NSRL backlash

Workers’ representatives not prepared to take new tax lying down

With the controversial National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) due to take effect here Saturday, three of this island’s leading trade unions are again warning that the measure is of the sort that it could trigger a showdown of national proportions.

It was the second such warning in a week by top officials of the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU), the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) and the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) following a five hour meeting with Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler last Friday at Government Headquarters, at which they failed to get Government to either repeal the measure or to approve a coping subsidy for their members.

However, during a joint press conference at the NUPW’s Dalkeith, St Michael headquarters Friday afternoon, union officials were quite adamant that the onerous tax, which moves from two per cent to ten per cent on July 1, was simply too much for their members to bear.

From left, NUPW President Akanni McDowall, BSTU President Mary Redman, BWU General Secretary Toni Moore and NUPW General Secretary Roslyn Smith during Friday’s press conference.

And while not revealing their full hand in terms of what action they intend to take, they stressed that they were not about to take the matter lying down, while suggesting that a response could be forthcoming as early as next week.

“In industrial relations all options are always on the table,” warned BWU General Secretary Toni Moore.

She said while the unions felt connected to a lot of emotion and feelings on the ground, they were giving “careful consideration” to their next move.

“We appreciate that we have to first speak to our members and make sure that what we perceive as the best response is in their view the best response,” Moore said, adding that the unions were of the view that “if we are going to make any dents in the current situation, all of Barbados has to speak”.

During the press conference, NUPW President Akanni McDowall said the unions remained open to dialogue with Government.

However, with no relief currently forthcoming, he said the unions were sending “a strong signal to the Government that we are willing to do whatever is necessary to represent our members”.

“What we cannot do now is tell you what those plans are or what the signal will be,” he emphasized.

However, BSTU President Mary Redman revealed that in the interim the unions would be jointly fashioning correspondence to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, as well as Opposition Leader Mia Mottley and the two independent members of Parliament “again outlining our position and recommending an acceptable response as we attempt to move forward”.

‘We are hoping that common sense and caring will prevail and that concern for the economic well-being and social stability of members of this society will override purely fiscal considerations that, if they are enforced, will redound to the destruction of the society,” she added.

Along with the three unions represented at the briefing, an open invitation has been issued to shop stewards of all trade unions and workers’ associations in both the public and private sectors to attend a meeting at the BWU’s Solidarity House headquarters next Thursday to finalize the national plan of action.

“We are assuring our membership that our meeting on Thursday is not going to be just another talk shop,” Moore stated emphatically.

The last time unions joined forces in major industrial action was two years ago at the height of a dispute at the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) over the retrenchment of ten workers who had reached the age of 60.

However, the BWU General Secretary warned that the pending action could be on a much larger scale given the vast number of citizens that would be affected by the austerity measures of the Budget, which was presented in Parliament on May 30.

“The scale is different because that was dealing with a specific issue and a public sector issue. This is one that touches every single citizen of Barbados. So that is every single worker, every single family member,” Moore stressed.

27 Responses to NSRL backlash

  1. Jennifer June 30, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    All of you lot act as nothing more that PACIFIERS/stabilizers (similar to bicarbonate of soda on stomach acid) BUFFERING on the GRID. You guys remind me of those shallow, lost, civil rights leaders who was nothing more that the nullifying ointment for a never healing grievous wound. Promising and pretending they can do something to make things better, when they knew full well they could do nothing. This makes you deceitful and nothing more than STABILIZERS thereby keeping the masses in their yoke of thorns. You lot remind me of that other lot running the churches. But then again you are only doing what that Moyne commission set you up to do. Why don’t you guys try shutting your mouths and keeping them closed and just let people get on with their natural adrenaline response of a FIGHT OR FLIGHT response. Stop being a hindrance to this people’s freedom.

    Reply
    • Jennifer June 30, 2017 at 11:49 pm

      Just sit back on you couches and make some popcorn done with olive oil, no butter and a full glass of ice cold sorrel and just watch the movie play out. Now this can’t be that difficult can it????????

      Reply
  2. Saga Boy July 1, 2017 at 1:30 am

    Can you imagine Mary Redman and Akani leading the BWU down the wrong path? There was a time the BWU had balls. There were talking about strike action but now seem to be backing down. I am certain that the BLP does not like this. I therefore expect to hear more threats next week.

    Reply
    • Jennifer July 1, 2017 at 1:50 am

      Saga boy these moyne lot have now become like the ox (castrated). Bordering and bouncing on trickery, eating dry grass causing gaseous exchange and producing nothing but old annoying farts. This lot is in that matrix box and is only there to pacify. No real action of any kind.

      Reply
  3. Carson C Cadogan July 1, 2017 at 6:16 am

    They simply want to block progress in Barbados.

    Reply
  4. Alex Alleyne July 1, 2017 at 6:17 am

    This is another bunch of “clueless persons” in top position. First thing from you all is “march” like when Bajans see a centipede, first thing is “kill-e”. You bunch need some “NEGOTIATION SKILLS”.

    Reply
  5. Big pappa July 1, 2017 at 6:32 am

    Here us what is needed to help the government cut its massive expense each month. Most of that expense go’s to wages of government workers. We no longer can afford a blotted government work force that do nothing on any given day. Down size that work force. Take the old NIS building and retrofits it to meet today’s code put every government office in they and close all the other out side offices. Bajans will1-246-422-6424 be better served to have all government services under one roof instead of them scattered all over the place. That will cut down in rent if these places. Pay the older worker’s out with full benefits. Reform the government retirements system to payout retirement benefits for 10 years only after retirement. We cannot keep raising taxes to keep paying people to do nothing. These people had a good run and would have save and put away saving. As for the unions. Every since Frank Walcott die them us a bunch of blow hearts. Ignore them.

    Reply
  6. Big pappa July 1, 2017 at 6:35 am

    Don’t know where that number come from

    Reply
  7. Alex Alleyne July 1, 2017 at 6:54 am

    I’LL bet in the DVD player is the movie “UP IN SMOKE”, and on the table waiting is another movie “PINEAPPLE EXPRESS” to follow.

    Reply
  8. Carson C Cadogan July 1, 2017 at 7:06 am

    1st. July 2017.

    TODAY IS A GOOD DAY.

    TODAY IS A VERY GOOD DAY.

    Reply
  9. Sharon Taylor
    Sharon Taylor July 1, 2017 at 8:06 am

    Unions on a mission to destabilize an already broken economy! Imagine that….. Amazing……

    Reply
    • Ali Baba
      Ali Baba July 1, 2017 at 8:18 am

      SHARON TAYLOR IT CAN’T GET NO WORSE, TRUST ME

      Reply
    • Sharon Taylor
      Sharon Taylor July 1, 2017 at 8:20 am

      Or so u hoping…. U need to note that our youth are not as passive as the older folk!

      Reply
  10. joan Worrell July 1, 2017 at 10:09 am

    The unions must be reminded that the IMF , if that is the alternative to NSRL, has recommended more cuts to Government spending. They future lies between a rock and a hard place. The Government doesn’t plan to print any more money so the ball is in their court. Go ahead and strike.

    The spokesperson for the group who is an educator should be able to understand the following statement from the IMF

    Over the medium-term, further fiscal adjustment would be needed on the expenditure side to decisively reduce debt and debt service costs. Transfers to public enterprises of close to eight per cent on an annual basis represent the second largest expenditure item, after the wage bill, and about the same magnitude as the interest bill on the public debt. Both expenditure categories weigh heavily on public finances and critical reforms are needed over the to restore sustainability and confidence. Reduction in transfers to public enterprises must be supported by structural reforms to reduce SOEs’ operating costs, rationalize their programs, and raise their revenues. Consideration should also be given to divesting commercial SOEs that can be run more efficiently and profitably by the private sector. Other structural reform, especially those focused on improving the investment climate and fostering growth are also critical.

    Reply
  11. joan Worrell July 1, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Above should read ” Their future instead of they future””

    Reply
  12. Carson C Cadogan July 1, 2017 at 10:19 am

    They don’t like we

    The wicked don’t like we

    That is why they criticize we

    They fight we from all angles,

    They back bite we

    But we are not afraid of evil doers

    They no power

    God bless we with Health and Strengh

    Reply
  13. Carson C Cadogan July 1, 2017 at 11:05 am

    The Min. Of Finance the Hon. Christopher Sinckler:

    https://www.facebook.com/DLPBB/videos/1479477515448382/

    Reply
  14. joan Worrell July 1, 2017 at 11:10 am

    The employers will deal with Toni Moore’s union members who follow her and strike. Her membership will be depleted and the union will only serve as a credit union thereafter. The business sector has already warned her that they are not in favour of any strike. Mary Mary quite contrary knows how her garden grows. She going on holiday on Friday so she is not going to lose a penny in day’s pay. Mc. Dowall should know that he will be losing many of his workmates after the strike is over. Yes , let them strike. The NSRL is law effective today. No amount of striking will reverse it.

    Reply
  15. joan Worrell July 1, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Yes Toni, use your weapon of mass destruction i.e Transport Board. Disrupt the service for a week. May God Help the workers. Much to my regret, it will be privatized and the Asians will take it over. More indisciplined drivers , lewd music and no recognition of the Barbados Workers Union as bargaining agent for workers. Go for it Toni darling. And yuh know what Toni? The money going back to Rawalpindi, New Delhi, Mumbai etc. etc.

    Mc. Dowall, I thought you had learned a lesson from the recent trial run from the Government with the contracting of refuge collection to private sector. Go ahead and stink up the roads.

    Reply
    • Carson C Cadogan July 1, 2017 at 2:18 pm

      She cant do that, she has no money to pay them. The BWU strike fund is empty.

      He cant call out the SSA, the workers there have not forgotten him. He called them out the last time and they didn’t get paid and he never step and paid them. So they say never again.

      Reply
  16. Milli Watt July 1, 2017 at 11:26 am

    march then what, strike then what…….Mary and Roslyn went through the horn pipe already for causes but the other snotty nose pretenders big stupse would recommend the latest iteration of assassin creed for the two to play and leave the serious business of running a country to us adults. this is where trade unions going stupse

    Reply
  17. Milli Watt July 1, 2017 at 11:28 am

    that crowd ain’t doing squat………to weak, to idol, to lawless and to LATE!

    Reply
  18. Rumboy July 1, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Big Pappa There has always been a wage bill. Government have always had to pay its workers.
    The DLP is trying to play on people’s senses by referring to these figures as though its new. They cannot bat on the wicket. They cannot bat period and they are blaming the wicket, the bowler, the selectors., the sponsors, the groundsman, the scorers, even the spectators. Everybody but themselves.

    Reply
  19. Rumboy July 1, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Its amazing how the apologists for this inept Govt deal with the issues. Project the problems on others. Blame and Condemn others. They like Carson Cadogan who use such a name to confuse and fool us are taken care of by their association with the party in Govt so they will say anything.

    Reply
  20. Kevin July 1, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Why is Mary Redman doing there?

    Reply
  21. Saga Boy July 1, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Every year they get and sign a social partnership protocol without reading it. They pledge to encourage the formation of strong consumer bodies and to fight against situations where increase prices from the business and professional sectors are unreasonable. Before they strike they need to read what they sign up to do. Too much emotionalism and too little reasoning.

    https://labour.gov.bb/pdf/social-partnership-protocols/Protocol%206.pdf

    Unions are not in position to strike. They are broke. They are under financial pressure. People are dropping out because they have lost their way. They are not as relevant as they used to be. They are unreasonable. I predict that they will not strike for more than two days because they have no money to pay their members. The only losers will be the sheep that follow them. They will not be paid. A strike will send the country into a deeper hole.

    Reply
  22. Helicopter(8P) July 6, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Too much of anything can be a sin and there is punishment or repentance at the end of it all !

    Reply

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