No secret meeting, Stuart tells Social Partners

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart will likely give the Social Partners the meeting they have been demanding, but not behind closed doors, it emerged Tuesday.

Speaking in the House of Assembly on an Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) motion to discuss the issues that led to Monday’s protest by an estimated 20,000 Barbadians, Stuart hinted that he might be willing to grant the wishes of the private sector and the trade unions for talks before the scheduled August 18 meeting of the Social Partnership.

However, he made it clear that whenever they meet it will be in the full glare of the Barbadian public.

“Whenever that meeting is held it is not going to be held in secret. It is going to be a nationally televised meeting where Barbadians can hear what the Government is about, what the Social Partners are about, both the labour movement and the private sector,” the Prime Minister said.

“It is going to take place in the full glare of the public . . . .I will communicate to the head of the Private Sector Association and the other Social Partners when the meeting will take place.”

The decision to make the meeting public came in the face of charges and counter charges among the partners about what really transpired at a meeting with the private sector at the Ministry of Finance on June 21 and Stuart’s get-together with the unions two days later.

During a presentation on Sunday at a Democratic Labour Party Christ Church West branch luncheon, Stuart suggested that a deal had been struck with the unions in relation to a pay rise.

However, this was vehemently denied by the union leaders at the end of Monday’s march organized by the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union, the Barbados Union of Teachers, the Barbados Workers’ Union and the National Union of Public Workers, in collaboration with the Barbados Private Sector Association,

They contended that the protest was to force Stuart to meet them to discuss a way forward for the economy, away from the crippling National Social Responsibility Levy and other taxes imposed on Barbadians.

These allegations spilled over into the over two-hour debate in the House Tuesday afternoon as Government and Opposition members took shots at each other.

Tabled by Member of Parliament for St James Central Kerrie Symmonds, the motion stated that unions and the private sector marched Monday because of “the tardy response of the Prime Minister to their entreaties for further urgent consultations to discuss the debilitating and oppressive effects of the fiscal and economic policies of the Government”, and put forward a resolution, “that this House calls upon the Prime Minister and the Government to convene a meeting of the Social Partnership without further delay to address the legitimate concerns of the two members of the Social Partnership, other Social Partners and the people of Barbados generally”.

In calling for Government to meet the partners urgently, Symmonds said: “You cannot have 30,000 people on the street marching in protest and it be treated to, as though it did not happen.”

The Speaker opted not to put the resolution to a vote at conclusion of the debate.

Opposition Leader Mia Mottley said the issues, especially the expected price increases for goods and services stemming from the steep climb in the NSRL had so urgent a bearing on Barbadians that the Social Partnership meeting should happen almost immediately.

“With one simple instruction the Prime Minister can convene a Social Partnership meeting tomorrow.

“Do not wait until the 18th of August. This matter is urgent because it requires urgent dialogue. This matter is of public importance because it affects the industrial stability and the economic viability of enterprises and the overall macroeconomic stability of the country,” Mottley said, adding that the BLP was “ready to come to that meeting in the interest of this country”.

36 Responses to No secret meeting, Stuart tells Social Partners

  1. Patrick July 26, 2017 at 6:29 am

    Good move, make it public and let all Barbadians see first hand how the union are coerced

  2. fedup July 26, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Got eem!

  3. Coconut Vendor July 26, 2017 at 8:00 am

    How do you think the BPSA could coerce the unions?

  4. Lee July 26, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Why not cut the proposed 10% levy to 5% immediately and show the NUPW graphically how it performs by September 30th as a revenue measure before negotiating their demands. Put it in their court. . . . . If it doesn’t close the gap by an agreed amount – then adjust it further or apply (a) different measure(s).

  5. Alex Alleyne July 26, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Should have been coming to the Nation by way of CBC TV8 from day one. The public need to hear from you PM, the AG and the Police Chief about the Island affairs.
    It took such a crowd to get you all attention, I for one do not think a march do justice to these times . It worked back in the 60’s , but it will take new action for this time. The Old testament served it purpose and then actions called for a New testament.
    Just marching up and down in the sweltering heat singing we shall overcome just wont do it for me.

  6. Carson C Cadogan July 26, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Great move.

    Now all the liars in the Trade Union movement and the private sector will have all their panties exposed.

    From now on when dealing with these two mouth people make the proceeding public on CBC TV.

  7. orlando July 26, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Mam you demanding answers. when your son is away from you he is a very rude boy showing off for his friends. he really needed roughing up . teach the boy to show respect, not only to the law but to himself also. mothers here must stop closing their eyes to what their children doing outsie. and some even in the house too.

  8. Richard Edwards
    Richard Edwards July 26, 2017 at 9:53 am

    What foolishness am I hearing? I hope the people of Barbados don’t watch your plan demonstration on CBC against the Social Partners…. Madness.. Call elections…

  9. Chris Barnett
    Chris Barnett July 26, 2017 at 9:57 am

    = NO MORE SECRETS ON HOW FAST THE WORLD IS MOVING AHEAD OF BARBADOS AS WELL TO RIGHT ?????? When Barbados is serious about making money give me and my team a shout ! TILL THEN KEEP ON WITH THE PRINCIPLE THAT IF YOU TAX A PEOPLE ENOUGH IT WILL BRING THE COUNTRY OUT OF DEBT! ……….WHEN a country has is LEAD by people who cannot make the now livable how will they project moves now to counter issues that may arise in the future????????????

  10. Sunshine Sunny Shine July 26, 2017 at 9:59 am

    This man is so predictable. I said on here watch and see that he is going to make most things public to save face and to make his DLP look like they are transparent. However, Mr. Stuart, you are too blinking well late. Your big horse is about to turn into a little ass.

  11. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce July 26, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Now, who in their right mind want to hear or listen to Freundel fumbling Long Talk?
    The only thing we want to hear when he wake up and reach CBC Studio that the presenter makes the announcement Freundel, Call a General Election.

    • Michael Turton
      Michael Turton July 26, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      .The other party stated that there is no rush … parliament dissolves in seven months.

  12. Wendell Kirton
    Wendell Kirton July 26, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Called an election your time is up you are 5 years over due get out

  13. Petal Petal Ifill
    Petal Petal Ifill July 26, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Stupsssss for pm

  14. Saga Boy July 26, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Some of you people clearly don’t want to hear the truth. I wonder how you treat with your family and friends on issues? You are being very irrational and then you complain about the attitude of young people. The fact is there was dialogue and the private sector and unions lied.

  15. Angela Griffith
    Angela Griffith July 26, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Just step down please

  16. Donild Trimp July 26, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Pure political genius by the PM.

    “Whenever that meeting is held it is not going to be held in secret. It is going to be a nationally televised meeting where Barbadians can hear what the Government is about, what the Social Partners are about, both the labour movement and the private sector,”


    • allison archer July 26, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      yes I agree Donild Trimp excellent indeed

  17. Wayne P Hoyte
    Wayne P Hoyte July 26, 2017 at 11:14 am

    It would be good for the public to see what is being negotiated. No back room deals.

    • Everick Holder
      Everick Holder July 26, 2017 at 6:31 pm

      You mean like the deal to sell the oil company to Sol?

  18. Bunn July 26, 2017 at 11:52 am

    I hope you also tell Barbadians when to expect they tax returns to cover for these additional taxes you put on us. Sorry, I didn’t get my 10% pay increase and a new ride to ignore your Government is holding us ransom for our income tax returns.

  19. Bunn July 26, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Ps. Please keep it simple with your BIG WORDS that make no sense to us.

  20. Waiting July 26, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    WOW! Nuff TV to watch. 4 hours of discussion on my Channel 8!
    Well, well, well. Cant wait to see this and I hope all the other meetings will be televised also. Hope we have proper video shots of the individuals at the table with their reactions and not like what we have for budget speeches.

  21. Milli Watt July 26, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    not a day before the scheduled time Fruns……….this is a good move ……..check!

  22. Kevin July 26, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Good move, let the public know what’s going on live and direct.

  23. Wendy Knight
    Wendy Knight July 26, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Boy hold up yuh head, you shame?

  24. Dave D. Thompson
    Dave D. Thompson July 26, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    We wanted to see the negotiations with Sandals Cahill Hyatt Sam Lords Grotto Vallery etc …do the honourable thing vacate the premises

  25. Greengiant July 26, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    This is long overdue. The days for private meetings with the social partnership regarding the worker’s interest should have been discontinued long ago.

    Too many secret meetings, when the NIS, VAT, NSRL, and all the other taxes we pay are public knowledge. Master stroke Mr. PM let the public hear the proposals from them, also mention some of the recommendations from the documents they presented to the MOF.

    It’s time these conspirators be exposed for what they are, and who they really represent. I have personal knowledge that the workers are not their immediate priority. This same faction of the private sector conspired against the Arthur administration in 2008. They think they have the right to choose who runs this country, but I think they have met a cleaver person, with the right advisor around him this time.

  26. sticks and stones July 26, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Great strategy by PM Stuart bet the Unions and private sector was unprepared would be interesting to watch the private sector and Unions debate wages during this meeting because as Stuart stated the levy tax is not an issue for Unions to get themselves tangled

  27. Lorenzo July 26, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    the only thing I want the PM to do is call the elections let the people decide.For the last nine years the Pm has scarcely address barbadians on any issues preferring to speak overseas and at branch meetings and now this why now all of a sudden.

  28. Susan Maynard
    Susan Maynard July 26, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    mudderrr.The mp talk about cow and lamb and a hole lot of thing but he forget to talk about the wolf in sheep clothing.

  29. Carlisle Norville July 26, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    after all this time in power, you don’t want to leave( life must be really SWEET frundel, you can’t see your self without such a life of benefits, boy you are really desperate ( face reality you were in power long enough, step aside you in getting younger, give somebody else a chance to live the GOOD life I am sure you have your funds well secured, you are NOT going to suffer Mr;Stuart , you got it made, do the Right thing step aside with what little dignity you have left.

  30. Rubertha Blackman
    Rubertha Blackman July 26, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    The PM is heeding the call from the social partnership for dialogue, am not a fan of any politician I find all of them to be a special kind of parasite.The PM has drawn the line in the sand, I agree with him on this point no back room negotiations. I remember the same Private Sector wanted the government to reduce the public sector and because them ain’t get what them want lets galvanized the masses. So it will be good to hear their view live and direct. Regardless of the unions stupse them ain’t represent the working class in a very long time so I want to hear their issues. The political class just killing time and gathering more money to live good after dem get kick out.

  31. Frank White July 26, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    @ Carson cardigan, the pot calling the kettle black…

    What happened to all the meetings before?? Why weren’t they public??

    His feet is at the fire, keep it there… this prime minister is no where near any political genius and the eager 11 knew that…

  32. Ossie Moore July 27, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Stuart proclaims with anticipation “This is not duct-tape season”!


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