Labour Minister reacts to strike threat

Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development,  Dr Esther Byer believes that the recent threat of a national strike by Barbados Workers Union (BWU) General Secretary Toni Moore, is aimed at finding a speedy resolution to the several labour issues engulfing the country.

In an interview with Barbados TODAY shortly after delivering the feature address at the opening of a Translation Bureau at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus this morning, Byer said while she understood Moore’s intentions, she didn’t think “things would come to that”.

However, she indicated that the BWU boss was simply playing to her strengths.

Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer
Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer

 “I know Ms Moore is trying to get some movement in those particular areas. She knows where her strengths are and where her clout is, so you have to play to your strength and I gather that’s what she was doing,” Byer explained.

“The strength of a union is to be able to say we can do this if we have to. Hopefully it won’t come to that. I know she listed the Customs guards as an area of concern and I know that has been dealt with, so certainly that is one less area that she has to concern herself with.

“Essentially I think what she has done is lit a fire under all of the stakeholders so that they would get moving on their commitments. She has to do that to be able to get the movement and if I were her I’d probably do the same thing . . . but I anticipate it shouldn’t come to that,” she added.

Byer said she clearly understood Moore’s frustration at the slow pace in which some of the negotiations were taking place.

However, she pointed out that one of those impasses, involving the union and the Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) had been transferred to her and would be dealt with as a matter of urgency.

The minister insisted: “BL&P is at me and I anticipate that we should see some movement in all of the different areas.

“I can’t give a time frame right now because as always, it depends on the availability of persons. In fact, I haven’t even seen the file yet. I’m told the Chief Labour Officer has said he sent it to me, but I now have to sit with him today and look at it, but it depends on availability and other things so I can’t say for sure.

“But it is a priority and we will deal with it as soon as everybody is able to sit down and get cracking,” Byer assured.

12 Responses to Labour Minister reacts to strike threat

  1. Thomas Katt
    Thomas Katt May 28, 2015 at 8:38 am

    You’re just repeating what the PM said. Them just making noise. My quote, “but them in breaking up my night’s rest” Lol

  2. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole May 28, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Ms. Moore and Ms. Byer are definitely not the same page with regards to resolving this matter on the labor disputes. On one hand Ms. Byer claims that sees this matter as a priority but yet has not found the time to resolve it but can amicably speak about it to all who will listen. It is on her list of things to do. On the other hand Ms. Moore has a matter that is frustrating her to the extent that it is a severity, a critical issue that must be resolved with urgency. Until she can communicate this severity nothing will change. My advice would be to strike because she is talking to a closed vessel. If the Minister had understood the severity of the matter she would not be waiting for a file and a meeting. She would have cleared her schedule and spent every waking moment working to find a solution. This has not been the case. We have a problem of priority versus severity.

    • wayne.dread May 28, 2015 at 12:18 pm

      I wonder what is the real strength in the labour movement in barbados, when most of the issues has to be forwarded to the ministry, My greatest passion is organized labour, but that is what appears to be the issue here, the movement is not organized. .. too many arms and no working head. At least 5 unions representing public service workers,

  3. Angus B Post
    Angus B Post May 28, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Dis woman contradicts herself at every turn in this àrticle. …skitso

  4. Mac10 May 28, 2015 at 10:17 am

    ….I haven’t even seen the file yet. I’m told the Chief Labour Officer has said he sent it to me, but I now have to sit with him today and look at it……

    That’s the biggest problem with regard to getting anything done in Barbados, the people who are supposed to deal with things are never given the paperwork by the staff lower down the ladder who don’t care about dong the job properly.

  5. Gavin Dawson
    Gavin Dawson May 28, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    What is wrong with the unions of Barbados ?prove Stuart &minister of labour wrong, they are just in fits of laughter at you the Union & the people of Barbados , also what are the other islands thinking about the union and it’s people of BARBADOS ? Insult after insult is that what every one wants?????? Because that is what this GOV: is doing to YOU.

    • Colette Felix
      Colette Felix May 28, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      Amen to that,as far as I an concern the unions seem more interested in politicians than the people they represent

    • Gavin Dawson
      Gavin Dawson May 28, 2015 at 5:33 pm

      Colette Felix, of course the unions are in interested and in fear of the politicians, any other country would be making their Govts: take notice , but not in Barbados the politicians say jump and the unions do just that and say SORRY.

  6. zeus May 28, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Heather Cole I ask you again can you please explain or expose the reasons why customs should strike stop keeping it a secret

  7. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce May 28, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    ‘I know Ms Moore is trying to get some movement in those particular areas’ yeh a good dose of castor oil followed by epsoms salts to flush wanna out of office.

  8. jr May 28, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Yes @ Colette Felix, that’s the major problem ,which the people of Barbados is anchored to. This issue for decades union leaders sucking up to certain politicians, and as you say , they working for the interest of some people and not in the interest of the people(they members).
    The labour minister, reminds me of a pastor living down my street, when he speaks to you , his phrase and the bible said ,god says this and that, ( labour minister and priminister) ask the pastor what he would do with any issue which needs attention, leave it in the hands of god. so amen lets all pray.
    We cannot recall from history, because most bajans have forgotten ,where we came from.

  9. dave May 29, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Dennis Clarke , Walter Maloney and Sir Leroy have a lot of explaining to do to the workers of this country. How does Dennis Clarke feel about his tenure , for example ?


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