It appears the month-end deadline Government has set to

have its retrenchment programme started could be nothing

more than a pipe dream.

This as one union involved in the process reports that it

has not yet received any word or promised documentation

from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart on the how the process

will be conducted or who exactly will be affected.

General secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union

(BWU), Sir Roy Trotman, told Barbados TODAY

yesterday that by his understanding, the timetable outlined by

the Prime Minister was an absolute and the BWU would not

be pushed into any tight position on the matter.

“I can’t be pushed into a position where I speak about

absolutes because the only thing that is absolute is death, and

we are still in the business of negotiating. We are still in the

business of trying to find alternatives, and even if you want

to commence a process, then you can’t push a position to

the other side which forces you into a box from which you

can’t move. If you can’t move you can’t negotiate, and if you

can’t negotiate you can’t do the best you want to do for the


“So, yes . . . the Government has timelines and we respect

the timelines, but I have never heard anybody say to me, and I

have not agreed with anybody, that there is any absoluteness,

any rigidity that is cast in marble that can’t be varied in any of

these things.

“We are talking, we are going to make adjustments . . . as

they can be made, and both sides, or everybody in this case

has to be looking to doing the best we can, including doing it

as quickly as we can,” the union head said, while at pains to

point out that he had much respect for the Prime Minister’s

position on the January 31 date.

Sir Roy was speaking after attending the BWU’s executive

council’s annual church service at the St Philip the Less

Anglican Church in Boscobel, St Peter, where he made it

clear the union was not fighting anyone who had set the end

of the month as a target.

“That is fair as a proposal and we are very desirous of

wanting to make sure that we don’t compromise the overall

objectives, because we, everybody in Barbados, recognize that

we have a crisis.

“But because you have a crisis you can’t bludgeon your

way through the solution.

“We are not going to sit down and push it back like

everybody feels because it is not in the interest of the

country to do so, but if we have got suggestions and we are

working them through the day –– 30th or 31st of January

cannot be held against us, particularly since we don’t have

the working material as we speak and today is the 19th of

January,” he stated.

Outlining the next step for the BWU, Sir Roy explained

that the union would now have to await word from “the

powers that be” and the various statutory boards.

“The statutory boards will put their positions to us, in our

case to the Barbados Workers Union, and we will endeavour

to meet as soon as they want, day or night. As we meet, we

will bring an open mind and we will put Barbados first, as

we have always been doing throughout these years. We are

not going to be guided by any interest group other than the

interest of the working class.” (RG)

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