BWU is Mia’s union now, Morris complains

Former Deputy General Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) Robert Bobby Morris today delivered a stinging tongue lashing against his old union, claiming it was now being controlled by the Mia Mottley-led Barbados Labour Party (BLP).

Furthermore, Morris slammed the leadership of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), contending it too was a BLP union and its President Akanni McDowall was leading General Secretary Roslyn Smith.

“The Barbados Workers’ Union right now is under the control of the Barbados Labour Party. The executive council of the Barbados Workers’ Union is made up mainly of Barbados Labour Party supporters. The NUPW too,” Morris said as he delivered today’s lecture at the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) headquarters on George Street, as the part of the DLP’s weekly Astor B Watts lunchtime lecture series.

“What is happening is that you are going to get more and more people infiltrating groups and apparently they find that the trade union is easily infiltrated, so that is where they have moved,” he said.

Morris appeared upset that the two unions, along with the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union and the Barbados Union of Teachers, had come together with the private sector to plan a march on Monday to press the Freundel Stuart administration to compromise on the controversial National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL), which jumped from two per cent to ten per cent effective July 1, and to return to the negotiating table.

The retired trade unionist said he was at a loss as to how an industrial relations dispute had emerged from a tax increase, while accusing the unions of acting on behalf of a few thousand members to “lick up the lives” of over 200,000 residents.

He also wondered why McDowall appeared to be the one in charge at the NUPW.

“I have this serious problem with the trade union called the NUPW now. There was never a president who could lead the general secretary in that union. For years you were hearing about Denis Clarke and Joe Goddard, now a paid public servant, Mr Akanni McDowall, is doing the work and the people were paid a salary, but the NUPW you can’t hear them at all, like little servants. But that can’t be right.

“You couldn’t pay Sir Roy [Trotman] to do the work as a general secretary and then get [President General] Linda Brooks to be parading ‘bout the place. It can’t happen. So how have we allowed that to develop in the NUPW, a person who is paid from being a public servant and he is out there pulling down Government? We have never had presidents like that. We have never had presidents who took over the roll of a paid general secretary and the staff. That is an aberration of the worse kind,” said Morris.

He also questioned why the umbrella Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations appeared to be staying out of the ongoing rift between the labour movement and Government.

He further charged that “there are some” who are trying to “push the private sector and others” in a particular direction, seemingly taking a dig at Chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association Charles Herbert, who he said should “watch himself too, lest it be said he is to form some kind of a political alliance between the private sector and the Opposition.

“I hope it isn’t true but the logic of history is compelling sometimes,” Morris said.

Meantime, the DLP stalwart said the industrial dispute resolution process was in need of review.

He said the current arrangement where senior civil servants in the Ministry of the Civil Service and the Personnel Administration Department were negotiating with other public servants, often their subordinates, was “a recipe for disaster”.

Instead, he advised that Government should hire professional negotiators to engage the unions, along with a system that allows for binding arbitration should the talks fail.   

“If it breaks down, right now you cannot go to the Labour department for reconciliation because that is czar going to czar. So the Labour department has no role. So set up immediately, conciliation panels . . . so if you break down at that level where your negotiating committee and the trade union cannot get agreement, it goes up to mediation and if they can’t settle that at mediation you go to binding arbitration and done with that. You are not going to get threats of general strikes again, it can’t happen,” Morris said.

During his presentation the former DLP senator acknowledged that the country’s finances were “under stress”, but said he was not convinced that the private sector and the general public were struggling as much as they were suggesting.

“I have not seen financial reports and balance sheets that show that our private sector is in serious difficulties, the large ones that have to publish their financial reports. I don’t get the impression they are struggling.

“It does not mean that households are necessarily struggling either. All this thing about the introduction of taxes, I see how households behave in Barbados, I see them getting ready or Crop Over, I travel the length and breadth of this country and see the cars that people drive, I see the houses that people live in and I want to know where is this impression that the households are that depressed or that the private sector is that depressed,” he said.

58 Responses to BWU is Mia’s union now, Morris complains

  1. Bajan Fahlife
    Bajan Fahlife July 21, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    He was in the bwu and the DLP made him an ambassador for his loyalty to them. He really think this is 50 years ago.

  2. joan worrell July 21, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    This is what I was waiting for

  3. joan worrell July 21, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    Don’t worry Bobby, it will backfire at election time.

  4. Sundiata WorldTraveller Browne
    Sundiata WorldTraveller Browne July 21, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    This is so pathetic. If you disagree with government then you are automatically accused of being part of the opposition. What kind of democracy exists in Barbados?

  5. joan worrell July 21, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    Can you imagine employers telling the union to take strike action but don’t do anything to hurt their business and the unions saying
    ”Ok Sir”? Lord Have Mercy. We back to 1900

  6. Paul Chestnut
    Paul Chestnut July 21, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    And what about you sir?…did you get that fishing agreement with TNT?….or haven’t you started as yet?

    • tedd July 24, 2017 at 11:13 am

      the bowl of soup gone cold

  7. Pullhead Davis
    Pullhead Davis July 22, 2017 at 12:08 am

    When you had b.w.u in your pockets when 4 of you walked into parliment blp never complained

  8. hcalndre July 22, 2017 at 12:19 am

    @Bobby Morris, it`s a true saying, “do so, don`t like so.” how long did you know who is the leader of the Union? a few months ago although Walter Maloney was no longer the leader of the union you all still gave him the invitation to go to the convention and he knowing that, still accepted it. Everyone of you that had positions in the union, which party have you ran to when you leave the Union, the DLP right? From Frank Walcott all the way down to Walter Maloney, is it an unwritten law that every union president, deputy, secretary carry a DLP card?

  9. Meakai July 22, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Bobby, since you cannot recognize suffering, pass by me and I will show you what it now looks like.

  10. Denton Crichlow
    Denton Crichlow July 22, 2017 at 12:40 am

    Bajans accepted when the Union was fully controlled by the DEM’s and it was no issue,so now the tables turns its pressure in ur ass,Boy sit to ass down

  11. Bajan boy July 22, 2017 at 12:40 am

    When it was yours you didn’t complain. You did nothing for the adadvancement of banana so s hot to f#$k up. You are all talk what’s the latest on the fishing agreement?? You have been drawing tax payers money by false pretceses for 35 years now.

  12. Dennis Connell
    Dennis Connell July 22, 2017 at 12:41 am

    I can remember when it was owned by the DLP…cannt you remember Bobby?? I am sure you do

  13. Maureen Burgess
    Maureen Burgess July 22, 2017 at 1:30 am

    Wasn’t sir Leroy head and DLP member of Parliament

  14. Christopher David Alleyne
    Christopher David Alleyne July 22, 2017 at 1:42 am

    One time it was Barrow’s when Frank Walcott was General Secratary. I know he cyar fuhget dat.

  15. Michael Turton
    Michael Turton July 22, 2017 at 1:49 am


  16. Cheryl Barrow
    Cheryl Barrow July 22, 2017 at 1:56 am

    he sound so childest he could really shut to hell up if he don’t no what to say

  17. Bajan Positve Brian
    Bajan Positve Brian July 22, 2017 at 2:04 am

    Maybe the disengagement of the ruling party left the door open for someone else. The pm refused to exercise leadership so this is the net result.

  18. Pullhead Davis
    Pullhead Davis July 22, 2017 at 2:43 am

    Leroy trotman bobby morriss rambo bowen cant remember the 5th person were all members of union they entered parliment under dlp ticket

  19. Kathy Squires
    Kathy Squires July 22, 2017 at 2:54 am

    I is good that every know her business private or not but their are many out there who are representing us and pentening they are not.

  20. Duane Burke
    Duane Burke July 22, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Hypocrisy much?

  21. Daisy Suzanne King
    Daisy Suzanne King July 22, 2017 at 4:08 am

    Time for Bobby to retire gracefully.Before he disgrace himself by talking ignorance.

  22. Henry Rock
    Henry Rock July 22, 2017 at 4:36 am

    The higher the monkey climb the more u see his ass it sad what this man have become

  23. Henry Rock
    Henry Rock July 22, 2017 at 4:42 am

    You need to be a true patriot Mr Morris forget party and put this once great nation first

    • hewers of wood July 22, 2017 at 5:51 am

      Oh Henry. Now you too sweet. This statement would take litTLE insight. “GREAT FOR WHOM”? Not for this poor hand to mouth people in bim. All of theses so called leaders throw out a little sugar to attract nuff ants. WOT lot.

  24. Bajan boy July 22, 2017 at 5:08 am

    When it was yours you and the rest abused it. You need to shut AP and get at least the fishing agreement within the next six months before bajans get rid uh wunnah.You enjoyed tax payers money for the past 35 years show us what you did…

  25. Taylor Dane
    Taylor Dane July 22, 2017 at 5:21 am

    Crazy how so call educated people can get caught being on record for life with stupidity. It amaze me how everyone talking except the PM. Choose wisely the battles you fight because as the saying goes “foolishness is not sense”

  26. Randolph July 22, 2017 at 5:42 am

    Now this is real yardfowlism.If the BWU is now in bed with the BLP what is wrong with that?For years it was aDLP union.

  27. Lady Boss
    Lady Boss July 22, 2017 at 6:28 am

    Everyone talking!!!?? But de Bajan had enough of this foolish….they say in the beginning it’s going to worse Dlp need to check themselves cause Bajan had it up to the top need to pay them …..

  28. Taura Murray
    Taura Murray July 22, 2017 at 6:47 am

    Winston Ramsay

  29. Winnie Meade
    Winnie Meade July 22, 2017 at 6:50 am

    So you where the dlp union Leroy Trotman so now karma come for you dlp all

  30. Dawn-Marie Rawlins
    Dawn-Marie Rawlins July 22, 2017 at 6:52 am

    Is the party you are a member of obsessed with #Alternative facts or does everyone in the DLP have convenient memory???? The DLP has used the unions the same very way, you are accusing the unions of being affiliated with a party? How many DLP members went from the Unions to Parliament? U see why Bajans want to see the backs of you guys??? Too much lies, twists and turns. Too much misinformation being off loaded so wunna can get another five years of paychecks paid by the very people u ridicule, vilify and lie to daily…

  31. Arthur Collymore
    Arthur Collymore July 22, 2017 at 7:01 am

    Bobby happens to be one of the few friends that Stuart has. I remember a few short years ago that he was extolling the leadership qualities of said Stuart touthing his as Barbados’ best P M ever. Leadership of ones country is one of the highest honours bestowed on any individual, but In truth, he’s the biggest clown to be so honoured. Even Bobby, I’m sure, is embarrassed by the abject failure that is his friend & confidant, PM Stuart. Real ass clowns, the both of them. Yardfowlism at its best by a man who sat In parliament wearing two hard, Deputy General Secretary of the BWU & DLP parliamentarian.

  32. Cee Greaves-Gibson
    Cee Greaves-Gibson July 22, 2017 at 7:06 am

    The BWU belonged to the DEMs when you sold out UCAL workers who til today are owed millions of dollars. Trotman and all the old heads have a lot to answer for

  33. Marcelyn Belle
    Marcelyn Belle July 22, 2017 at 7:11 am

    You need to get with it. It’s not all about you. Your children are grown and you have it made, but poor struggling people out there suffering and all you could think about is Mia.

    • Charming Forde
      Charming Forde July 22, 2017 at 8:23 am

      I wish I could love this comment 1 million times, I just sick of DEM.

  34. Ryan Henry
    Ryan Henry July 22, 2017 at 7:16 am

    I wonder if he remembered being a dem and unionized at the same time, probably too long for him to remember…….oh what a short memory and an ignorant tongue

  35. Carl July 22, 2017 at 7:25 am

    This is what happens when politics is allowed to enter anything. It no longer is about right or wrong, just or unjust. It becomes solely a political football. Opposing government on an issue doesn’t mean that a person is of the other side. A member of the electorate should be able to disagree if he/she is displeased with an issue. That’s his/her democratic, constitutional right. Just because a person voted for a party does that mean that they must agree with everything that party does? That’s like me agreeing with a friend who commits a crime just because he/she is my friend. A real friend tells you when you’re wrong and if that friend is also a real friend they should understand that. I cannot support someone in their folly just because I’m their friend. I do agree to some extent though that government sees how bajans are living despite complaining about hardship. Attending ever show and event but then complaining about the price of school clothes and other critical items. Priorities aren’t in order. Instead of looking at the cars that people drive and the houses in which they live, probably Mr. Morris should check and see how many cars and houses are being repossessed. Maybe Mr. Morris should ask himself why the ministers can get back their 10% but people losing their jobs. Despite they getting back their 10% people can’t get their income tax for three years now. Why the government reduce what tax payers can claim on and every time you look around it is another tax. If this continues, sooner or later the people will snap so these marches may very well be the least of his worries. Stop taking the bajan public for granted.

  36. Shawn Luke
    Shawn Luke July 22, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Has he forgotten that he as a DLP member ain’t fight for the workers as he should have. Now people are doing their jobs,they’re BLP supporrters. UTTER RUBBISH!

  37. Everick Holder
    Everick Holder July 22, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Sour grapes, since Sir Roy got ahead of him for top position in the Bush years ago.

  38. Everick Holder
    Everick Holder July 22, 2017 at 7:40 am

    In the BWU not Bush.

  39. Lilian Lloyd
    Lilian Lloyd July 22, 2017 at 7:45 am


  40. joan worrell July 22, 2017 at 7:46 am

    The Barbados Workers Union should be ashamed of itself lying in bed with the private sector. There was a time when workers with these companies enjoyed medical insurance plans and pension plans to which they and management contributed. Ask Toni Moore how many of her members still enjoy those privileges. These days some of them have to fork out hundreds of dollars in medical bills without any refund. When some retire, all they get is the NIS pension after working a lifetime with these employers. You can also ask her how many of the employees are on contract and are not members of her union. Another question you can ask, is how many of the private sector employers recognize the Barbados Workers Union as the bargaining agent for the workers. It is back to 1900.

    • hcalndre July 22, 2017 at 9:28 am

      Joan, when you have workers at Job X. Y. Z and some are unionized and others are not, that`s what will happen, how can a union function like that? Union dues should be deducted from their pay check every month, not members going to the union place to pay the dues, they may never get there. Most work places should be unionizes in barbados or you look for a job some where else and I`ll bet you would not hear the yard fowls and lizards who changes their positions/color saying that they would go to work when the union calls a strike, only in Barbados.

  41. Angela Thompson Branch
    Angela Thompson Branch July 22, 2017 at 7:56 am

    The tables turn .

  42. Paulette Noel
    Paulette Noel July 22, 2017 at 7:57 am

    This man like he stupid tho. Tell he that this is not 50 years ago. He dealing with ppl that have common sense. If he in know what to say he need to keep he mouth shut

  43. Roger Headley July 22, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Leroy trotman bobby morriss rambo bowen cant remember the 5th person were all members of union they entered parliment under dlp ticket

    Lilian Lloyd
    Lilian Lloyd
    July 22, 2017 at 7:26 am

    Ronald Jones, Karen Best, Harry Husbands

  44. Roger Headley July 22, 2017 at 8:16 am

    I travel the length and breadth of this country and see the cars that people drive, I see the houses that people live in and I want to know where is this impression that the households are that depressed or that the private sector is that depressed,” he said.

    You sound jealous. You preferred the good old day when only certain persons could have nice cars and houses.
    This is such a purile statement. Cars and homes Bobby? It simply means debt which this tax will help to reduce the ability to pay for them. The more you pay on other goods and services the less you have in you pocket to pay for the house and the car.

  45. Ziggy Blessed
    Ziggy Blessed July 22, 2017 at 8:22 am

    anybody could tell me wha he do for tax payers money since becoming CARICOM ambassador??? or is he just another joker filling a post????

  46. joan worrell July 22, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Toni, Akanni and Pedro, wunnuh ever see cats play wid mice before they eat them? Keep that in your minds when you march on Monday morning.

  47. hewers of wood July 22, 2017 at 9:54 am

    @keen observer – never will happen. Read the same Bible they use to enslave this people and still working today. It is written in there.
    We are dealing with some well PROGRAMMED WILLIE Lynch chip people. Education in Columbus as a hero is the problem. There should have listen in their history lesson. Some of them like being at the bottom and smiling in the morning with massa. Talking all their personal business with him to get sympathy. I worked with people like that. They report you at the drop of a hat. I believe everything works for a greater good. Once the dust settles the blood shed may start .

    • hewers of wood July 22, 2017 at 10:06 am

      Wrong posting.

  48. Colin King July 22, 2017 at 11:57 am

    This gentleman has an extremely vivid imagination.

    Should give serious consideration to becoming a writer of novels.

    A number 1 best seller would be just around the corner from the look of things!

    Oh, and yes Sir, individuals and companies are struggling, big time.


    Because they are up to their necks in debt, which they are all
    having considerable difficulty in servicing, mainly because of the very high cost of living, allied to a lack of growth in the economy
    and stagnant wages.

    Now do not get me wrong!

    I am not suggesting for one minute that the solution to these problems are readily available, or indeed even possible at this time, in the environment that currently exists.

    Be that as it may, your attempts to play down the seriousness of the situation surely leaves a lot to be desired.

    Does that spell it out for you clearly enough!

  49. concern bajan voter July 22, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    I would like to ask Mr Morris this question.
    Which Union staged the march against the Sandiford Government?
    I am sure that the head of the union at the time was not a member of the BLP.


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