NUPW threatens industrial action if taxes are not pulled

The National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) is threatening industrial action if Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler fails to repeal the tax measures put forward in the Financial Statements and Budgetary Proposals.

The union is demanding that Sinckler recalls the tax measures or institute a “coping subsidy” for public servants until salary negotiations have been concluded.

Speaking with Barbados TODAY, NUPW President Akanni McDowall said that the industrial action could come in the form of a go slow, sickout, work to rule or all forms.

McDowall said Sinckler has until July 1 to meet the union’s demands.

“Failing a response to the unions’ concerns, permission has been given for the union to do whatever is necessary to protect the interests of its members and the wider citizenry of Barbados,” McDowall said.

The NUPW President said that the tax measures are expected to drastically increase the cost of living by at least 15 per cent, adding this would be too much to bear.

“The workers of Barbados are not in a position to bear the consequences of the increases in taxes and levies at this time,” he said.

“Public servants have not received a salary increase in almost a decade, and although salary negotiations have commenced, there is no clear agreement or dates set for the conclusion of negotiations.”

McDowall stressed that Government’s attempt to keep the struggling economy afloat by injecting $500 million in taxes would diminish the spending capacity of already financially strained households.

“The union further recognizes that the hike in the social responsibility levy from two per cent to ten per cent will result in across the board increases in the price of food, other necessity items and further diminish the spending capacity of its members and the wider public . . . These measures cut at the core of the functioning of every household in Barbados, some of which are already under extreme pressure,” McDowall added.

74 Responses to NUPW threatens industrial action if taxes are not pulled

  1. Lisa Oneale
    Lisa Oneale June 11, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    I in that

  2. Keisha Weekes
    Keisha Weekes June 11, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    What will we gain from marching?

    • Joy Waldron
      Joy Waldron June 11, 2017 at 9:21 pm

      Sorry but if you don’t try something you waste life. It’s time we as bajans stand up and stop all long talk

    • Keisha Weekes
      Keisha Weekes June 11, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      How many times have bajans strike within the last two years? What was gained from it?

    • Barker Antony
      Barker Antony June 11, 2017 at 9:25 pm

      NOT ONE *&&^^^^%%

    • Bresford Leon Phillips June 11, 2017 at 9:49 pm

      Keisha from marching you will get your pay docked for the day you did not work, that’s all less money in your pocket.

  3. Lilian Lloyd
    Lilian Lloyd June 11, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    ME TOO

  4. Karen Farmer Troulan
    Karen Farmer Troulan June 11, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Someone got to try something. We bajans sit back and just accept what is thrown at us. These taxes are not joke. If we don’t gain anything then at least we can say we tried. I for one cannot take any more taxes. I can tell you these taxes will close the shop I work in and I will be out of a job. So for me anything is worth a try. I fed up now!!!

  5. Itz Queen
    Itz Queen June 11, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    You Keisha Weekes shut ya mouth up,it’s people like you negative and does stand in de back ground and push people to stand up fa wanna ,somthing have to be done .

  6. Itz Queen
    Itz Queen June 11, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Them politicians tack back them money with back pay eating big and s… Hard and we could hardly eat now, wa gun happen next month.

  7. Alex Alleyne June 11, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Will you please go and put your energy in places that will be meaningful to your members.
    The days of marching are over. You still living in the 60’s, come forward Sir , it’s here and now.

  8. Barker Antony
    Barker Antony June 11, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Well march boys and when it done, taxes going still be there!!!!!

  9. Bresford Leon Phillips June 11, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    Poor mislead, No common sense Akanni
    Taxes is what pays the civil servants
    Thought now Government raise taxes you would have a case for a raise in pay.
    But you want to threatening industrial action if Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler fails to repeal the tax measures
    What a foolish move
    Press on for a Salary increase dum dum
    Taxes is how you gets paid when the month comes, stop misleading thee sheep that following you.
    Press on for salary increase now taxes raise.

  10. Gittens Hallam
    Gittens Hallam June 11, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    Stand up and fight back you have nothing to lose

  11. Rubertha Blackman
    Rubertha Blackman June 11, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    Keisha thank heavens that our forefathers was not like you. You probably would enjoy doing domestic work getting paid on saturday evenings when all the shops closed. Thank heaven for Errol Barrow who said we should not be loiterers on the colonial steps. Grantley Adams, frank Walcott all these men and women march so you could be free to dismiss the power we hold to force change.

    • Buddy Love
      Buddy Love June 12, 2017 at 5:08 am

      Keisha is right. Marching in not the answer. Until you unite you can march and go home and nothing will happen. The Government tore down a skate park overnight and the people do nothing. It took them 6 years to remove Maloney’s hut after countless notices. Get the picture yet?

    • Rubertha Blackman
      Rubertha Blackman June 12, 2017 at 5:11 am

      What picture is that, throw your hands up in the air and surrender to power? I guess you rich enough to weather the hardships am not. Or maybe you are part of the power structure? People like you are the problem, because power is right so why take a stand or as Sparrow sing We like it so or rather your kind like it so.

    • Rickie Nurse June 12, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      Reading some of these comments have really boiled my blood, some saying March for what, some saying what will it change, some of saying it is anti government, some saying it is called austerity and austerity is hard, it brings in more money that’s how workers get paid, some saying all a march will do is cause workers to have their pay docked, it will not work. I will tell you this, it is the biggest scare tactic that can be used against a timid bunch to silence them from raising an alarm in protest.

      Show me one single country on this entire earth, that has ever in the history of mankind been able to successfully tax it’s way out of debt, the answer is NONE. Be it Democratic, Communist, Monarchical, Social Republic whatever you choose to call it, it has never worked and never will. If the so-called first world and developed countries were unable to do it with all the resources that they have at their disposal, tell me how this two by three rockstone Island we called home with this ostrich minded government that has it’s head buried in…..will get it done and put us back on stable ground, when we have absolutely no resources of any kind whatsoever? Everything single thing we need and want has to be imported, even if it somehow manages to be assembled here.

      We all know what happened to Greece who attempted a similar ploy and the end result, an entire country had to be declared bankrupt.

      A little bit of history here, how did the United States get it’s self back to stability after the great depression of the early twentieth century and how did they do it again after the second World War? They eased the tax burden on it’s people, giving them breathing room to spend. When you enforce austerity measures on a people, you inevitably force them to implement it on their households which is an automatic reduction in them spending power because of tax inflation, do the maths and tell me if it will still work.

      This kangaroo government should definitely take a leaf out of Poland’s book, or do like what sensible duncey children used to do when I was going school and copy from the brighter ones without copying the name.

      When a people have reached a state where they believe that any form of protest is useless to try, that is the point where a government has become a dictatorship postering as a democracy. You only have to remember the first Grenada under Eric Gairy.

  12. Jason Blanche
    Jason Blanche June 11, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    100% behind me 1991 again

  13. Bernadette Skeete-Mayers
    Bernadette Skeete-Mayers June 11, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    Keep the pressure on for results not one day and the taxes still remains.

  14. Dave D. Thompson
    Dave D. Thompson June 11, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    March and if that don’t work shut down the island … Time for action is now ..

    • Sheldine Dyall
      Sheldine Dyall June 11, 2017 at 11:27 pm

      The deceitful business people refused to lose a day earnings

    • Karen F-Glasgow
      Karen F-Glasgow June 12, 2017 at 10:32 am

      You are so bloody right…something got to give or they will continue to stick it to us.

    • Karen F-Glasgow
      Karen F-Glasgow June 12, 2017 at 10:34 am

      Better is better and worse is worse and we can’t afford the worse, so we’ll take the better part

  15. Lisha Hall
    Lisha Hall June 11, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    Juliet Burgess

  16. joan Worrell June 11, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    When I was a girl I used to set fly-stick traps to hold doves on Blenheim pasture. Akanni boy, I hope you don’t get hold in Sinckler fly-stick trap. You sure that in rolling back to 5 % that 500 or more of your members not going home? It is called Austerity. There is a lot of pain and suffering in Austerity which is defined as reductions in government spending, increases in tax revenues or both. These harsh steps are taken to lower deficits and avoid a debt crisis.

  17. Saga Boy June 11, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    Common sense should prevail. Marching will not solve our problems. What we need to do is to increase productivity and effecuency in Gov. Many public workers don’t have a thing to do when the days come. Yet they are paid at the end of the month and in some cases handsomely. That money has to come from some where. When you strike you don’t get pay. The NUPW don’t have any money to pay members for striking. Amani us an emotional immature boy who will lead you down the wrong path. All you in gov who do nothing; who make us feel like we interrupting your doing nothing; who come work late every day and leave early or do nothing and then work overtime is one of the reasons why this country can’t pay its debts. The private sector continues to rape this country charging high prices. They are an evil bunch. Time to make a meaningful contribution and make this country viable.

  18. Saga Boy June 11, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    If the public sector glad a reputation for effecuency and professionalism and hard work I would understand. But the fact is many of you have been getting increments over the last 9 years while we in the private sector have had to go without wage increases. We work hard to pay taxes and contribute to our own pensions. Some if you are too immature. No wonder some of you like Akania who is being led by the BLP.

  19. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn June 11, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    For how long . One day March is waste of time.

  20. joan Worrell June 11, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Can anyone tell me why Barbadian economists are not promoting the idea of Barbados implementing anti-austerity measures like the Polish Government? It seems to be working for them and Moody’s has given them a passing grade last month for their economic recovery. Come on Jeremy Steven, Grenville Phillips Jr. , Lynette Eastmond, young Straughn. Let me hear you talking anti-austerity.

  21. joan Worrell June 11, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    I forgot to add Dr. Delisle to the list of economists who can tell Barbadians about the Polish anti-austerity model which is making them the envy of European countries for their economic recovery.

  22. Big Man June 12, 2017 at 1:38 am

    Barbados falling behind in common sense
    Errol Barrow must be sorry he instituted free Education against the advice of Eric Williams and the BLP

    Imagine an Educated Clown Prince marching If Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler fails to repeal the tax measures put forward in the Financial Statements and Budgetary Proposals.
    When Taxes is what pays him and the rest of Government workers
    Before he try and get a raise of pay for the workers now Government raise taxes.
    likkle bwoy Dawg wid to much massa sleep wid out suppa

    As Sir Roy Trotman used to tell we when you bring them out make sure you can get them back in.
    Hopes NUPW pays them for the day

    • Concerned Man June 12, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      Big Man…. when the wild dogs that get let loose in Bim these last two terms going to be put back in their kennels… ????

  23. Buddy Love
    Buddy Love June 12, 2017 at 5:05 am

    I’m with Keisha on this one. You are way past marching. Life has moved on and you are still behind.

  24. Dennis Taitt
    Dennis Taitt June 12, 2017 at 5:11 am

    Thanks. I would march for this.

  25. John C Chapman June 12, 2017 at 5:26 am

    The unionis not to dictatae and strike againts taxation it is not an industrial relation issue he is too political

  26. Saga Boy June 12, 2017 at 6:43 am

    You can’t force the gov to pay money they do not have. A march can only be aimed at taking down the gov. A March would therefore be political. If may even force the gov to lay off workers. Is that what you want. People who talking about marching are the ones who don’t have a mortgage or any serious monthly commitments. They are unrealistic.

  27. Javier Maynard
    Javier Maynard June 12, 2017 at 6:57 am


  28. Greengiant June 12, 2017 at 7:36 am

    @ Bresford Leon Phillips: You are so spot on with your advice.

    1. Taxes are what pays the salaries of those said civil servants
    including Akanni.
    2. I thought that this generation of tax financing would be used to
    pay the civil servants increases sometime in December.
    3. This N U P W council has to be the most inexperienced of all
    time. They criticize the government, but they’re worse.
    4. Did Akanni see the advice given by the economic think tank and
    the B C C I to government. Is he aware that most advisers
    recommended that government lay off thousands more civil
    5. My advice to civil servants, ” tell you union to get on with the
    business of wages negotiations and forget marching “. A pay
    rise is on the way for you, and you will have a most joyous
    christmas in 2017.
    6. The government will do this and announce
    elections in January 2018, that way they’ll guarantee the votes
    of their supporters. The D L P in the future has always won
    when high numbers vote.
    7. I honestly had given the benefit to the Union president when he
    was accused of having a political agenda, but I must now
    reconsider. Maybe the entire council has an agenda, or maybe
    he has a tremendous influence on the council. Whichever it may
    be, they have gotten it wrong this time, and should focus on
    wage negotiations.

    • Concerned Man June 12, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      Maybe a lot of the Union members are fed up with the current administration…After all Akani “REPRESENTS” the member of the union.. He does not act alone!!!!

  29. Tom Cabrinie
    Tom Cabrinie June 12, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Most bajans just run lots of talk and when the time comes for them to walk the walk , they run and hide.

  30. Larry Moore
    Larry Moore June 12, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Got to make this government understand that they work for us not us for them all these taxes yet nothing to show for it no pay increase in 10 yrs no plan to grow the economy can’t continue on its merry way while we don’t stand up asking for a hearing from this government is a no no I full endorse any action taken by the NUPW or any other organisation that stands up to the government for how they are handling the country

  31. Sophia John
    Sophia John June 12, 2017 at 8:26 am

    I understand why, but still ain’t going make things no better

  32. joan Worrell June 12, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Akanni is marching with one foot. He doesn’t realize that he needs another foot i.e public sympathy. He has already admitted that he is politically associated with the BLP. I see nothing wrong with that, since other union leaders in the past have had political connections. What is missing though, is an alternative suggestion which is supported by his political leader. If his leader can tell the people of Barbados ”My Party stands for anti austerity programmes and when my we form the Government, we will implement them from day one”, then he , his union members, the BLP leader and the BLP members can hit the streets with an anti austerity march. I am sure Tony Moore from the B.W.U would see a good reason why she and her union members would join the march. Yes, there are hundreds of anti austerity movements in Europe. Jeremy Corbyn addressed one of the largest anti austerity marches in London on May Day this year. He is an anti austerity advocate. Bernie Sanders is an anti austerity advocate. Why can’t Mia Mottley say that she supports anti austerity? She had a good opportunity two Wednesdays ago to tell Barbadians how bad austerity is for the nation but she opted instead for a ”Foreday Morning ” type of presentation with her hands raised in the air, doing a wukup and pooch back . lol. The BLP’s silence on austerity means that they will carry on the similar austerity programmes to the DLP but less painful.

    Once again I am calling on Barbados Solutions, the UPP, CAP , the other Parties planning to contest the elections and Mr. Owen Arthur to come out and state your objection to austerity and tell the people how you can get them out of the economic hole in which they find themselves, through no fault of theirs. Akanni and the BLP are hopeless alternatives to the DLP administration.

  33. Ivana Cardinale June 12, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Unions, workers, people, have the right to march, to protest, to manifest if they do not agree with a government’s policy. Happens everywhere but for “some” Bajans, workers actions is a waist of time? really? If people don’t protest, a government will never listen. Governments have to listen to the people, the people that voted for them. If I have the right to vote, I have the right to voice. A vote is a voice and the voice has be listen. That’s Democracy: Any system of government exercised by the sovereignty of its people, which ain’t happening

  34. Saga Boy June 12, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Larry Moore you do not know what you are talking about. Public servants though while not receiving a salary increase during the last 10 years received increases through annual increments. The NUPW should be honest and stop telling lies.

  35. sticks and stones June 12, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Even a fool can realised this is a political dagger being placed in the govt back and the heart of the country. Even a fool can realised that Annanki marches are an exercise in futility doing more harm than good to the economy which in the long ran increases govt debt and adfitional cost to taxpayers.

  36. Marilyn C Fields
    Marilyn C Fields June 12, 2017 at 9:05 am

    March and enjoy the few hours out for the day.
    Smell the coffee..roses.. Or bullshit along the way..
    On the the 7 o’clock news
    Here what they have to say
    Go to bed.. Wake up..
    Face another day
    Shake your head.. stupes
    TAXES will still be there
    With burning feet and aching hearts
    Come to terms that in Bim
    That dreams and reality are worlds apart..

  37. Romeo Crowell June 12, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Ladies and gentlemen,
    Are you aware that the Government was printing money to pay the public servants salaries. Any thing less than taxes in the short term is lay offs.
    Growth doesn’t come overnight. And with these taxes not only the public servants will bare the burden but the lawyers, doctors, carpenters, masons plumbers etc who enjoy all the benefits form the land but pay very little taxes.
    Yes it very hard on the “small man” but if the bottom falls out it would be even harder on the poor because the rich would still be rich with a little less.
    I like Mr. Macdonald’s passion but he needs mentoring on leadership. You get more when you negotiate. Threatening someone publicly make it even harder to get what you one when you arrive at the table

  38. joan Worrell June 12, 2017 at 9:37 am

    I agree with you 100% but marching during working hours constitute a strike. All sensible Union leaders know that an effective union and strike, require public sympathy, a willingness to sacrifice on the part of the public (workers in general) , and a belief that the strike is just on the part of all workers. The union leader and his members need our hearts and minds or else they will go into oblivion. A useless strike in Barbados only results in workers’ pay being docked and the Unions begging the workers employer not to deduct anything from their salaries because times are hard.

  39. joan Worrell June 12, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Romeo Crowell

    Hold up the bottom of your foot and let me kiss it. You sound like an economist. The other big-name economists, apart from the former Governor of the Central Bank, fail to say what you have said in your above post and I repeat your words like a refrain

    ”Are you aware that the Government was printing money to pay the public servants salaries. Any thing less than taxes in the short term is lay offs.
    Growth doesn’t come overnight. And with these taxes not only the public servants will bare the burden but the lawyers, doctors, carpenters, masons plumbers etc who enjoy all the benefits form the land but pay very little taxes.

    The Barbados Labour Party has not promised that they will reverse these austerity measures and implement anti austerity measures. We can only hope that the UPP, Soutions Barbados, CAP and the other political Parties will tell us how they plan to pay Civil Servants without increased taxes.

    Refrain continued

    Yes it very hard on the “small man” but if the bottom falls out it would be even harder on the poor because the rich would still be rich with a little less..”

    Amen and Amen. Thank you , Romeo.

  40. 100% Bajan June 12, 2017 at 10:03 am

    No to more taxes, no to higher taxation, No to public sector workers going home, government get down the debt that this country is in…so how are we to do this ??? all of these measures have a ripple effect on the other. Life as we knew it is gone, we have to make scarifies and adjustments to our daily lives, as hard as that pill is to swallow..its our reality, whether its B or D that puts us here i really do not know, what i know is that we need to get out of it and i am not sure marching is the answer. I think the union should focus on appointments of public sector workers and getting a higher pay rise for all to combat the effects of these higher taxes, but what about the poor of this country…thats who all of these measures will affect most….we who have, need to help those who don’t, I pray for this little island in the sea and hope that god will see us through.

  41. Anthony Chapman
    Anthony Chapman June 12, 2017 at 10:13 am

    People must do this it’s the right thing to do

  42. Anthony Chapman
    Anthony Chapman June 12, 2017 at 10:16 am

    People let us all come together and fight this new tax that is not legal

  43. Anthony Chapman
    Anthony Chapman June 12, 2017 at 10:17 am

    This goverment doing nuff wrong to poor people

  44. Vonetta Freeman
    Vonetta Freeman June 12, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    This is what I don`t get. Angry people and now someone has said lets stand up . Oh it ain`t gonna work, nothin, ain`t gonna happen. How do you know. If the Fore fathers of this nation had thought like you all wunna would a still be enslave. Then again is your own now trying to do the same. Stupseee, Make me so mad. Barbadians get out and stand up for your rights.

  45. Mark Marlon Phil
    Mark Marlon Phil June 12, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Get up, stand for your rights.

  46. Maureen Fields
    Maureen Fields June 12, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    I will MARCH!

  47. Frank White June 12, 2017 at 12:44 pm


  48. Ishmael Watkins
    Ishmael Watkins June 12, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Yes March and shut down the island and make the Governor General desolve parliament and call elections

  49. Geoff Small June 12, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    I am glad to see the comments that do not support Mr. McDowall. Wild cat strikes under the term industrial action must be curtailed. They are non-productive and are a barrier to progress. Not only should workers not be paid but the union should be sued for the cost of loss productivity. Furthermore, legislation is needed that states that there will be no strikes or lockouts during the term of the contract. This peaceful period would allow the employer to plan and develop the business for the benefit of all employees without illegal work stoppages. Legislation is not there yet, but Mr.McDowall if you and others continue down this path, the government would have no other alternative but to curtail this irresponsible behavior. Scaring away investment because this kind of behavior will not be tolerated by any Barbados government. Be forewarned.

  50. Lee Farnum-Badley June 12, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    March and beat cooking pans and insist on an IMF standby arrangement !!

  51. Alex Alleyne June 12, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    These union leaders just tickle my funny bone……..LOL, LOL,LOL.

  52. jrsmith June 12, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Is Mr, McDowall quite sure he is not managing the union , or is he really in control ,, wonder who is advising him bet it would be the same people who is working in the party for the government playing the game………………………………………….
    How could he be in sound mind thinking the way he is , to challenge a government who had 2 terms in office , 900 million dollars missing cannot be accounted for , no challenge from the opposition or anyone in Barbados and they have gotten away with it because they are uncontrollable and not accountable to anyone **************************************************
    What he needs to be doing, is trying to convince the black masses of bajans, that something needs to be done to keep our crooked politicians in check .. making sure what bajans have suffered in the past 9 years would never ever be repeated in Barbados again… We must be able to use the same vote which put them in office , to have them remove if they are not working in the interest of the people…………………………………………………..
    Bajans take this on board, say the same government win the up coming election, what the hell would happen……………………..

  53. shelly June 12, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    that is why we bajans will stand there all the time and be mistreated because all we do is talk among ourselves and never take action the guy want to march to show his displeasure and he is right. this party just don’t care if they are voted back in because ten years gone and they will get their pensions , and maybe they are tired and cant handle anymore so they want us to vote them out but god sees and know everything he is good

  54. Dan Louis
    Dan Louis June 12, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Let them march regardless of if you change Government now or tomorrow in Barbados nothing will change like i have said Barbados likewise other islands are broke however island people still want to live beyond they means still spending what they dont have. in countries like Barbados which does not have a self sustaininf economy if tourism drop to lets say even 10% to the caribbean islands will see hell.

  55. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce June 12, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    March Dems up to the top of the hill,
    And marched Dems down again.
    And when Dems were up, Dems were up,
    And when Dems were down, Dems were down,
    And when Dems were only half way up,
    Dems were neither up nor down.

  56. Francis June 12, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Waste of time!! March for what?
    After you March, what?
    Little children running that union.

  57. Belfast June 12, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    Now we are beginning to understand why slavery lasted so long.
    The No-me- Boah Bajan syndrome.

  58. Sam Alleyne June 12, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Keisha Weeks, think of all the people who sacrificed, marched and protested so you can ask that question. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

  59. Patrick June 12, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    Akanni, keep playing politics, I hope you remember the role the union played when Stephenson King was Prime Minister of St. Lucia.
    An election was held and Kenny Anthony won, the unions went along with what was preached during election , the government could not pay what they backed in opposition and Kenny Anthony is now in the opposition

  60. Saga Boy June 12, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    When you done March the white minority and the Indians will still have the economic power.


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