, minutes of meetings, IR procedures? How can they hope to be taken seriously as agents for thousands when they can’t quell internal squabbles? Then again, where would we get our entertainment if they just talked with each other civilly? Wow!

  5. Romeo Crowell November 27, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    Let me first start by saying unions play an extremely important role in the process of healthy employment relations.
    However, I am very disappointed with the manner in which the NUPW is handling this situation and some others. Firstly I was shocked to find out that Mr. McDowall was on the state’s payroll, the way he has behaved and the proclamations I have heard from him over the last year I would never have believed he is a Government employee, further more an acting senior officer.
    His attitude would not be accepted by any employer private our public in any country that I know of but Barbados.

    His diplomacy is extremely lacking and I hope someone takes this passionate but immature chap under their wings and mentor him before he causes more harm than good to this country.
    Yes ! The Government needs to be pressed on some occasions to achieve your goal as a union advocate but he is out of order.

  6. Hal Austin November 28, 2016 at 3:26 am

    The union is wrong, is led by inexperienced people confronting a passive and incompetent government and the situation is made worse by bad reporting and sub-editing.
    In the first paragraph we are told Mr Beckles is the vice-president, by the third paragraph he has become the general treasurer.
    Which is it? Barbadian journalism is badly in need of improvement. I am sure fans will say they are the best journalists in the world.

  7. Loretta Griffith November 28, 2016 at 5:05 am

    The same three who are jet setting here, there and every where are the same ones leading the so-called march.

  8. Zeus November 28, 2016 at 6:38 am

    Hal Austin who are you to determine when a government is competent or not …where you reside is that government competent ….can you name a country which is run by a competent government if you can do so the opposition in that country will say otherwise … the way have you ever faced the electorate and ran for a ministerial post where you reside because I can’t recall your name surfacing here in sweet Barbados in any significant way

  9. Phil November 28, 2016 at 7:39 am

    zeus, everyone is subjected to his or her opinion. It is insolent of you to ask if Mr. Austin if he ever faced the electorate. Tells us clearly you probably did. Kindly be reminded that this is a democracy and if you show respect, you’ll get respect. Partisan politics unfortunately has destroyed Barbados. To BT reporters, please get your facts correct before rushing to your electronic elucidation.

  10. Hal Austin November 28, 2016 at 7:48 am

    I have never faced an electorate. The nearest I have been was being asked by the British Labour party at the age of 21 to be a local councillor. Of course, I refused.
    My claim of government incompetence is based on the party’s policies, or lack there of, over eight years.
    My interest in Barbados is obvious. I could not care if the Australian government is competent or not. By the way, ministers are not elected, but appointed.
    Does that make you happy.

  11. Zeus November 28, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Hey Phil don’t I have an opinion also, it don’t seem that way to me ….at no time did I gave an opinion on how I feel about the government nor did I say I am for or against but it look like you have a crystal ball but you know what’s amazing is that they are persons who leave this beautiful country and takes up residence elsewhere an all of a sudden believe they know more about running this country affairs

  12. Hal Austin November 28, 2016 at 11:08 am

    In case you do not understand, people like me do not ‘suddenly’ believe we can run the country better than this shower in power. We know we can.
    It would be better playing the ball and not the man. Ideas are important, not personalities, although some Barbadians cannot help but attack personalities.
    For eight years the DLP has been running the country through economically turbulent times. They could and should have done better.
    Before that the BLP ran things for 14 years, they too should have done better.
    I express views about macro-economic and social policies and occasionally about what we call socio-legal and trade union and industrial relations issues or journalism. And, as a citizen, I talk about our democracy.
    It seems to get you and others worked up. Do what I do: stop hiding behind a nom de plume, express your views as a free man (you are a man, I presume) and thank Heavens that you are alive.

  13. Zeus November 28, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Here we go again with your views and coming over as though your ideas are a perfect fit for all….. All what you said were hindsight opinions…. Can you predict the future of the British economy in the next five years or what type of President Trump would eventually become….. The reason why Mr Arthur was in power for 14 years was that the majority of bajans kept him there because they were satisfied with what he was doing…. Mr sandford was rated the worst PM over over the years that opinion changed…. It’s easy for you to sit there and talk about could have done better…. By the way when you play the man he makes mistakes the ball don’t make mistakes

  14. jrsmith November 28, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    @,Hal, A hail, hail , on the button well said, 3 decades of pure failure , a sewage plant hasn’t work as should for 15 years , failure to upgrade and service our infrastructure , a non productive top heavy political infrastructure for such a small island.. politicians who consider themselves as untouchables answering to no one , who seems not to understand why they are called government ministers ……
    These are people who engages themselves , because of no challenge from a very sound manufacturing base of religious organization and a 1% of people with no political interest at all other than moving their profits one way out of our island…..

    I wonder how many bajans driving on our motorway, stop and ponder why the chain is not linked anymore ……………..

  15. Hal Austin November 28, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Plse join the free market of ideas. By the way, objectively, Barbados has been economically mismanaged for 50 yrs.

  16. Antionette Sealy November 28, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Time for Action Mr. Prime Minister

    Mrs. Toni Moore in Today”s edition  (28th November) of the Nation Newspaper is quoted as saying that the Barbados Trade Unions are ready to take a stand if their requests for a meeting to discuss the employment status of National Union of Public Workers president were not met. However Barbados Today in an earlier edition quoted Ms. Joyann. Inniss , Vice President of the NUPW as follows,   ” She and some senior officers had been sidelined by the NUPW’s leadership, who she charged had also violated industrial relations protocols, and in some cases was simply ignorant of conventional norm. Inniss made reference to General Treasurer Asokore Beckles, who on Thursday told Barbados TODAY it would be wise to appoint a special independent mediator to help speed up settlements in industrial disputes and avoid protests such as last week’s sickout at the Grantley Adams International Airport and the go-slow at both ports of entry.
    Inniss suggested Beckles had no idea what he was talking about, making it clear there already were mechanisms in place for such mediation, including the Social Partnership of Government, labour unions and the private sector.

    Why is Mrs. Moore poking her nose in something that does not involve her union ? It is obvious that the NUPW is divided on the Mc.Dowall issue.  Reverting to a substantive post is a norm in every place of employment where an individual acts in a senior post. Civil Servants have been accustomed t this course of action for decades. Mr. Elsworth Young highlighted the fact that Mr. Mc. Dowall is a Civil Servant first and a Union President second. Does Mrs. Moore want to tell the PAD how to do their work?

    It is time that Babados legislate labour laws similar to the ones in England which read in part quote

    Calling industrial action
    Industrial action happens when trade union members are in a dispute with their employers that can’t be solved through negotiations.

    A trade union can only call for industrial action if a majority of its members involved support it in a properly organised postal vote – called a ‘ballot’.

    Before organising a ballot, a union must decide which members affected by a dispute it wants to ask to take industrial action. It must tell all members entitled to vote and the employer what the ballot results were.

    A trade union calls industrial action by telling members and the employer when and how this action will be taken. This should be done by a trade union official or committee that has the legal right to do so. Your voting paper must have said who this is.

    Taking part in industrial action – your rights
    If you’re a trade union member, you have the right to vote before your union asks you to take industrial action. You don’t have to take part in industrial action and can’t be disciplined by your union if you don’t.

    If you do get excluded or expelled from your union, you can complain to an employment tribunal.

    Secondary action
    It’s against the law to take part in ‘secondary action’ (going on strike in sympathy with people who work for a different employer).

    Mr. Prime Minister, the Unions can’t have their cake and eat it too. If they want to play hard ball, let them negotiate with an industrial court.

  17. Carson C Cadogan November 28, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Which part of the “NUPW executive rubbishes charges”?

    The part which hold confidential meetings and shuts out the other part or the part which is kept in the dark about everything which the NUPW upper class does?

  18. RC November 28, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    It is time that the Government takes a solid stance against the immature, impulsive, arrogant, unthinking, ununified, unpatriotic, self-destructing bent, demoralising Union Leaders before they destroy our beautiful Country.

  19. Greengiant November 28, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Sadly the workers are pawns for an aggrieved union leader and a Labour leadership who has a point to prove against a vulnerable government.

    We had a situation where over 200 workers were made redundant in circumstances where agreed labor protocols were breached, there was no go slow or port disruption on their behalf. They had to await a decision of the Employment Rights Tribunal that took two years because this was the perfect test case for the trade union movement.

    Now another employee, a union president is returned to a post for which he is appointed and the workers are suddenly asked to go slow, picket and the lot. Is this really about their wages negotiation? Have the the said NUPW paid any of the workers money they gave back to the government under the bargaining table without the workers approval?

    Honestly this is about pressuring the government to return Mr. McDowell to the acting position. The unions has other options to this matter though, they can approach the supreme court to have a stay placed on the appointment of an officer to the post pending the outcome of any meeting regarding the matter, or they can take it to the said tribunal that gave justice to the NCC workers though that too may be a two year wait.

    I wish all Barbados can see that the actions of the union at this time is nothing short of a dangerous, devious and evil plot to undermine the government, embarrassing the said people they claim to represent and destroy the the country’s potential to earn much revenue that will go towards paying the same members they are now pawning in a chess game they can’t win. There will be no winners.

  20. Antionette Sealy November 28, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    This is a threat which Toni Moore of the BWU made to Mr. McDowall’s employer on 25th Oct.

    THE HEAD of the Barbados Workers Union Toni Moore has stepped in to defend President of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Akanni McDowall and is requesting a meeting with the Chief Personnel Officer of the Personnel Division.
    McDowall was recently removed from his senior position of Acting Health Planning Officer 1 to his substantive post of Environmental Health Assistant 1.
    In a letter dated October 21, Moore reminded the Chief of one of Barbados’ intense industrial relations battles back in 1981, where the entire country was shut down by the BWU for one employee.

     Ends quote

    Is Mrs. Moore telling the CPO that Mc Dowall the Civil Servant cannot return to his substantive post because he is head of her sister Union , NUPW . What kind of ignorance am I hearing? Trinidad and Tobago 40 years ago was shut down almost every day by similar threats and strikes. They took the bold step to set up an Industrial Court to hear cases of this nature and the industrial climate in Trinidad and Tobago has stabilized. It is time for one in Barbados.


    • Sherlock Holmes. December 1, 2016 at 4:35 am

      Toni Moore is just as arrogant as Mccdowal,as far as being as stupid as,that one is debatable.

  21. Meakai November 29, 2016 at 12:13 am

    Lest it be mistaken, Dems do not in fact have a monopoly on comments on this here site.
    Let them rant and rave for soon, the majority will jump and wave. Free at last, shall be the joyous cry, echoed by one and all loud and clear, near and far, across this once fair land.
    By George, they shall gather and the gnashing of teeth and baring of claws shall endureth for a night and a day and then another next night. For it was written somewhere or the other; by they deeds ye shall know DEM and by they words ye shall banish DEM.

    For any man that standeth in the path of the Union, standeth in the path of they that worketh and slaveth and shall not be forgotten on that day. IPod and IPads, Granley Barrow notwithstanding.

  22. Romeo Crowell November 29, 2016 at 1:06 am

    Meakai Sir I can not speak for the other contributors but this is not about BLP or DLP… this is a genuine concern for my country.
    Which Barbadian can be excited about a minster, union, entertainer etc. threatening to bring embarrassment to their county at the height of its 50th independence celebrations when the world is looking on. Tell me… are you a bajan ?

  23. Phil November 29, 2016 at 10:41 am

    I unfortunately read all these comments rwicw at that and I conclude that Barbados, in fifty years, has “grown” to become a truly politically polarized little island. Sad, really sad. It is politically unstable and that drives away investors. That will be followed by visitors. So be it written, so shall it be done.


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