Let me speak

 

Veteran trade unionist Senator Sir Roy Trotman will not be silenced.

The Barbados Workers Union General Secretary vowed today that the only way he would be kept quiet was through force.

Addressing hundreds of workers gathered at Browne’s Beach for May Day celebrations, Sir Roy lashed out at people he said had climbed to success on the backs of labour leaders but were now treating working class Barbadians with scorn, individuals condoning modern day slavery in the workplace, and some trade union colleagues who wanted to trample on the BWU’s success.

“I say so because it is so and because I say so there are those who would want to silence me, but I say that my voice will not be silenced unless it is silence forcibly,” he asserted. Hinting at a current dispute that had seen the BWU withdraw from the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados and related it to organisations generally, he also criticised “decisions being made by one or two in private little places on behalf of the whole body and being sold to the public as decisions of the entire organisation”.

“Let us not be arbitrary when we are dealing with the lives and the well being of hundreds of thousands of people…the trade union movement is a movement of protest and when you protest there are people who would oppose you. They would not oppose you necessarily because they don’t agree with what you are saying, they will oppose you because you have dared to speak your protest and they did not have the guts to do it and very often that is a problem,” told an audience including Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, and representatives from the private sector.

He had a problem with people who climbed the ladder of success but chose to kick it down so no one else in difficult circumstances these individuals were previously in could follow.

“There is a body of people in Barbados today who have come from the same working class that those of you who marched today have come from. Indeed they have come from the sugar cane fields and their parents relied significantly on the work done by Grantley Herbert Adams and by Frank Leslie Walcott and they have been able to reach where they are today because of those trade union leaders,” he said.

Hypocrites

“Today God has blessed them … and because they have that material advantage they want to tell you that you should not struggle. I tell you to tell those people that they are hypocrites and that they will be judged for the hypocrites who they are. “So less we forget, let us remember that May Day reminds us of where we have come from and I want to remind you who will hear me that the labour movement was started as a protest movement, …the labour movement was formed out of struggle, struggle against slavery in whatever form you chose to see it, including present day slavery,” he added. Sir Roy also pointed to “people who do not control their own passports”, saying he was aware of “people who are afraid to speak out at their work places and I tell you they are working in conditions no better than slavery in 2013”. The trade union boss reminded the crowd that his union has always been in the vanguard of the representation of the island’s workers, and he wondered why the organisation should now be embroiled in the area of representation at this stage of its existence. Noting that a lot of people had come to the celebrations to hear him speak on issues related to CTUSAB, he said, “I want to tell you and tell you clearly, what has been the history of labour management relations in Barbados and at the international level and it does not have to do with the person of Leroy Trotman. It has to do with establishing systems.” He reminded the crowd present that the BWU went to the International Labour Organisation conference in Geneva not as a privilege, but as a right because it represented those workers who are at the base of the working class of the country. He argued that since the BWU had attended most of the earlier meetings that right could not be taken away without the agreement of the group.

“Today God has blessed them … and because they have that material advantage they want to tell you that you should not struggle. I tell you to tell those people that they are hypocrites and that they will be judged for the hypocrites who they are. “So less we forget, let us remember that May Day reminds us of where we have come from and I want to remind you who will hear me that the labour movement was started as a protest movement, …the labour movement was formed out of struggle, struggle against slavery in whatever form you chose to see it, including present day slavery,” he added. Sir Roy also pointed to “people who do not control their own passports”, saying he was aware of “people who are afraid to speak out at their work places and I tell you they are working in conditions no better than slavery in 2013”. The trade union boss reminded the crowd that his union has always been in the vanguard of the representation of the island’s workers, and he wondered why the organisation should now be embroiled in the area of representation at this stage of its existence. Noting that a lot of people had come to the celebrations to hear him speak on issues related to CTUSAB, he said, “I want to tell you and tell you clearly, what has been the history of labour management relations in Barbados and at the international level and it does not have to do with the person of Leroy Trotman. It has to do with establishing systems.” He reminded the crowd present that the BWU went to the International Labour Organisation conference in Geneva not as a privilege, but as a right because it represented those workers who are at the base of the working class of the country. He argued that since the BWU had attended most of the earlier meetings that right could not be taken away without the agreement of the group.

2 Responses to Let me speak

  1. Fiona Waldron May 2, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    That Sir Roy’s would dare to liken his role in an ILO delegation to rape is disrespectful, insensitive and a poor reflection on his character. I have news for you Sir Roy, we can all see that these tirades are about your bruised ego. I am sick and tired of these public figures who assume that it is all about them.

    Reply
  2. Fiona Waldron May 2, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    That Sir Roy would dare to liken his exclusion from an ILO delegation to rape is disrespectful, insensitive and a poor reflection on his character. I have news for you Sir Roy, we can all see that these tirades are about your bruised ego. I am sick and tired of these public figures who assume that it is all about them.

    Reply

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