Sugar strike escalation on pause

DSCN9548The Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) tonight announced a pause on escalating the six-day strike by Portvale Sugar Factory workers.

Speaking to reporters at the end of nearly eight hours of separate talks involving the Barbados Agricultural Management Company, chaired by Minister of Labour, Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo, BWU General Secretary, Sir Roy Trotman said he would respect the efforts of the minister to resolve the dispute, before possible extension of the industrial action to other sectors.

The Labour Minister is hoping for a settlement of the impasse by the end of a final round of negotiations tomorrow.  And according to the union boss, if a resolution is not reached by then, an escalation in the strike would then be back on the table.

Sir Roy told reporters that the apology the BWU is demanding from the BAMC over the manner in which it laid off 57 workers from Andrews Sugar Factory just over a week ago, remained high on its agenda now, and would be so for all other employers who “disrespected” the consultative process.

The union is also demanding enhanced severance packages for the retrenched workers.

Both Sir Roy and Dr. Byer-Suckoo believed progress had been made in the talks, but the minister noted that a number of challenges had to be overcome first, before a resolution could be reached.

Without going into details, she said tonight that the issue of the apology must be thoroughly clarified before a determination was made, one way or the other.

“If there is an apology, then what…and if there is no apology, what?” Byer-Suckoo asked.

She also expressed concern about the state of the sugar canes already reaped and waiting to be processed, those still in the fields to be harvested and the losses being incurred to the workers across the industry while the strike continued.

Asked about the fact that the union would be blamed for the deterioration of the crop and its losses, the BWU boss replied that whenever a low-income worker took action to protect their rights, they were blamed, while other professionals who stayed away from their job, were seldom criticized.

5 Responses to Sugar strike escalation on pause

  1. Wayne T Griffith
    Wayne T Griffith April 16, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Predictable. Same script different situation

  2. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder April 16, 2014 at 1:12 am

    An too think sugar cane build this Nation boy we gone too the dogs…

  3. Robert Holloway
    Robert Holloway April 16, 2014 at 3:26 am

    Why a year to settle a known situation boggles ones mind… people need to bring home money,, please resolve

  4. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce April 16, 2014 at 3:38 am

    It’s about time the old boys step down, get off the Magic Roundabout. They are going around in circles clueless with Mr Rusty and Old Mr McHenry and Co who are incapable to come to some form of agreement or tell the workers the Truth ” there is no money available to pay wages.” Move over and let the younger generation have an input or come up with some good ideas that can be put in place. If they all work in unity and as a team they will be able to solve any teething problems that occur. This problem can be solved straight away. Cane cutting should be done by persistent criminal offenders supervised by Law abiding Officers/ Wardens let them put something back into the community, after all they get three square meals a day, free boarding, free health care and education at the cost of the tax payers.

  5. dd smith April 16, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    A compromising settlement, is required, they are not going to be any winners. I think the unions waited too long to achieve anything from the industry. The industry was in a mess for such a long time now. Our leaders and people in Barbados must wake up, or else we may have to send our sugar cane across the sea to be processed. Eventually we will have nothing left in bimshire.Factory after factory closed in Barbados until we end up with port vale on the west coast, how real profitable could it be to transport canes to that factory. We need to find our own top management, selecting from our island, all bajans are doing is waiting and praying.


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