300 jobs saved

24-01 Page 3The Barbados Workers Union and

the Barbados Water Authority have

agreed in principle on proposals that will

save the jobs of 300 employees.

Union general secretary Sir Roy

Trotman informed reporters this

afternoon that details were still

being negotiated with management

of the BWA.

However, Sir Roy said while

management still had a few reservations

about some aspects of the union

proposals, they were “onboard” and

would continue discussions so as

to achieve a final conclusion.

In a news briefing immediately

following a general meeting with the

workers at its Solidarity House

headquarters, the BWU boss disclosed

that the proposals, which will result

in greater efficiencies, include the

introduction of a two-shift system, the

surrendering by workers of double

time pay, and management and board

members cutting meal allowances.

“We will have final decisions later on,

but the immediate benefit out of all this, will be greater levels

of efficiency. From the worker point of view, the immediate

benefits will be, a position where, the national demand which

there was for persons to lose employment, some 300 or so,

at the Water Authority, our expectation is that nobody will

be going,” assured the veteran trade union leader.

He sees the implementation of these proposals as “very”

positive for Barbados, and suggested that they could be

a possible template for others to consider.

Sir Roy said the agreement would mean a fresh work ethic

for Water Authority employees.

“We are ready to surrender the demand for double

time on Sundays and Saturdays and that will be a significant

give-back on the workers’ side, but our position is, that it’s

something on which we had tended to reach an agreement;

we committed ourselves to it, about 15 years ago,” stated the

BWU general secretary.

He noted that during this period, the authority was not

ready with certain conditionalities which the union had put

forward. “Now 15 years later, they are telling us that they

are ready. And so we are quite happy that we will be able to

meet those kinds of demands and we will be looking, as well,

at having a two-shift system, so that some of the work can be

done, not merely between 7 [am] and 4 [pm], but between 7,

and say, 11 at night”.

“So we”, he declared, “are looking very, very positively at

uplifting, at the level of the Water Authority, and that

will be a step forward for how our work might be looked

in the future, elsewhere.”

Sir Roy said the aim of the two shift system includes

creating higher levels of efficiency and productivity and to have

a swifter response to the demands of the public.

He told reporters that the workers voted

unanimously to support the union’s submission

that over time be cut in an effort to save their jobs and “make

Barbados more productive”.

Sir Roy pointed out that unlike in the past when, as he

claimed, when management failed to take on the workers’

complaints or proposals for greater efficiencies and

productivity, he hope a team effort this time, would turn

things around.

“Our colleagues today have received our report and they

are all in favour. They have some questions marks regarding

some other areas of weakness that they are and we are under

instructions to continue to having talks as to how to make the

overall relationship better in the interest of the country as a

whole. But we are onboard,” asserted the BWU leader. (EJ)

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