Kellman: NUPW march a power play

The National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) march planned for tomorrow is nothing more than a “showpiece” and a power play by a union leader who wants to impress members.

Minister of Housing and Lands Denis Kellman expressed that view when he addressed members of the Democratic Labour Party’s St James branch meeting last night, hinting that the NUPW’s Acting General Secretary Roslyn Smith is seeking to assert herself by leading members on a march to protest the delay in the Employment Rights Tribunal hearing the case of retrenched National Conservation Commission (NCC) workers.

Minister of Housing and Lands Denis Kellman
Minister of Housing and Lands Denis Kellman

“Don’t worry too much about that. That is only somebody trying hard to get the position and they have to show that they are stronger than somebody else . . . ,” Kellman told those gathered at the Weston Community Centre, St James.

Smith took up the top post at the NUPW late last year after Dennis Clarke went on pre-retirement leave.

However, she dismissed Kellman’s comments, saying they were “in poor taste at this point in time”.

Roslyn Smith
Roslyn Smith

“I don’t need to solidify myself with a march, as a veteran trade unionist of 42 years,” she told Barbados TODAY.

“Industrial relations from time to time call for protest action and this action is no different from any other protest action that would have been taken over the years. I cannot take it on my own to ratify a march. The council did so and I am carrying it out as an employee of the union . . . So I totally disagree with Mr Kellman’s assessment or understanding of it.”

While Prime Minister Freundel Stuart referred the retrenchment of nearly 200 NCC workers to the tribunal shortly after the workers were sent on the breadline last April it has yet to meet.

Eight of the nine members resigned last month. The unions and employers’ body are in the process of confirming their representatives for a newly constituted tribunal.

“I know for sure, if this new [tribunal] does not act, the same thing that happened to the old one will happen to that too. We will have to find some new people willing to act,” Kellman said last night.


6 Responses to Kellman: NUPW march a power play

  1. Margaret Lorde
    Margaret Lorde January 13, 2015 at 12:16 am


  2. Tony Webster January 13, 2015 at 6:13 am

    @Margaret..sweet…tooo sweet lady! Much more delicate than my own “loose cannon” diagnosis of Kelly’s idiosyncrasies. Here’s your carton of duct tape. Good Luck. BTW, on really close inspection, you might be amazed to discover the only breathing bajan…whose mouth…controls his brain.

  3. seagul January 13, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Rebellion will follow if it is not understood that full pursuit of independence and equality is needed. The DLP people will govern as the BLP people govern because Barbados has no integrity standards or laws to deter the corruption of those who govern.

  4. Patricia Bowen January 13, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Really! Really Kellman! Sagicor and now this. Why would you take the negatives out of the gutter to boldly present them as your defining moment in the public domain. Really. It’s an embarrassment zip it. Just zip it.

  5. Donna January 13, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    During the little interaction I had with Ms. Smith as a member of the union she recounted to me a story of a troublesome coworker of mine who really needed to be fired. She said that she wished the statutory corporation for which we worked would just follow the right procedures as she was tired of representing him in his foolishness. She had even warned him to stop with his foolishness, she told me. Dennis Clarke also warned us at a meeting that we needed to do the government’s work because contrary to what people thought, we could be fired if the right procedures were followed. Come on, Mr. Kellman! Unions are not the enemy! They are representing their workers and doing their job. They would have less work if you people did your job!

  6. Patricia Bowen January 13, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Really! Really Kellman? Sagicor and now this? Why must you bend low to retrieve the negatives and stand tall just to release them without care or thought. what has happened to respect.


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