It’s madness

Franklyn blasts new Shop Act

General Secretary of the Unity Workers Union (UWU) Caswell Franklyn is fuming over the passage of the new Shop Act, describing it as “nasty”, “madness” and “fancy foolishness”, while accusing Government of trying to break up families and raise the rate of divorce.

In a stinging review of the legislation enacted last month and which provides for longer opening hours for retail businesses which previously operated from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Franklyn accused the Freundel Stuart administration of a sinister plot to take advantage of workers so businesses can increase their profit margins.

Minister of Industry and International Business Donville Inniss has promoted the new legislation as part of Government’s overall plan to transition to a 24-hour society, which will see more flexible working hours and working arrangements.

The Act makes provision for businesses to open 24 hours, beginning at 7:00 a.m. on Monday through to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

However, Franklyn told Barbados TODAY it would result in inconvenient working hours and reduced income for some category workers. Citing shop assistants as an example, he said they make as little as $250 a week and often depended on overtime pay to help supplement their income but would now lose this overtime pay.

“The Government is taking advantage of the workers and hiding it up. They have done nothing beneficial for shop assistants. The only thing they have done is to allow the owners of the businesses to save a little money because they won’t have to pay overtime as they would have in the past.

“No Government of Barbados who talks about they care about the workers, should do something as nasty as this and then turn around and big it up as a complete benefit. I don’t know what madness he is thinking about . . . They put a lot of fancy foolishness out there just to distract people.  This is nonsense. It is not beneficial to the vast majority of Barbadians. It does not make sense,” he contended.

Ranting about the unfairness of the Act, Franklyn questioned the administration’s commitment to family life, arguing it was a sure way to split families. He charged that the unusual hours would prevent families from spending “quality time” together. And he referred to a 30-year-old study to support his contention that the change could result in an increase in the number of divorces.

“All that’s going to do is to stop people from having quality time with their families.  And this is a Government that started talking about families first, now they want to break up families by having the breadwinners away from home while the children are sleeping. This is not well thought out.

“When I first came into the labour movement back in the 80s, there was a survey done that said divorces in Barbados were highest among policemen and nurses, the reason being they were working shifts, long hours away from home. So now you’re going to do the same thing to everybody else,” Franklyn charged.

He argued that Barbados was not a nine-to-five society since some supermarkets remained open as late as 10 p.m. and petrol stations operated for 24 hours, a practice he contended had been illegal until the passage of the new legislation.

“And these little grocery shops at the back of the gas stations, those have been operating contrary to law for years. All Government did was to allow them to operate legally by changing the law,”  Franklyn said.  

11 Responses to It’s madness

  1. Sue Donym December 18, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Mercy me! If divorce rates are already so high, it’s not because of this legislation.
    For many years, Bajan men have been known to be away from home all hours of the night gallivanting without pay, but now that the law will make it possible for them to get paid for nocturnal activity, that is a problem.

    How many stories were there of men complaining that the women made them get locked up for child support money knowing they were out of work? Well, here are more opportunities for work.

    This should certainly help to lower unemployment rates if more businesses are able to offer more positions and more shifts. This might even be a way to strengthen some families since forward thinking employers can offer employees more flexibility, allowing parents to choose hours that enable them to attend PTA meetings and take children to appointments as well as drop off and pick up children, giving them more family bonding time.

    I think if we are willing to look beyond the narrow, defiant approach, we might find many positives.

    • Donild Trimp December 18, 2015 at 6:19 pm

      Sue Donym, are you serious about what you wrote?

      Utter nonsense.

      • Sue Donym December 19, 2015 at 9:34 am

        Completely. Awaiting your wise assessment @Donald Trimp

        • Sue Donym December 19, 2015 at 9:35 am

          Apologies, Donild Trimp

  2. Wayne P Hoyte
    Wayne P Hoyte December 18, 2015 at 9:19 am

    It gives the businesses that option but will the all do it?

  3. Wayne P Hoyte
    Wayne P Hoyte December 18, 2015 at 9:21 am

    News flash MR Franklyn… a previous amendment to the act allow for retail operations to open from 7am to 10 pm. Only major retail operation (supermarkets mainly) run those hours.

  4. Alex Alleyne December 18, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Mr. Franklyn , you are hilarious. For eons men were leaving home at night or coming in late. Some go to Nelson Street or Bush Hill , others sit under a street light and play dominoes . While others park in a gap with the car trunk up and have a few beverages that are resting on the bonnet while listing to music with words of lustful love songs playing away. Others just hang-out and shoot the breeze.

  5. Caswell Franklyn December 18, 2015 at 2:05 pm


    That is your experience. I have never seen my father doing any of the things you mentioned and as a matter of fact neither have I. If you are from one of those dysfunctional families that is producing all the crime and mayhem do not extrapolate to the rest of the society. I was at home with my children at night and I am sure that there are many others who would prefer to be.

    Government should not be setting in place a system to hurt the poor just because a few well connected business people want to make extra money.

    Oh by the way, you are not being funny.

  6. jrsmith December 18, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Its no wonder why , trades unions are so dysfunctional in Barbados, and is treated like jokers, this is the most stupid speech flowing from a trade union general secretary. quality time with they families, bread winners away from home, the deceited is so typical of persons like him, he must tell us how many fathers is ever around to see they kids grow up.

    Bet you he will be caught some time or another sneaking out to the late opening businesses for something he is short of.

  7. Alex Alleyne December 18, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    And when Baxter’s road was booming, you will find MEN hanging out at Castro or Enid or Oxley bar sipping and listing to the duke box until the we we hours of the morning .
    Man where you from ? . This Is Barbados.

    • Coralita December 19, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      He from mars


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