Union boss raises red flag over internal ballot

The President of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Akanni McDowall has raised a political red flag, amid an internal challenge to his leadership by Deputy General-Treasurer Roy Greenidge.

Earlier this week, Greenidge formally threw his hat into the ring for the post of president, ahead of next month’s NUPW vote. It was minutes before the 4 p.m. deadline on Wednesday that the senior immigration officer, accompanied by five other members of “Team Solidarity”, handed in his application to NUPW headquarters Dalkeith, St Michael.

Telling reporters that his aim was to bring back respect to the union, Greenidge ensured that his name was on the April 5 ballot. He was accompanied by other members of his team, including Kimberley Agard, who had earlier brought a no confidence motion against McDowall.

In light of those developments, the NUPW president has questioned Greenidge’s motives for mounting a challenge to his leadership at this time.

In fact, he warned that it could well be “another attempt to prevent union from holding the Government’s feet to the fire”, without going into details about his concern.

At the same time, the union boss said he was not about to dismiss his opponent, but he insisted that his record spoke for itself.

“My team and I will continue to represent workers to best of our ability.

“As told to me by the workers of this country, this is the first time in years that they felt as though someone was fighting for their cause,” McDowall said in defence of his stewardship.

“One thing is for sure, my team will continue to agitate to ensure that public servants receive salary increases and that they are appointed,” the NUPW president added.

With Government and the union still at odds over the proposed in merger of the Customs & Excise Department into the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) as well as issues relating to the operations of the Sanitation Service Authority, McDowall is confident that he still enjoys the support of the NUPW’s membership.

“Our defence of public servants has been relentless in the last two years. We’ve had a number of achievements,” he told Barbados TODAY, while pointing to approved salary increases for workers at the Grantley Adams International Airport, appointments at the National Housing Corporation and the National Conservation Commission.

He also said the union, under his watch, must be credited for its part in Government’s decision to appoint “all public servants acting for three or
more years.

“I am committed to repositioning, refocusing and rebuilding the NUPW,” McDowall stressed.

His remarks come amid persistent demands by the NUPW for a 23 per cent salary increase for public workers, which Government minister Donville Inniss this week described as “grossly unreasonable”.

However, the NUPW is sticking to its guns and is now preparing to up the ante in the coming days unless Government returns to the negotiating table.

The two sides last met in October last year, during which no progress was made.

Furthermore, no provisions have been made in the 2017/2018 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for any pay hike, whilst, McDowall, who was himself unceremoniously removed from his acting senior post in Government last October, awaits his day in court.

8 Responses to Union boss raises red flag over internal ballot

  1. Sandra Madea
    Sandra Madea March 18, 2017 at 1:35 am


  2. Smh March 18, 2017 at 2:44 am

    The man is not a Custom officer please check the uniform.

  3. Sheldine Dyall
    Sheldine Dyall March 18, 2017 at 3:53 am

    Vote Akanni for good representation. Don’t vote for the next team.

  4. Sheldine Dyall
    Sheldine Dyall March 18, 2017 at 8:02 am

    This is the first time in about 10yrs government workers ars represents, members don’t all all the distraction from those who want him out. They like the Dems.

  5. Kevin March 18, 2017 at 10:51 am

    People put forward their name for internal elections if they think they can do a better job. Why did Akanni put forward his? Now dont want others to put forward theirs.

  6. hcalndre March 18, 2017 at 11:27 am

    @Kevin, It wont take Albert Einstein to figure out why this is a political operation to get Mc Dowell out, it`s not be the first time. This is another attempt to oust him from representing the workers who for years were represented by DLP operatives. Did you heard what former PM Arthur said that there was no way when the BLP were in charge that 2 years could pass without the Civil servants getting a raise under the DLP union leaders. Look and see after they resign or retire, which party is their choice. Mr. Mc Dowall have no fear, should they gang up and remove you, their way of operating can`t be hidden. They will always be house n—–s.

  7. Carson C Cadogan March 18, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    This man is a real joke.

    Every time someone challenges him in his view it is always political.

    What an idiot.

  8. Carson C Cadogan March 18, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    All he has to do is ask the Barbados Labour Party for more money to buy as many votes as he can.

    He is their boy.


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