Three severed from BWU

Three employees of the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) have been put on the breadline, resuscitating previous claims that separation packages would be offered to more than 25 per cent of its staff.

The circumstances surrounding the retrenchment of the three – a secretary and two accounts clerks – effective December 31, 2016 were not immediately clear.

However, one of the affected employees sought to link it to their absence from a union retreat late last year.

“I feel we were severed because we failed to attend the post annual conference retreat which was held in November,” said the severed worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The former worker, who had been employed at the BWU for just over four years, explained that they were first told of their pending severance around December 1, 2016.

Several attempts to reach BWU General Secretary Toni Moore and other senior union officials were unsuccessful.

However, General Secretary of the Unity Workers Union (UWU) Caswell Franklyn, who first drew the severance to the attention of Barbados TODAY, sought to link it to his earlier contention that the BWU had been planning to cut staff in order to save money.

Stating that he had been approached by some BWU workers for advice, Franklyn had said last August that the country’s largest private sector trade union was offering voluntary separation packages to 13 of its approximately 55 employees upon the recommendation of a New Zealand researcher who had carried out an audit of the organization.

The veteran trade unionist had said at the time that the BWU had experienced a 28 per cent drop in membership – from approximately 25,000 to about 18,000 – dealing a terrible blow to its finances.

However, Moore had flatly denied the allegation, telling Barbados TODAY at the time, “that is not nearly true”.

Franklyn has now returned to the subject, contending he was vindicated by the termination of the three.

“My understanding of the situation is that these three workers did not attend the annual retreat so they were easy to pick . . . . Now the retrenchment process has started. Now the process has begun. I do not lie, at least not deliberately,” the UWU boss stressed.

He also quoted from the BWU’s financial statement to back his claim that its membership had fallen to 13,000, based on its revelation that it had collected about $4 million in dues at an average $310 per member.

34 Responses to Three severed from BWU

  1. Hal Austin January 7, 2017 at 4:21 am

    Great. Lean and mean. We now want a modern trade union that focuses on the entire labour environment, including the nation’s economy, rather than constant strike action.

  2. Greengiant January 7, 2017 at 5:15 am

    True. Well said brother Hal. Modernisation of all sectors, NGO’s, political parties, statutory bodies, other public and private sector operations is the way to go.

  3. ricardo January 7, 2017 at 5:37 am

    Like the politicians, Miss Moore has now shown that she is also skilled at blatantly disregarding or withholding the truth.

  4. Rawle Agard
    Rawle Agard January 7, 2017 at 5:42 am

    This is a real strike.

  5. Cyrilene Goddard
    Cyrilene Goddard January 7, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Wow who judge the judges. ???????????????????????????

  6. Beverley Headley
    Beverley Headley January 7, 2017 at 9:24 am

    When all is said and done and the workers need representation, they still need to hire their own lawyers, what does that tell you? Get rid of the unions and keep lawyers in view. The companies have to pay the lawyers if you win the case, but you paying unions every month to do nothing for you.

    • hcalndre January 7, 2017 at 1:22 pm

      @Beverley Headley,What I will say is that the workers in barbados are caught between a rock and a hard place, for years they were misrepresented and they did nothing and now the time has come where they can see that they are being represented, the union is losing members, down to 18,000 from 25,000 that is not good at all. Most of the work places should have a Union shop where you cannot work unless you`re a member. When the Union has a dispute with the employer and half of the workers are not unionized there goes the problem and that`s what companies and an anti-union government wants, division among the employees.

    • h.calndre January 7, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      @Beverley Headley,What I will say is that the workers in barbados are caught between a rock and a hard place, for years they were misrepresented and they did nothing and now the time has come where they can see that they are being represented, the union is losing members, down to 18,000 from 25,000 that is not good at all. Most of the work places should have a Union shop where you cannot work unless you`re a member. When the Union has a dispute with the employer and half of the workers are not unionized there goes the problem and that`s what companies and an anti-union government wants, division among the employees.

  7. Carson C Cadogan January 7, 2017 at 10:58 am

    All she has to do is to sell her Mercedes Benz and this will improve revenue at the BWU.

    By the way is the BWU strike fund still empty?

  8. Hal Austin January 7, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Why does a union leader need a Mercedes Benz? If it is her own, that’s fine; if it is paid for by members, then it is a scandal.

    • Carson C Cadogan January 7, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      Paid for by members.

    • Carson C Cadogan January 7, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      Also of note is the fact that the Bajan news media tries to give the impression that the Bajan Trade unions are working on the behalf of the workers. Nothing could be further from the truth.

      It is all about the Bajan trade Union upper classes.

      At the NUPW trade Union, The President drives a Mercedes Benz, the General Sec. drives a BMW, all paid for by the members money.

      The Bajan news media dont point out these facts.

  9. Eve Chase January 7, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    How is she able to afford a Mercedes Benz in Barbados.

  10. Saga Boy January 7, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    The only reason the BWU has not laid off more employees is to prove Caswell Franklyn wrong. They said they had no intention of laying off staff but they did. They continue to treat their own employees bad ..hence the reason why the same Caswell is representing a former BWU employee who was dismissed. They have not given increases to staff for a while while Sir Roy as Chairman of UCAL has not seen it fair to grant wage increases to employees there for over 7 years. Yet they bulldoze and threaten employers to increase wages everyday. Is there something wrong with this picture?

  11. Hal Austin January 7, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    If the union has 18000 moderately and low paid members, how can it afford buying officials luxury cars? |Further, the BWU should start looking at the sale of some of its expensive property: St Philip, Nelson Street, Hindsbury Rad.
    Is this the great union once led by Walcott and Blrnt?

    • Carson C Cadogan January 7, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      Especially the property at Hindsbury Road which used to belong to Dr. Wilson.

      The BWU paid $2million of members money for that property and it has just sat there all these years not benefiting a single BWU member.

    • Carson C Cadogan January 7, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      Also the property in Roebuck street on the corner near to Global trading ltd. has been abandoned for years now and in a dilapidated state.

  12. Alex Alleyne January 7, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    It’s funny how these jokers claim the look after workers rights and what i am reading here is saying “tow the line or be canned”.

    • Mikey January 7, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      Anti-union comments are not surprising. The people (some who were blind and received sight, some sick and were healed) released a criminal from prison and crucified Jesus.
      When you guys and gals get rid of the Unions, who will you call on for help ? Has the Unions stopped You from having a job ?
      What makes the BWU (specifically) so bad ?
      Some of You sound like plantation managers of the past !

  13. Hal Austin January 7, 2017 at 4:10 pm


    Collective bargaining is necessary in a capitalist world, but not trade union bandits, just feeding off the fatted calf. We need ethical trade unionists.

  14. Greengiant January 7, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Thanks Mikey, these people come here with some facts like everyone else, but they sometimes gets it so wrong. Many black barbadian have been contaminated with the planter class syndrome.
    They are black yes, but wishes to destroy the very foundations on which their poor black grandparents found support, this very foundation would have assisted in the creation of systems by which we grew stronger and got our education. Like all else it’s not and never was perfect, it may be irrelevant to some of you due to your developed status, it’s however still needed by a majority who are still below the poverty line. Rather than wishing to destroy it we should join and lend our financial support to those less fortunate than us.
    Oh, what’s so wrong with our union leaders driving expensive cars that are purchased duty free like all executives? Is it because they are black like we are? Some of you need to grow up and very quickly. Throughout this world executive status comes with executive perks, it’s that simple.

  15. Hal Austin January 7, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Representing the workers has nothing to do with having a luxury car. I know about the lightship men who built the union. In my home the May day trip to King George park was a ritual.
    The Walcott and Blunt were worshipped in my home. More than that, we have a petti-bourgeoisie that has betrayed the working class. These trade unionists are not representing the workers, they are simply stuffing their own wallets.
    Was Roy Trotman committed to the workers? I remember this Napolean calling on the owners of Cheffette to sell shawres to the public. The only problem is that it is a privately owned company and, according to a spokesman, they have no intentions of going public. This is the quality of trade union leaders we have.
    The sooner ordinary working people realise this the better. Stop punishing the workers, the real devils are the governments – Bees and Dees.
    Remember, there are about 150000 Barbadians of working age, the BWU is the largest trade union with 18000 members. Think about it.
    We must either come in to the real world or continue to live in a little Barbadian bubble.
    All over the world trade union membership is dwindling; the only growth is in white collar unions.

  16. harry turnover January 7, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    So what is wrong with a Trade Union laying off workers ? what is wrong with big ups in Unions driving Mercedes Benz ?
    The PM the GG and the GOCB among others are driven in big rides too bought by tax payers money.
    What wunna want them drive or be driven in….cars with gear sticks ?

    • Carson C Cadogan January 7, 2017 at 7:23 pm

      This is really amazing.

      BWU membership about 18,000, NUPW membership less than 8,000 members, the teacher trade unions combined , the BSTu and the BTU have less than 4,000 members but these trade unions are bent on disrupting life here in Barbados as we know it .

      Barbados with a population of 300,000 must suffer at the hands of these midget organisations.

      The tyranny of the minority, these unions need crushing under foot.

    • Carson C Cadogan January 7, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      “What wunna want them drive or be driven in….cars with gear sticks ?”

      BWU, NUPW trade Union members get to work by walking, taking ZR’s, Minibuses and Transport Board buses. None of them drive Mercedes, or BMW’s.

      Yet the Trade Union upper classes lord it over them in Mercedes and BMW’s and all the other fringe benefits paid for by the Unions out of members subscriptions.

  17. milli watt January 7, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    You all don’t know the half of it. This trade union did absolutely nothing to help the former secretary of the EMERA owned Barbados Light and Power last year. If you think what is going on at that union is a scandal what I have been able to find out about that dismissal and the involvement of the BWU is in keeping with a history of selling labour at a price so low they pay the employer to buy what they selling. The other employees at the BWU got to walk soft and experience what ordinary workers got to experience. It is about time. As for the situation at the Barbados Light and Power all I will say is news at Naked Departure oh I’m sorry what I mean’t so say was news at 11.

  18. The Negrocrat January 8, 2017 at 7:23 am

    How many bajans would respect a leader driving a Swift or Corolla?

  19. Hal Austin January 8, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Make it law that all trade unions must publish their annual accounts on their websites, along with the expenses of the top officials. .

    • hcalndre January 9, 2017 at 6:43 am

      @Hal Austin, why not the electorate in barbados demand that the politicians declare their assets and the vehicle that is loan to them is there to do the people`s work and should not be used to drive around their family and friends at no given time. The workers in barbados need representations or they will be in serious trouble especially when you have a government like this one who only have a self interest. Do you know that barbadains still has that massa-slavery mentality?

  20. Marcia Clarke January 8, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    What is wrong with driving a high quality car when you work so hard and reach the top? Barbadians are too ……. ignorant.

  21. Greengiant January 8, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    I personally see nothing wrong with our union executives driving executive vehicles. If there are other issues with their performance that’s another situation, so what they drive or where they live will not make them do their job one way or another.

    When some of you talk about legislation changing to improve efficiency, transparency and implement integrity. You will not see it as lawyers don’t set themselves up. As long as our parliament continues to be dominated by attorneys the status quo will remain.

    I urge every barbadian to ignore these lawyers at the polls, let them spend their time sorting out the legal issues facing our people first. They are all guilty of causing the wheels of justice to be deflated that’s why the bus can’t move. There is little our governments will do as they all return to their law practices once they are voted out of office. Some of you may not agree, but this is one I’m very serious about.

  22. Hal Austin January 9, 2017 at 3:16 am


    Spot on. Do not vote for the lawyer/politicians. They ar e a little Mafia. Teach them a lesson at the polls.

  23. Observer January 9, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    I was never impressed with Toni Moore holding that position. Perhaps the money paid to Leroy Trotman as a Consultant should be used to keep those workers. She will cause the demise of that Union. just like Rosylyn Smith of NUPW which is experiencing falling membership.

  24. Helicopter(8P) January 10, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Why is this an occasion on what what the Executives drive? They have to maintain these vehicles. Not you or I. If those high end vehicles do not get them to scheduled meetings and appointment on a timely and safe manner then you have a story; as for now you folks are irrelevant on the main topic!


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