Worrying labour pains as May Day approaches

Ahead of Monday’s observance of Labour Day, the umbrella Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations (CTUSAB) is sounding an alarm bell about the state of industrial relations on the island.

In a statement marking the day, otherwise known as May Day and which is to be celebrated with a public holiday here on Monday, CTUSAB warned that, amid a climate of “economic misfortune”, Barbados’ labour relations environment left much to be desired.

In fact, CTUSAB described it as not only “adversarial” and “unstable” but “counterproductive”, while  pointing to “a growing disregard for the observance of mutual respect and for the engaging of the consultation process” within both the public and private sectors.

“The departure from these key principles of the industrial relations practice, are contributing to the prevailing and heightened industrial relations tensions. The treatment which is being meted out to trade unions, and the trampling of the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining of workers, have provoked a militant response from the trade union movement,” CTUSAB said.

“The movement away from the bargaining table by the employer or agent of the employer, the unilateral behaviour of making changes to conditions of service without consultation, and the public ridicule of union officials and the workers must be scoffed upon,” it added.

 

Dennis De Peiza

Following is the full text of the CTUSAB statement issued by its General Secretary Dennis De Peiza against the backdrop of recent strike threats and strong public wrangling between employers – – including Government — and trade unions, who make up the island’s Social Partnership, over proposed salary increases and other conditions of work:

“The annual celebration of Labour Day (May Day) 2017 is meant to be a celebration of the achievements of labour. It is also a time for the reaffirmation of the commitment of the leadership of the movement to trade union solidarity, and the promotion of the causes of labour. It is disconcerting to the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) that the celebration of Labour Day 2017 is being celebrated against the backdrop of an unstable industrial relations climate that is characterized by adversarial relationships.

As it stands, the country is faced with a growing problem, where existing relationships within parts of the public and private sectors are failing in realizing one of the stated objectives of Protocol 7, which is that of “the maintenance of an industrial relations environment conducive to a continuation of stable industrial relations.”

This development is characterized by a growing disregard for the observance of mutual respect and for the engaging of the consultation process. The departure from these key principles of the industrial relations practice, are contributing to the prevailing and heightened industrial relations tensions. The treatment which is being meted out to trade unions, and the trampling of the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining of workers, have provoked a militant response from the trade union movement. The movement away from the bargaining table by the employer or agent of the employer, the unilateral behaviour of making changes to conditions of service without consultation, and the public ridicule of union officials and the workers must be scoffed upon.

In a climate of economic misfortune, where the Social Partners are required to find solutions to the fiscal and economic problems facing the nation, it is counterproductive that the workers movement of Barbados could be conveniently embraced, while at the same time treated with discourtesy and disdain, when individual trade unions and staff association, and the CTUSAB as the umbrella body for workers organizations, undertake to represent the interest of workers.

The fracture and disconnect which the fraternity of the labour movement has been experiencing, has to a large extent contributed to the undermining of the solidarity of the movement. This on the one hand has led to the creation of apathy, and on the other, a semblance of rivalry within the labour movement. The threat to trade union solidarity has also been accentuated by declining number of unionized workers; as occasioned by layoffs and retrenchment, and the apparent lack of interest in becoming members of the trade union family.

CTUSAB contends that these observations are not to be ignored, and moreover, that swift and decisive action must be taken to address the fallout from these developments. CTUSAB repeats its call for the reunification, and a renewed show of solidarity within the Barbados Labour movement; as this is imperative if the pride, respect and confidence which the movement has traditionally had, is to be secured.” (Ends)

8 Responses to Worrying labour pains as May Day approaches

  1. jrsmith April 30, 2017 at 6:02 am

    Dear Sir, we need change this you must get to happen, we need to control our corrupt untrustworthy politicians , what ever voters rights laws are they must be enforced before the up coming elections…………………………………
    Do we want to wake days after the up and coming election and realize the same rubbish government is in power…… what the hell we do then……………………………………

    Reply
    • Jennifer April 30, 2017 at 7:51 am

      @jrsmith – What you talking bout. If I was in the same frying pan as you frying together, would you want me to save you??? Now that would be inconsiderate and unconscionable, and wishful thinking. What we need is some sharp knives to DE-BONE the fish. But by the looks of it, the fish too big, too scaly and too slippery and the knives are definitely too dull.

      Reply
  2. Milli Watt April 30, 2017 at 7:33 am

    this ain’t the same CTUSAB that get put out a ‘Harmony’ Hall emphasis on harmony and has not till now healed hmmmmmmm. I likes how things bubbling up only a matter of time before it bubble over Dennis. You need not worry you set just remain in doors and surface when you hear I am PM lolololololol.

    Reply
  3. Jennifer April 30, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Rat tongue sell he head. This people sold theirs a long time ago under the title of integration, and cannot get it back. This is what you get for social partnership. Now the sub partners of the social partnership can only smile and show their white teeth and let things keep flowing in a one way direction. Now the masses only continue to GROPE at noonday, for comfort and pittance, while the see saw remains BOTTOM HEAVY. There has to be wranglings starting with government first as they are “leading” the REAL leaders in the same shrimp trawler. This people should have had fractured the bone a long time ago, instead we prefer to be the financiers of their economies.

    Reply
  4. Donild Trimp April 30, 2017 at 10:20 am

    @Jennifer – are you Jennifer H?

    I met a Jennifer H in the UK and lost contact over time.

    Reply
    • Jennifer April 30, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      @Donild Trimp – Lets just say I am as much Jennifer H as you are Donild Trimp. But for you, I can be any one you want me to be.

      Reply
  5. Donild Trimp April 30, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    @Jennifer – You stimulate the mind. Gives one the compulsion to think outside the box.

    Your phraseology is refreshing.

    May I see you running for office soon?

    Reply
    • Jennifer April 30, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      @Donild – Few people appreciate someone like me. Not that I mind. They like that nice TITANIUM box, with the lid tightly closed. You see its safer that way. They don’t have to change. Sir.

      Reply

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