Abeds remains open amid protest

On a day when several Bridgetown businesses shut their doors temporarily to allow their workers to participate in the march against Government’s austerity measures, one of the leaders of the private sector went against the norm.

The fabric store Abed’s, owned by President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Eddy Abed, remained open throughout the morning.

One protester appealing to Barbadians to boycott Abeds.

However, while thousands of Barbadians, some in uniform, took to the streets in a bid to press Government to compromise on the taxing National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL), Abed’s was far from overflowing with shoppers when Barbados TODAY visited.

Store Manager Hassan Towini would not comment, however, Abed had said last week that the march, led by the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA) and four of the island’s leading trade unions, did not have the BCCI’s full support.

Abed had been insisting also on the need for tripartite dialogue, and for Government to explore alternatives to its recently announced austerity Budget, which he said “gives us the pain”.

It was normal in Speighstown as well, as businesses kept their doors open to customers.

There were no signs that anyone there was protesting, a sharp contrast to the determined crowds that filled Bridgetown.

Meanwhile, a handful of businesses in the Warrens area were closed, among them Promotech and clothing store Upbeat.

When Barbados TODAY visited the Dome Mall, a notice posted on the entrance of Promotech stated: “We trust this will result positively towards the goal of the BPSA which is to engage in meaningful dialogue with the Government of Barbados regarding the recent tax increase and together [forge] strategies towards a game plan for the greater benefit of all Barbadians.”

Promotech closed its doors during Monday’s march.

The notice also stated that the NSRL would impact on the cost of doing business as “with many other items these new taxes apply to all technologies such as laptops, desktops and tablets which were previously duty-free prior to July 1 2017. We want Barbadians to always have access to the best technology that exists especially since technology is one major known worldwide driving force for a country’s growth and innovation”.

However, while Massy Distribution had indicated it would allow its staff to join the protest, Massy Supermarkets remained open during the hours of the march.

An estimated 20,000 people took part in the protest, led by the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union, the Barbados Union of Teachers, the Barbados Workers’ Union and the National Union of Public Workers, with support from the BPSA.

Source: (AGB)

65 Responses to Abeds remains open amid protest

  1. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba July 25, 2017 at 2:09 am


  2. Sherlene Phillips
    Sherlene Phillips July 25, 2017 at 3:12 am

    Dont get distracted people…it is not about Abeds it is about the government changing some of its policies….DEAL WITH ABEDS LATER

  3. Lauraine Clarke
    Lauraine Clarke July 25, 2017 at 5:10 am

    Don’t shop there.

  4. Evelyn Dottin
    Evelyn Dottin July 25, 2017 at 5:38 am

    Boycott Cave Shepherd , Woolworth and Automotive Art

    • Charming Forde
      Charming Forde July 25, 2017 at 7:00 am


    • Jeff Floats Cumberbatch
      Jeff Floats Cumberbatch July 25, 2017 at 8:43 am

      Yes why?

    • Keisha Weekes
      Keisha Weekes July 25, 2017 at 8:49 am


    • Evelyn Dottin
      Evelyn Dottin July 25, 2017 at 11:06 am

      One of the placards said to boycott Abeds, that is why i said to boycott those companies too

    • Belfast July 25, 2017 at 9:46 pm

      We too could call for a boycott of Williams Industries, and ask the Minister of Culture to end his ministry’s occupancy in Sky Mall.
      But it’s not about Bizzy, Cave Shepherd, Goddards or Woolworth.

  5. Juliet Marshall
    Juliet Marshall July 25, 2017 at 6:02 am

    Don’t we live in a democratic society any more? Didn’t Abed’s had a choice to march or not to march? Asking for myself.

    • Divine Ingrid Johnson
      Divine Ingrid Johnson July 25, 2017 at 7:18 am

      It seems not..

    • Errol Rayside
      Errol Rayside July 25, 2017 at 9:19 am

      uncle Tom

    • Angela Brandon-Hall
      Angela Brandon-Hall July 25, 2017 at 9:40 am

      You see what confusion can erupt when we dont take ten minutes to think through what is happening in this island

    • Kirk Nurse
      Kirk Nurse July 25, 2017 at 9:46 am

      Abeds absolutely have the right not to do so. However, every action has a consequence and if that’s people voicing their displeasure in certain ways, it is simply the way life goes.

    • Marc Goodridge
      Marc Goodridge July 25, 2017 at 9:50 am

      The real question is whether Abeds allowed their workers to participate in the march. By remaining open, it appears not.

    • Glenda Smith
      Glenda Smith July 25, 2017 at 10:23 am

      Marc ..Exactly

    • Sherlene Phillips
      Sherlene Phillips July 25, 2017 at 10:38 am

      Definitely a democracy…but actions lead to repercussions. Abeds Cant hide behind democracy now. Any repercussions Abeds will face is due to the fact that it does not appear united with masses. In a democratic society one can choose to shop somewhere else….Bad move Abeds….

  6. Tamina Darkies
    Tamina Darkies July 25, 2017 at 6:19 am

    Stupsee so what if d man open he place is his choice

  7. Sheron Inniss July 25, 2017 at 6:31 am

    Mr Abed made a choice not to close so what. I did not march but I intend to help vote out the government. The unions still have to look at their internal workings. A fly on the wall told me that they behave like the government too.

    • Hewers of wood July 25, 2017 at 6:58 am

      Was the whole of swan street closed???? Does abeds care?? should he even care? I don’t care if he cares. Does he even matter. We too like to sit in the wrong nik pik patch and shoe shine. When we stand SOLELY as a people on our own then we will start to show some sense and self education. Then the lion will get up OFF the lamb as the lamb turns into the true and conquering lion of JUDAH.
      Mr Trotman staged such a march in 1991, are Blacks better off FINANCIALLY, ECONOMICALLY, OR SOCIALLY???? No Still own no WEALTH. Why?? you too busy building the other lot.

  8. Itz Queen
    Itz Queen July 25, 2017 at 6:37 am

    You know I does hate to hear some of wanna with wanna slave mentally ,if we int good enough to stand up for why de hell must I spend my two cent with them. It’s people like wanna that be in de paper begging fa hand out.

    • Shelly Ross
      Shelly Ross July 25, 2017 at 10:21 am

      Really – you need to look again and see who is interested in you because it is not reflected in anything done yesterday. Nothing done was for people ‘like you’.

  9. Rhonda Parris
    Rhonda Parris July 25, 2017 at 6:49 am

    He has a right just like who protested some ah wunna can’t get a two year old to obey but telling an adult to close his store chupse do it’s his Choice

  10. Rhonda Parris
    Rhonda Parris July 25, 2017 at 6:58 am

    We as a ppl could left the items in the stores and protest with our hard earned money but we all ways ya can’t eat money count the cost things ain’t easy we don’t have to protest in the boiling sun cos some things are up by 100% separate wants from needs use our local fruits and veg in season and start planting we own it taste way better

    • Shari Ramsay
      Shari Ramsay July 25, 2017 at 8:56 am

      Truth…I hate to hear people say yuh can’t eat the money sounds so silly..

  11. Tristan Layne
    Tristan Layne July 25, 2017 at 6:59 am

    Boycott the high standard of living in Barbados.

  12. Kim Smith
    Kim Smith July 25, 2017 at 7:02 am

    With back to school and crop over Abeds will be full , to each his own. My problem with them is selling cloth and then got to pay for a bag.#freedom

    • Judy Stanford
      Judy Stanford July 25, 2017 at 7:29 am

      That is the government ruling, not Abeds.

      • Hewers of wood July 25, 2017 at 9:44 am

        Kim – well said. But we got the power too control dat too and cannot even do that. In every country in the world, when people buy clothing it is placed in a FREE carrier bag and in most cases a nice handle one too. ALL THOSE OF YOU WHO SHOP IN THE USA, MIAMI, CANADA, UK, PARIS etc will know what i am saying. You buy cloth or a pants and have to walk with it in your hand.

        We are not talking about costco, sams, Bj’s etc where you use boxes.

        We as a people standing for too much $hite in this place.

        • Hewers of wood July 25, 2017 at 9:49 am

          You buy cloth or a pants from abed and have to walk with it in your hand. Make a guess who controlling all of this too. Them LIONS cause there is more than one breed. Then wanna free – free to follow. We like Daniel.

    • Shelly Ross
      Shelly Ross July 25, 2017 at 10:47 am

      Judy Stanford Really! Now this is comical. It is not even sense…..the government cannot tell a private business to charge for anything and if they suggested it, the business makes his or her own decision.

    • Kim Smith
      Kim Smith July 25, 2017 at 10:49 am

      What is comical ms Ross?

    • Shelly Ross
      Shelly Ross July 25, 2017 at 10:51 am

      Kim, that issue has been a debate around here as persons pushing to get rid of plastic are thinking that it is a way to get people to bring their own shopping bags to reduce the use of plastics.
      Some supermarkets and other places are doing it. When you go shopping take along your own bag.

    • Kim Smith
      Kim Smith July 25, 2017 at 11:10 am

      Still think Abeds should at less wrap up material in paper as cloth can get dirty. But read you loud and clear.

  13. Greengiant July 25, 2017 at 7:14 am

    Why do you all want to boycott Abeds? You don’t boycott the others for the many issues that affect their employees for decades now? That’s why the caucasion population treat us african like they do, because they know only too well they can pull our strings whichever way they like, whenever they like.

    The business community has been robbing us of bargains for years in the name of maximum profit, they’ve attacked the used car market, the back yard slaughtering, they’ve imported vegetables, eggs, chicken and other commodities even when they were readily available for years. These very practices have robbed the economy of millions in foreign exchange. Some of you who marched, travell annually to shop for items readily available here also spending foreign exchange and placing the jobs of your fellow marchers and yourself at risk. Can we continue like this? Surely we can, but at a cost to you with those particular habits. So really what are you marching for? The unions should only be focused on how much of the collected revenue they can get for the workers, and nothing else. When the taxes are collected, let the people get their money. Let the private sector compete like cats and dogs for the little revenue available with pricing compitition. Many of today’s leaders with whom I sat in class rooms decades ago make me sick to the bottom of my stomach. They are certainly acting contrary to all that we have been taught.They should have been made to pay for their education as they only use, abuse and betray the masses. Those of whom I speak includes, BLP, DLP, and Trade union executives.

    • Hewers of wood July 25, 2017 at 7:23 am

      Green giant – well said. And who will they boycott and run too???? this people do not own any stores so running from one hater to the next is nonsense. When we get we own stores etc and employ we own, then we can make the move to boycott ANYBODY. Rubbish. Abed already make a profit spree off of them anyway.

    • Marva July 25, 2017 at 8:26 am

      Get the facts: the backyard slaughter issue was an order from the WTO wrt to phytosanitary agreements which our government signed. Without compliance, we could not import to WTO country and even the ordinary man wasn’t allowed to carry flying fish to England to relatives as was the practice. You can check this.
      If people travel to shop, they buy imports same as the importer/store owner, they just get things cheaper and cut out the middle man, which is the same businesses you talk about that have high price markups. Once businesses hear austerity they cut staff plus technology has taken a toll. So are you sure a high percentage of staff cut is as a result of overseas shopping? .. nowadays with huge port charges and airline one suitcase rule, shopping overseas has lessen; and online shopping is under attack by government’s FXF so check your self.
      We import over 70 percent of what we consume, whether it is individuals or businesses shopping overseas or not. Why attack workers? With one-suitcase rule by airlines and increase port charges, shopping overseas has lessened, and online shopping is under attack by government’s FXF so check your self.
      We import over 70 percent of what we consume, whether it is individuals or businesses shopping overseas or not. Why attack workers?

    • Marva July 25, 2017 at 8:37 am

      But Greengiant, I believe it is Abed’s right to support or not to support and therefore would not call for a boycott of his business.
      But surely, you need to more vigorously investigate facts before putting your case.
      Jobs in the country are under attack because we are in industries that are dying. For example years ago, the bell was ringing for sugar and we have not been able to upgrade our industry that is to produce a higher refined sugar or other byproducts we are still at the base.
      Tourism is demanding over 80 percent of its input from overseas leaking foreign exchange but we need the 20 percent so we give it incentives. Are we strenuous in our efforts to reduce that 80 percent with better links to agriculture; putting local food on tourists’ plates etc…
      I don’t know what you were taught in school but I was taught about the 1937 protest; the efforts by Martin Luther King Jr. about the efforts to bring about change. I was taught that my country trumps my partisan politics. I was taught that democracy means more than voting once every five years… I was taught to have a say; to peaceful show that I disagree that I can ask for accountability.

  14. Henderson Yarde
    Henderson Yarde July 25, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Why boycott Abeds? Abeds does more for us than some of the others thst played the Piper yesterday.

  15. Angela Griffith
    Angela Griffith July 25, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Evelyn Dottin get your facts together before you send out any thing

  16. Francina Atkins July 25, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Exactly! “Hewers of Wood!”

  17. Winnie Meade
    Winnie Meade July 25, 2017 at 7:54 am

    No black should go in is shop did he give is workers time to go on the march

  18. Winnie Meade
    Winnie Meade July 25, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Sherlene philips abeds is a dlp why should we black go in is shop when people cannot pay there bill and workers trying for the goverment ti do better and he dony want us to show support the march please henderson yard what he do for us he do for you ok you go in and buy is thing

  19. Tessa Trotman
    Tessa Trotman July 25, 2017 at 8:12 am

    lol wanna want the chamber of commerce president to closes his doors lol jokes..

  20. Sunflower Granderson
    Sunflower Granderson July 25, 2017 at 8:27 am


    • Cherry Beckensale
      Cherry Beckensale July 25, 2017 at 9:08 am

      The bees, Union etc are people

    • Errol Rayside
      Errol Rayside July 25, 2017 at 9:20 am

      Uncle tom

    • Sunflower Granderson
      Sunflower Granderson July 25, 2017 at 9:32 am

      Uncle Massa, the white people lead wanna in wanna own march SMH

    • Kim Smith
      Kim Smith July 25, 2017 at 11:15 am

      All the talk bout white ppl and the black ppl bleaching to look white and wearing fake hair not to be counted as a black person.

  21. Sunflower Granderson
    Sunflower Granderson July 25, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Kim it’s not only Abeds, others places Too, and if it haven’t started as yet for the others places it will soon,

  22. Sunflower Granderson
    Sunflower Granderson July 25, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Evelyn I agree with you

  23. Janette Reifer
    Janette Reifer July 25, 2017 at 8:58 am

    We live in a democratic society yes! Here is the problem. If its staff wants to march, they can’t do so or they would be fired. Therefore Abeb is making decision for its staff. I ask where is the democracy? Just asking!

  24. Miguel Griffith
    Miguel Griffith July 25, 2017 at 9:28 am

    If you don’t shop there that is your problem but as long them go something I want I will buy. Disgusting!

  25. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn July 25, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Abed is a yard fowl. I hope when the government change that you ain’t running to congratulate the BLP. That is how some business people in this country usually works. I have Abed as a traitor.

  26. Galveston Hinds
    Galveston Hinds July 25, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Totally support Hon Owen Arthur’s views on this, and Abed’s decision.

  27. Lee July 25, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Not smart Abed’s. Your staff didn’t have the option to participate. It won’t easily be forgotten . . . . try offering a 30% discount to recover !!

  28. Antonio Cozier
    Antonio Cozier July 25, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Come on silly people everybody knows that the abeds support the Democratic Labour Party for many years now

  29. Sherlock Holmes. July 25, 2017 at 11:19 am

    WELL WELL,this is the height of folly boycott Abeds for what

    It boggles the mind some of the comments here concerning Mr Abeds’s decision not to participate in a march which was basically a political march disguised in an effort to mislead those who are living literally in dreamland.I have carefully observed overtime so much double standards in this country which are truly amazing. Some of you work in a private sector where you cannot even get a day to attend matters that are of a personal nature unless it is a real emergency and i am not speaking of trivial matters for example i have seen instances where some parents because of their jobs could not even attend a class level meeting for their own children because of some of these generous private sector employers who ironically gave you a day to march for their cause in the hot sun.I am not racist but i am not silly, heck one of my favorite persons in history was of the white class he is William Wilberforce who was vilified by the British elitist because he fought tirelessly for the abolition of slavery. You people who are here criticizing Mr Abed bear this in mind Mr Abed’s ancestors has a history similar to ours they too were ruled by the British and treated just like our ancestors. Some bury their heads in the sand conveniently to suit their causes or agendas. We abide by the laws of our constitution and it affords Mr Abed the right to make his own decisions he is a free moral agent and if he saw it fit not to be embroiled in any form of protest that is his right,Why all of this nonsense about boycotting his business i am sure if the truth be told about other businesses and some of their practices nothing would probably be sold in this country.It is time for the masses to think instead of jumping on every band wagon in an effort to support causes even if they are misguided in some cases i do not support this onerous tax but i will not be inclined to be misled by up de thing hollow actions or speeches.

  30. Maureen Straker
    Maureen Straker July 25, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Every one had a choice but you know what Bajans always put politics in everything that is why we will always be left behind

  31. sticks and stones July 25, 2017 at 11:25 am

    in a democracy all have a right to peaceful protest and boycott.
    I have already earmarked on my list to do things namely to boycott all those stores that marched yesterday.
    Some of them i regularly shop and which i would no longer patronize as long as i am alive
    The powet of the dollar is stronger than any march and the dlp supporters can use that power as a cautionary tale of importance

  32. Tennyson Drakes July 25, 2017 at 11:30 am

    People, that march yesterday was one of the most stupid events that ever took place in Barbados. Do people really understand that the Private sector is demanding that Government reduce the Civil Service by 8,000 persons?. Do people realise that the real grouse of the Private sector is that they have to pay the imposed tax “up front”. If the tax was directly imposed on the general public without the Private sector having to initially pay it, the private sector would not have marching yesterday. Finally, replacing the present administration will not solve anything. The next administration will continue with the exact same policies as the present administration. They will have no choice. The policies will only be different if the next administration can immediately put their hands on at least 3 t0 4 billion US dollars.

  33. Lilian Lloyd
    Lilian Lloyd July 25, 2017 at 11:31 am


  34. sticks and stones July 25, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Do not pay the blp mouthpieces no mind about boycotting . They like freeness and cheap it would beyond their best interest to boycott Abed and shop at Cave Shepherd for school clothes. Not going to happen they live and die for cheap things
    Abed would be safe with them. All the blp mouthpiece has going on is long talk nothing more
    When it comes to the Almight dollar the mouthpieces self interest comes first especially when it hits their pocket books


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