Strike not in country’s best interest, says PM

Freundell_Stuart
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart doesn’t believe a national strike is the best action to take at this time

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has warned the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) against putting the island into “reverse gear” by having a national strike on Monday.

The NUPW is planning industrial action, over failure by the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) to accede to the union’s demands to withdraw termination letters issued to 10 employees over age 60.

Efforts to reach an amicable solution through talks between Industry Minister Donville Inniss and the NUPW proved futile after the meeting ended in a stalemate.

But commenting publicly on the impasse for the first time last night, Stuart highlighted the country’s current economic challenges, noting that a strike “would not be the best way of promoting the long, medium or short-term interest of thousands of workers across Barbados.”

“I think that wisdom prescribes, and maturity demands that we try to exhaust all of the remedies at our disposal and aim to resolve our differences without a resort to any mechanism that could result in the reversal of the gains which we have been making on the national economic front,” Stuart said

Referring to his address to trade unions in May, the Prime Minister also told reporters that while trade unions have the right to represent their members, they need to put the national interest first.

“It was my firmly held conviction that the trade unions in Barbados are responsible organisations, and that if the stage is reached where the national interest becomes the central issue, the trade unions of Barbados have always been able to, or could always be counted on to put the national interest first.”

He also defended his silence on the matter thus far, stating his intervention had not been sought on the impasse between the BIDC and the NUPW.

“The matter has not been referred to me. My intervention has not been requested or invoked. When I spoke to the Minister of Labour on the matter her intervention was not invoked; the intervention of the Chief Labour Officer was not invoked according to what the Minister of Labour told me.

“So I do not know, there’s no evidence available to me that all of our procedures, all of our accepted procedures have failed or have broken down, and that the only resort left for the union is to call a national strike,” Stuart said.

He added however, that he is ready to address the issue if it is referred to him.

Yesterday Labour Minister Esther Byer stated that protest action would not solve the matter, and called for more dialogue in an effort to reach a resolution.

Minister of Industry Donville Inniss also said yesterday that he would not allow threats of industrial action to distract him from running his ministry.

9 Responses to Strike not in country’s best interest, says PM

  1. Patrick Blackman July 5, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Even though I am not a support of your government, on this occasion your are absolutely right Mr. Prime Minister. Its about maturity or lack thereof.

    ” a strike would not be the best way of promoting the long, medium or short-term interest of thousands of workers across Barbados.” – words of wisdom sir…

    Reply
  2. Alwin Ellis
    Alwin Ellis July 5, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Pray tell us Mr Prime Minister what is good for this country,cause nothing and I repeat nothing you have done is not in our best interest.The poor have been made even more poorer why DEM friends,family and partners have gone super rich

    Reply
  3. Patrick Blackman July 5, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    should be “supporter” and “this occasion your” should be “this occasion you are”

    Reply
  4. villager. July 5, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    It is so sad that a lack of maturity ha sled this union and all of the others down such a sad road, from the outset i saw that this young man was misguided and clearly was ill advised,the unfortunate thing also is the blatant fact that the more experienced persons in his organization seemed to have thrown all sense of reason through the window,and this is clear from the mouthings of one of their operatives on today’s episode of down to brass tacks,what now has me confused is the latest statement that is no longer a shutdown or a strike but a demonstration,hmm, have you all now realized that the folly of your actions might not be gaining the support you anticipated?When all is said and done some of you are going to be casualties of your own actions,like haman in biblical times who built the gallows intended to hang other persons but the said gallows hung him.

    Reply
  5. Patrick Blackman July 5, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    @villager – “this is clear from the mouthings of one of their operatives on today’s episode of down to brass tacks,what now has me confused is the latest statement that is no longer a shutdown or a strike but a demonstration,hmm, have you all now realized that the folly of your actions might not be gaining the support you anticipated?”

    I certainly tend to agree with you on this, the “action” is just stupid, plain and simple, stupid.

    Reply
  6. Winston Arthur Trechane July 5, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Shift the axis of your spewing Freundel.

    ““I think that wisdom prescribes, and maturity demands that we try to exhaust all of the remedies at our disposal and aim to resolve our differences without a RESORT to any mechanism that could result in the reversal of the gains which we have been making on the national economic front,” Stuart said.”

    What gains and where were the employed in the people’s direct benefit?

    “It was my firmly held conviction that the trade unions in Barbados are responsible organisations, and that if the stage is reached where the national interest becomes the central issue, the trade unions of Barbados have always been able to, or could always be counted on to put the national interest first.”

    So what? You know for sure now that it isn’t going to happen? That’s why it “WAS” your firmly held conviction of incompetence.
    That monologue is no longer dialectic to the syndicalist mindset.

    “So I do not know, there’s no evidence available to me that all of our procedures, all of our accepted procedures have failed or have broken down, and that the only RESORT left for the union is to call a national strike,” Stuart said.

    You should have stopped at “… know,”.

    Reply
  7. Sandra basc July 5, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Our PM speaks. How very interesting. Maybe we can hear his wisdom and maturity with some solutions on other issues affecting the people of this country.

    Reply
  8. Sandra basc July 5, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    Mr Prime Minister why is there no offer of wisdom from you when the Teachers go on strike and deprive our children of the education they are entitled to. Are not our children the future of this children? How much help will they be to the growth of this country if they are not educated?

    I suggest to you that the Teachers’ strikes too put this island in “reverse gear”.

    Should there be the teacher’s’ annual strike come September 7 we look forward to hearing from you.

    Reply
  9. Depablo July 6, 2015 at 8:33 am

    It’s not the Union responsibility to call the PM for dialogue. Mr Innis said he aint budging and the Union held its position. Mr Innis should have informed the PM about the situation when he realized that the Union was threatening a demonstration or strike. Now on the eve of the Union’s action the PM is going to talk?

    If he thinks the demonstration will role back gains made by the country, then for the sake of the country PM… use your good office and have a meeting with both parties and resolve the impasse. Notice I said resolve and not refer to a commission of inquiry or a tribunal or some other crap suggestion that he normally recommends.

    Enough is Enough!!

    Reply

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