No confidence

NUPW President comes under attack

Exactly one year after taking up the post of president of the island’s largest public sector trade union, Akanni McDowall’s leadership of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) is about to come under serious challenge.

Barbados TODAY understands that a no confidence motion is due to be brought against the NUPW leader.

Akanni McDowall
Akanni McDowall

The document, with the required 50 signatures, could be in the hands of General Secretary Roslyn Smith as early as this week, demanding that a meeting of the general membership be summoned within the time stipulated by the rules of the organization to decide McDowall’s fate.

McDowall is being accused of disrespecting staff, including the General Secretary and older NUPW heads, as well as acting in a dictatorial manner.

“Some people in the union are even referring to him as ‘Ikanni’ because everything is I, I, I,” one longstanding member told Barbados TODAY.

However, sources say the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back was a recent attempt by McDowall to try to overturn a decison of the National Council – the NUPW’s highest decision-making body.

Roslyn Smith
Roslyn Smith

That decision had to do with the union’s medicare group programme with the Insurance Corporation of Barbados (ICBL), which expires at the end of this month and will not be renewed.

Last Thursday, the Council met and agreed that Sagicor would provide cover from June 1, with Capita Insurance acting as the broker for the policy, which covers 1,878 members.

However, the president reportedly sought to advise Sagicor by letter that it could not deal with Capita Insurance.

By letter dated May 6, Sagicor responded by asking for clarification to McDowall’s letter.

This led to the head of the umbrella Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations (CTUSAB) Cedric Murrell expressing concern over McDowall’s actions.

At a meeting with Sagicor yesterday, the NUPW president was forced to concede he was wrong for trying to reverse the National Council’s decision.

When contacted tonight, McDowall told Barbados TODAY he was aware of efforts to have him removed from the helm of the trade union.

However, he said he was neither concerned nor intimidated.

He accused some members of the union of trying to “sully his name and reputation” at a time when his main concern was the rights of the workers which the union represents.

“There is some perceived notion that I am affiliated to some political party. I want to make it abundantly clear, that I am not associated with to any political party and my sole interest is that of the workers. I am only here to make sure I represent the workers to the best of my ability,” he told Barbados TODAY.

9 Responses to No confidence

  1. Meakai May 11, 2016 at 1:01 am

    “To divide and rule is their own plan, their own plan…”
    Sizzla and Jah Cure – King In This Jungle.

  2. ch May 11, 2016 at 2:35 am

    He is young in age and experience and he will make mistakes like anyone else. That does not make him unfit to lead. Very often, older persons in organizations are intolerant of new ideas and resent change.
    As a culture, Bajans tend to be docile so maybe his confidence and passion are being mis-represented as arrogance and egomania.
    The haste to remove him reflects a lack of mentorship and maturity in the elders, not him.

  3. dave May 11, 2016 at 3:41 am

    Bare Crap ; Babados is a failed state.

  4. jrsmith May 11, 2016 at 5:01 am

    As I said before its ok to manage but to be in control is the most important part of leadership.. the new leaders of the unions need to establish themselves as leaders, the past leaders was all political excuses where the then leaders were not in control..

    The new leaders must unite to achieve anything , they must stop allowing certain people in Barbados ( the non politicals) to play the unions from the back ground, they must choose when to fight and when not to ..they must let the trade unionist in Barbados feel safe , strong and secure that the leaders have they backs and make sure ,neither the government and certain section of the private sector being able to intimidate the people of Barbados..

  5. Sherlock Holmes. May 11, 2016 at 5:06 am

    I predicted this from day one,and it comes as no surprise to me this young man is too arrogant and i will leave out the other ANT word he went about his business in a very bullish way i guess he was properly tutored by those who now foolishly suggest that his impending demise is the work of a political party,boy if you had only listen,i remember clearly stating that you were going to be the shortest serving president in the history of your union, Note i said your union because to me you behaved as though it was yours,sadly you may now realize that it is not,even here from your remarks you show no remorse but i hope your body is firm in their resolve to teach you the valuable lesson of humility.

  6. Johnathan May 11, 2016 at 9:39 am

    It is obvious that his attempts to change the direction of the Union and to make it a more modern and relevant organization is not accepted by the old guard like Cedric Murrell and those guys who seem to think the NUPW belong to them.
    He obviously took his position very seriously and without concern for the DLP unlike his predecessors who sold out the workers.
    The DLP dogs will obviously start barking as he was going against the grain.
    Check and see if all the DLP froons from Rosalind Smith down aren’t for this move.

  7. BaJan boy May 11, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Is this truly a democracy ?? The DLP government and the old guard of the Union who allow them to do what ever they like are all obviously behind this retrograde step. A sad day in the history of our country that is being ruled by an autocratic and indifferent government walking around thumping its chest about 50 years of independence.

  8. jrsmith May 11, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    50 years of what independence ,you meant ( DEPENDANCY) on who ever loan our government or given us money..

  9. Sherlock Holmes. May 11, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Bajan boy NONSENSE.


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