Stuart refuses to intervene in raging labour disputes

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is refusing to allow the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to force his hand, amid raging industrial tensions at the island’s ports of entry.

In response to a call made today by BLP Member of Parliament for St George South Dwight Sutherland for him to intervene in the current pay impasse at Grantley Adams International Airport Incorporated (GAIA Inc.), as well as the protracted dispute over the merger of the Customs & Excise Department into the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA), Stuart made it clear that there was a process to be followed and that he would allow the disputes to run their course.

He also warned that pay increases for public servants were not automatic, but were dependent on the state of the economy.

“Salaries for public officers have always depended on the state of the economy of Barbados. That has always been so and parliamentarian salaries are tied to public servants increases as well. It isn’t that parliamentarians are getting salary increases. In fact, we had salaries reductions,” he said, while stressing that there was “a particular course and that course will be allowed to follow”.

“Coming in here and talking about giving public servants an increase, that doesn’t do it. There are procedures we follow for salaries negotiations, there are persons designated to do that. The Ministry of the Civil Service negotiates on behalf of the Government and that is what will happen, and at the appropriate time I will be made aware of what is on the table, and I will either give it my execrator, or say go back and try again,” he added.

In recent weeks, the ruling Democratic Labour Party has been on a collision course with the country’s trade unions, in particular the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), which has been demanding a 16 per cent pay hike for employees of GAIA Inc.

In reference to the bitter impasse, which has served to highlight a recent break down in relations between the two sides, Sutherland suggested that the workers were getting a raw deal from Government.

“We are seeing negotiations being put back and put off . . . [and] we feel these workers are due their fair treatment. They should be treated the same way you treat civil servants,” he stressed.

The Opposition spokesman also questioned: “Why can’t we resolve the issues with our customs officers?

“This is taking too long,” he said before calling on Stuart, who is the Member of Parliament for St Michael South “to intervene and address these long outstanding issues with the customs officers and BRA”.

Sutherland also called today for the Prime Minister to address outstanding matters to do with pensions for workers at the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation.

However, Stuart was not prepared to bow to the Opposition pressure.

27 Responses to Stuart refuses to intervene in raging labour disputes

  1. Loretta Griffith December 10, 2016 at 4:44 am

    My view is, no one should be bullied!

  2. Francis McClean
    Francis McClean December 10, 2016 at 5:52 am

    Something very wrong. There are too many fires to put out. Everything seem to have gone wrong all at once. From the sewage situation on the south coast, the transportation situation, where folks have to wait hrs for a bus, the workers situation at the airport, as referenced in this article, the drainage situation when heavy rains fall, the most important lack of water which has plagued many districts, pot holes damaging folks cars to pig farmers not being able to get their pigs slaughtered because the machinery at the slaughter houses are broken. All of these issues are important in one way or another and must be resolved. There are departments within government to solve these problems but when they are prolonging to the detriment of the citizens, and the country, the leader must step up and have them resolved.
    We all know the issue at hand is a lack of money. We need to start seeing what they are doing to raise revenue besides raising taxes. That will not work. Tourism is our thing and many of the issues mentioned above affects tourism. We can’t have that. We need them coming back. Repeat tourist is huge. I hate to hear even one tourist say, I’m not coming back. I’m therefore appealing to the bigger heads please make a valiant effort to solve these issues.

  3. Macmood Tata
    Macmood Tata December 10, 2016 at 5:58 am


  4. Ferreira Claude
    Ferreira Claude December 10, 2016 at 6:44 am

    The woman in trouble for 300 sick days, but wha wunna doing bout he ?

  5. Beverley Headley
    Beverley Headley December 10, 2016 at 7:16 am

    The Barbadian people need to make him history!

  6. Danny Colombian Clarke
    Danny Colombian Clarke December 10, 2016 at 7:35 am

    He is more of a figure head than the GG. Has a title but does nothing . At least the GG goes around visiting the schools and interacts with everyone . Seems to have a very nice personality . The PM on the other hand is just a waste of a salary .

  7. N Corbin December 10, 2016 at 7:56 am

    As the country’s leader he needs to.step up to the plate and take action! How can our PM take a back seat while this industrial action takes a huge toll on our visitors when they arrive and when they leave? Travelers have choice and it is very easy to lose a loyal visitor if they don’t have a pleasant experience from start to finish.

  8. Cherylann Bourne-Hayes
    Cherylann Bourne-Hayes December 10, 2016 at 7:58 am

    So what is new?

  9. Caroline Boxill
    Caroline Boxill December 10, 2016 at 8:16 am


  10. Lisa Moore
    Lisa Moore December 10, 2016 at 8:24 am

    I agree with you pm. People were delegated for that purpose. I’m of the view that our public sector is too large per capita.

  11. Bajan Positve Brian
    Bajan Positve Brian December 10, 2016 at 8:39 am

    90% of the issues in Barbados are due to a lack of leadership. The PM fails to see that leadership is needed after all these years and things keep getting worse. I doubt he will even win back his seat.
    He might go down as the worst pm in Bajan history, the failure in leadership is almost impossible to comprehend and the indifference to Bajan people is beyond insulting to a point of being morally bankrupt, such disregard for the needs of the people just plain insidious

    • Danny Colombian Clarke
      Danny Colombian Clarke December 10, 2016 at 8:52 am

      He will have all the mout in the world when he up on a political platform come election time . A disgrace for a PM. He only speaks to his faithful at branch meetings here n abroad but never to us as a nation

  12. Jackie Griffith
    Jackie Griffith December 10, 2016 at 8:45 am

    He never responds to anything unless it is to cry down and try to shame the BLP.

  13. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce December 10, 2016 at 8:48 am

    The Independence Celebrations is over back to NO actions taken IGNORE pressing issues. Back to SLEEP and bare LONG TALK.

  14. Andrena Ceasar
    Andrena Ceasar December 10, 2016 at 9:24 am


  15. Carson C Cadogan December 10, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Can someone show me where these “…raging labour disputes….” are located?

    I know that I am seeing an upsurge in partisan political disputes masquerading as workers issues.

  16. Troy December 10, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Mr. Stuart never disappoints… expect him to do and say nothing of substance..and he proves you right. Not voting for Deceitful Lying People (DLP)

    • Carson C Cadogan December 10, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      there is nothing to say.

  17. Stephen December 10, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Mr PM and your team please give an account of your stewardship for the last 6 plus years. On the following issues -How do you plead ?

    A. Guilty B. Not guilty C. Silent

    1. Deplorable Public Transport
    2. Water Issues
    3. Misuse of NIS funds
    4. Deteriorating infrastructure
    5. Over taxation
    6. Poor Health Care System

    • Carson C Cadogan December 10, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      All can be laid at the feet of the Barbados Labour Party.

      Direct your questions at them.

  18. Wendy T December 10, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    You is de pm side kick Carson Cardigan ?

  19. John Q December 10, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    When I visited the site where they are restoring Sam Lords Castle and saw the billboard written in all Chinese ; that’s when I knew we are in deep trouble. BAJANS, the signs have been there for years…. the proverbial hen has come home to roost. This gov’t has no clue ( the country is falling apart and you refuse to intervene ??????? If this clown is re-elected , we deserve what we get !!!!!

  20. Angela Fergusson December 11, 2016 at 8:59 am

    When we, Barbadians are angry or fed up with a situation we go into our political grounds dig a hole stand up in it and decide the situation is political, therefore “we gun vote hee out!”

    Let us pause. Let us think. How does that solve the problem or situation that is bothering us, seemingly to such a political extent?

    We are a docile people yes. We are an obedient people. We follow. We do not like people telling us what to do. We like pomp and pompousity. We like special status. We like certain names. We like cerain schools. We like certain degrees, We like special brands more than ever. We like progression. We like free things.
    We are a religious people. We love each other. We are a tolerant people. We like to criticize. We like to do it better than he or she. We want it bigger and better than his or hers.
    Stop! We are PEOPLE! People are different. Different tastes,
    Different things. Barbados is a tiny country. Please, let us get

    BLP, DLP, Independent, Non political, Apolitical and All.
    As the Politicians summon us when they want us to listen to them, and vote them in, let us summon them to answer to us once we actually are paying them to represent us.

    As we go forward into our next fifty years let us try at least, one thing differently.

    1. Vote
    2. Take notes
    3. Every 6 months interval, summons Ministers for documented updates.
    4. Have discussions around issues and troubling situations.
    5. Follow up and request actions leading to solutions.
    6. Keep in touch on a broad base with elected representatives. Have Townhall meetings.
    7. Let us all work together as we move on from here, 2016.

    It does, and should not matter which Party is in power on behalf of the people.

    After the vote at election time after we have ticked beside yhe various names and have placed certain individuals in position to look after our Constituency, they are now working for us and should be answering to us.

  21. Helicopter(8P) December 12, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    If Barbadians care about their nationality then equality for all must be a fair statement. At present Barbados is undergoing lots of shock due to a number of factors relating to world economic behavior. If we are to sustain ourselves then it’s a call for thinking as one!For the good of country!!

  22. jus me December 21, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Dont stop the Carnival!

    7,000,000 down the pan.
    What a man what a man!!

  23. jus me December 21, 2016 at 9:07 pm


    de man sleepin


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