Still not budging

Work-to-rule yet to achieve desired affect

A request by the island’s four major trade unions for a go slow and work to rule appears to have been heeded by unionized members across the public service.

Barbados TODAY also understands that unionized workers drawn from the National Insurance Scheme, Barbados Postal Service and the Central Bank of Barbados, along with several other departments staged peaceful protests outside of their respective Government departments on Monday against the recently announced austerity measures, including the controversial National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL).

The action was in support of their trade unions, namely the National Union of Public Workers, the Barbados Workers’ Union, the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union and the Barbados Union of Teachers, which collectively issued an instruction, via Whatsapp message, for their members to begin a “go-slow and work to rule”.

“You are asked to ‘go-slow’, and ‘work to rule’,” the message read. “This means that you come to work at your start time, take your time to do your work carefully, and leave at the stipulated time. No extra duties are performed,” the unions added, while urging their members and other Barbadians “who care about the direction in which the country is going” to join in their protest action.

In their message, the unions also acknowledged that their recent plea for relief from the “brutal” NSRL, which increased from two per cent to ten per cent on July 1, as well as for a coping subsidy had been “rebuffed” by Government.

However they argued that “the risk the NSRL poses to our livelihood is too severe and devastating to simply accept.

“These taxes will bring great hardship on every consumer in Barbados. For the average Barbadian there is nothing left to tax!” the unions stressed.

When contacted NUPW President Akanni McDowall was however tightlipped on the protest action. All he would say is that the unions were following through on their earlier promise issued after their 48-hour ultimatum to Government expired last Thursday.

“We’re following through as planned. We’re not saying what kind of action we’re taking. The recipients of the action will eventually feel it,” he told Barbados TODAY.

Just last Friday, representatives of the private sector met with the union and after a near two-hour meeting urged the Freundel Stuart administration to return to the negotiating table for tripartite discussions.

In making the call, President of the Barbados Private Sector Association Charles Herbert said his membership was deeply concerned that dialogue seemed to have broken down with Government and that the unions’ deadline had not been met.

“We urge the Government to commence dialogue with the Social Partners as a matter of urgency,” he implored.

However, up to late Monday no response had been forthcoming from Government to the request for immediate talks, with Minister of Labour and Social Security Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo suggesting that the “options are few” and that alternatives to the current austerity measures would be “unpleasant”.

“I think that at the individual level, we will have to make some adjustments. . . . We’re an educated people and I think we would benefit from examining critically the information that is before us. Examining critically our situation, you would realize that we do have to take action and the sooner the better,” she said.

“I think when we come to that point and realize that this is the path, this prescribed path is a good path, is a necessary path and quite likely an effective path, then we can submit to it for the required time.  How long that is? I don’t want to say, but that time will be determined as we go on,” she told Barbados TODAY.

38 Responses to Still not budging

  1. Mr. Crowley July 17, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    “You are asked to ‘go-slow’, and ‘work to rule’,” This means that you come to work at your start time, take your time to do your work carefully, and leave at the stipulated time. No extra duties are performed,” the message read
    This is wonderful news for us….Finally, they will come to work and start on time and leave at the stipulated time. We need more “work to rules”

  2. Sheldine Dyall
    Sheldine Dyall July 17, 2017 at 11:18 pm


  3. Arthur Collymore
    Arthur Collymore July 17, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    Those that know him well will tell you that there’s a stubborn, defiant, indifferent streak that permeates his entire being. His is a personality that holds to a position irrespective of any views to the contrary. God help us if he’s wrong, which he has been on almost every issue. Why should he bother? 9 more months of PM salary & a healthy pension for life. He has nothing to worry about. Mean while, the other 99.9% of us will continue to s..te through our ribs.

  4. Wendell Kirton
    Wendell Kirton July 17, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    This interesting I am curious to see how it all goes down 4 trade unions vs government who will win and who will fold in I guess time will tell

  5. Mazie Taylor
    Mazie Taylor July 17, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    Wrong and strong ? Or prideful and haughty? Lord deliver us from all evil the poor and middle class can’t take it anymore, send a deliverer asap

  6. Sandra Madea
    Sandra Madea July 18, 2017 at 12:14 am


  7. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn July 18, 2017 at 3:43 am

    Barbados need a prime minister. A leader usually lead from in front. Not behind. Right now the country have MORE to loose . A lot of these ministers going to lose their seats because of poor leadership. Their is no way that I on a ship and I see that the captain looking to commit suicide with all of us on board. I will jump off that boat before it hit the rock HEAD on.

  8. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn July 18, 2017 at 3:59 am

    Now crop over is just around the corner. Suppose the Airport port was to shut down the same weekend for crop over. What will happen. Carefest is coming. Also if the garbage men were to go on strike. If I was the Prime minister. I will go back to parliament and ease the people. Who is leading this country. IT LOOKS AS THOUGH the finance minister have more power than the pime minister. Only a mad man will want to HURT his people just before an ELECTION. It look as though that the minister of finance is selling out the DLP. Most of these minister in the DLP not happy with the TAXES that implement in the last budget. Most of them are cowards They rather have a silent DEATH than to speak out against the finance minister. No BUYING VOTES cannot save you all this time. The people DONE make up their minds. They will take your money and vote for the other party.

  9. Itz Queen
    Itz Queen July 18, 2017 at 4:23 am

    Wanna could as well do what wanna got do ,cause knowing my prime minister he sleeping on this issue,when wanna up de thing he might feel a little heat and get up turn on AC and go back to sleep.

  10. Henry Rock
    Henry Rock July 18, 2017 at 5:31 am

    Does this PM care about the ppl of his country this is so sad MR PM Bdos don’t belong to u we the ppl elected u to do a job and u have failed us the best thing u can do for this country is to call election let the ppl decide who is best to take this country forward just holding on to get PM pay for another few months while this country sink deeper and deeper is the sign of a very selfish and mean person

  11. Jan Hold
    Jan Hold July 18, 2017 at 6:16 am

    Why waste time stupseeeee the union needs to step up stop fooling around them ain’t serious anyway

  12. Lauraine Clarke
    Lauraine Clarke July 18, 2017 at 6:31 am

    This government has rape Barbadian,with the taxes, we can’t teck it no more,help someone.

  13. Saga Boy July 18, 2017 at 7:40 am

    When the government reduced the taxes how will they make up the short fall? Seems like people dont understand how they personally contribute to this current problem. It is a lifestyle problem. The taxes are meant to reduce the demand for the use of foreign curency. I bet you that most of you cant tell me how the tax will impact on you. How many of you have personally had to make significant adjustments to your lifestyles in the last 9 years? Clearly if you want a reduction in taxes you are telling the government to send home your brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. Why cant you take the position that we are our brothers keepers. At this difficult period why cant we work together so that most of us can survive?

  14. Joy Waldron
    Joy Waldron July 18, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Don’t budge…. unions need get serious tho and stop pussy footing with ppl emotions . It’s either you going do something or not… tax can’t move with talk it need action

  15. Sonia Brathwaite
    Sonia Brathwaite July 18, 2017 at 8:12 am

    The man don’t give a damn what people, the unions, or anyone else do or think, and all of DEM are the same thing, just come with a lot of slick talk to get votes and after that everybody can go to hell.

  16. Kay Henry
    Kay Henry July 18, 2017 at 8:14 am

    This PM is a joke we bAjans suffering bad and he don’t care all he doing is pulling down the country, increasing the taxes and living large it’s time to up the thing ,shut it down and strike time for action .

    Question it was said that his big ride belong to the people of BIM have any one driven or got a ride in it as yet .


  17. joan Worrell July 18, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Where the hell these people learned their industrial relations? I heard on the radio this morning that the four unions have instructed their members to sick-out tomorrow. Are they aware that a sick-out is a form of industrial action and all who take part in the industrial action will not be paid for the day unless they produce a doctor’s certificate? Back to court for a loss cause. These unions should be leading sheep instead of people or as the youngsters would say ” They should be leading sheeple

  18. Princess M R Charles
    Princess M R Charles July 18, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Stop talking and do something too much talk I going to tell you all now nothing ain’t coming out of this up the thing we going to lick our wounds and let these unfair politicians do what they want with us pm don’t give a damn if we sink or swim

  19. Lionel Gittens
    Lionel Gittens July 18, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Don’t think the unions combined will shut down the country. It won’t be the right thing to do. Elections soon here.

  20. joan worrell July 18, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Above should read “‘lost cause’ instead of loss cause.

  21. Philip Irie Clement
    Philip Irie Clement July 18, 2017 at 8:57 am

    He and his band of merry men know fully well that these unions will eventually back off ,, the talk will die down and it’s back to business as usual.
    We are a society of talkers not doers.

  22. Lilian Lloyd
    Lilian Lloyd July 18, 2017 at 9:05 am


  23. joan Worrell July 18, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Haven’t I told you that these union leaders are clueless when it comes to industrial relations. I am sorry for Mrs. Moore who would have attended the Labour College but seemingly has forgotten that a sick-out is a form of industrial action and employees would not be paid for the time that industrial action is taken against the employer. They might have gotten away with murder if they had instructed their membership via social media to report sick on Wednesday and Thursday but they instead, opted for VOB which broadcasted in the 8.30 news this morning that they have authorized the sick-out. In other words this is a premeditated and planned form of industrial action. No pay for any worker who is absent from work tomorrow and Thursday unless the person is on authorized leave or can produce a doctor’s certificate. Hartley Reid, go to the top of the class. These people don’t know wuh gine down. Up de ting. lol

  24. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba July 18, 2017 at 9:41 am


  25. joan Worrell July 18, 2017 at 9:48 am

    Once again Mr. Prime Minister, I am asking you to stand your ground. The BEC has offered to mediate. That is good news. However Mr. Prime Minister, I am sure you are mindful of the fact that no employer negotiates under duress. Take your time sir, let them sickout tomorrow and Thursday. Let them up de ting. They know absolutely nothing about industrial relations. I would be disappointed if you agree to sit around a table with them before next week. Why should Akunni give you an ultimatum of 48 hours or else suffer the consequences. Not even teachers (members of BSTU AND BUT) can give students an ultimatum to do anything or suffer the consequences, without following protocol. Again comrade Hartley Reid, go to the top of the class. You are a bright boy.

  26. Patty July 18, 2017 at 10:26 am

    The trades unions and confederacies of the world are a snare. Keep out of them, and away from them, brethren. Have nothing to do with them.

  27. Bunn July 18, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Why budge? When my party got new rides, 10% salary increase and will be entertaining the wealthy very soon, you’ll see.

  28. joan Worrell July 18, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    It is only a few days ago that former Prime Minister Owen Arthur said that the unions would not dare to set any ultimatum to himself, Tom Adams or Errol Barrow. . He was right. Tom Adams once sent a circular to all heads of Government Departments to stop deducting union fees from Government workers” salaries. until their industrial action ceased. The NUPW nearly filthed themselves. Can you imagine what would have happened if they didn’t go on their knees and begged him to withdraw the circulars? It would have meant that the union exec. would have had to go from office to office collecting money to run the union. Tom was a tyrant but he was right. The union had ceased good faith relations when they were on the go slow. If you are on go slow , you must account for every minute you are away from the office outside of your lunch period. The blind is leading the blind in this current impasse.

  29. Milli Watt July 18, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    I ain’t notice no difference, where is this work to rule and go slow.

    • tedd July 18, 2017 at 5:33 pm

      how can you tell the difference between regular and a go slow

  30. Ossie Moore July 18, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Angus man you don’t know some Bajans dem want to get mo’ food hampers!

  31. Petra July 19, 2017 at 4:10 am

    These unions are jokes don’t pay no more union dues workers they are a sell out can’t do nothing for workers up de thing what Moore and aKanni go back to school where u can keep talking like puppets

  32. joan Worrell July 19, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Oh yes Mr. Editor , he has budged. Saw the following in another sectin of the press ”PM answers private sector call for dialogue”. I want a scoop from you


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