GAIA to be hit by more protests

Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA), which is already under pressure from an immigration and customs go-slow, could be hit with more protest action next week.

This after pay talks broke down today between the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) and management of the GAIA Inc., which employs some 400 airport workers.   

As a result, the unionized employees have agreed to embark on protest action with immediate effect. However, one union official explained that because some of those workers would be off this weekend, the true effect of the action would only be felt from next Monday.

Sources say the airport’s management had initially offered an increase of 15 per cent, and that the NUPW had countered with a 16 per cent pay demand.

However, Cabinet has reportedly rejected both proposals, suggesting instead that the airport workers would receive whatever increase is eventually arrived at for the public service.

This news reportedly prompted a walk out by the NUPW’s delegation to today’s talks, with union officials accusing Government of treating the GAIA workers with disrespect.

The NUPW is equally adamant that the latest proposal will not work since GAIA employees operate under completely different terms to Central Government and therefore do not enjoy security of tenure.

When contacted, GAIA’s Corporate Communications Specialist Keith Goddard declined to comment on the matter.

Meanwhile, the go-slow by immigration, customs and environmental health officers at both ports of entry is set to enter a second week on Saturday.

The action, which has been strongly condemned by Government officials and members of the business community, is aimed at forcing Government to reinstate NUPW President Akanni McDowall who was recently reverted from an acting senior position within the Ministry of Health to his substantive more junior post of Environmental Health Assistant 1.

It has so far resulted in lengthy delays for visitors to the island during what has traditionally been a busy period for tourism. The go-slow has also put a damper on this month’s 50th anniversary of Independence celebrations.

9 Responses to GAIA to be hit by more protests

  1. Mark Adamson
    Mark Adamson November 19, 2016 at 1:49 am

    It is time for the vast majority of adult people of Barbados to do all that is possible within their freedoms and powers to relegate trade unions to the dustbin of this history of this country.

  2. James Franks November 19, 2016 at 4:08 am

    This action will cause so much damage to tourism that it may struggle to ever recover to the level it once enjoyed.
    Such stupidity is difficult to comprehend ,given the fragile state of the country and wider economy.

  3. Carson C Cadogan November 19, 2016 at 5:22 am

    “Mr. Prime Minister, yes, trade unions have a right to strike but Governments worldwide ensure that during strikes , essential services are maintained for the public. Barbados must fall in line. The route to go is via a Labour Court like the one that exists in England, the National Labour Relation Board of America or the Supreme court Labour Trilogy of Canada.
    Let the Unions carry out their threat to embarrass the Government by shutting down the ports. They have the right to strike and Government has the right to legislate. I am waiting with bated breath to see your response to their erratic behaviour.”

  4. Natalie Murray November 19, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Base on the comments – bajans should still be working for wages that suck:



    • Carson C Cadogan November 19, 2016 at 9:41 am

      ……and be shot down!!!!

      • Meakai November 19, 2016 at 9:54 am

        We shall not be intimidated any longer. Container or no container!

    • Meakai November 19, 2016 at 9:48 am

      Ignore DEM, they bread is buttered on both sides and is always oven-fresh.

      When an aspiring political leader easily jumps on the Anti-Union bandwagon, then workers have to take serious note.

      At the end of the day, all politicians are the same. Same goes for fowls in the yard. Politically speaking.

  5. BoboTheClown November 19, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Maybe the time has come for the Government to be forceful in they approach to this nonsense.
    Why can’t Customs Officers,Police Officers, Defense Force Officers, Teachers, Garbage Collectors be deemed essential workers by the Government and therefore not allowed to strike or cause undue hardship to the public?
    When they present or future Government gets tough , and start disciplining , with suspensions without pay or upright dismissals for being trouble makers only then will we have an orderly system .
    YES, unions play a very important part, but they don’t have to be the only player ,Government has the responsibility to act when all other means fail .So Mr. Prime Minister it is your time to serve, serve an Ace ,Score that point that no other player seem capable of Legislate now, not tomorrow ,not next week today. Tomorrow might be too late.

  6. jrsmith November 19, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Our politicians is causing problem after problem in Barbados, where is the (Priminister) where the Labour minister, they just cannot run the government…………….
    Wonder which is more dangerous , the guns or our politicians……


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