Oh no, Stuart

Unions take umbrage to PM’s remarks

The leaders of the island’s four major trade unions – the Barbados Workers’ Union (BUT), the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT), the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) – have taken umbrage to statements by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart made during a Democratic Labour Party (DLP) luncheon Sunday.

The Prime Minister had suggested that there were elements in the country who were bent on removing the DLP from office, ahead of the constitutional deadline next year.

Among the leaders taking issue was BSTU President Mary Redman, who said while the unions wanted Stuart to meet to discuss the vexing National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL), there was no interest in bringing down the administration.

“This is about making them understand that they have failed miserably at going it alone and that they have to again include the Social Partners to help bring this country out of the economic morass into which we have been led,” Redman told protesters at the end of Monday’s march, which attracted an estimated 20,000 demonstrators.

“The references of the PM [Stuart] yesterday  . . . to the mongoose and the chicken are so irrelevant and out of context in this situation where we are looking for dialogue and consultation because in the end, all that both those creatures want to do is to get across the road successfully without being crushed,” she said in reference to Stuart’s comparison of the “new found fellowship” between unions and the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA) to a cat and a mouse enjoying “fellowship in the same space”, as well as a “lamb and a lion lying down together” and a “mongoose and a chicken together”.

“The lion and the lamb both want space, but perfection would allow them to live together . . .  and that is what we seek in our ailing country, . . . the opportunity to live and to work together in a way that would benefit us all,” the BSTU head opined.

These protesters came out with loud and clear messages to Government.

Redman made reference to 1991 when some 20,000 Barbadians marched against austerity measures imposed by the then Erskine Sandiford (now Sir Lloyd) administration.

The industrial relations unrest then led to the birth of the Social Partnership, which now seems under threat by similar economic conditions.

“It came out of a situation back in 1991 that was very similar to the difficulties being experienced today. But there was a different approach then. The Government then recognized that they were in crisis and so groups and heads from different sectors of this society were pulled together, meetings were held all over this country with critical stakeholders, there was dialogue and consultation . . . inclusion and cooperation and we survived and built a Social Partnership that was the envy of the world.

“Today the same groups want to assist the cause, they want to cooperate and collaborate and together try to find solutions to bring us out of our dire situation. A situation that is so very much worse financially and socially than in 1991 and our efforts are brushed aside,” Redman said.

The BSTU boss, who stood on crutches as she made her presentation, queried Government’s motives stating that instead of working with and including the unions in the same manner as in 1991, “we are accused of all sorts of nefarious motives and activities . . . including the recent frantic and despicable example by a statesmen in this country Ambassador Bobby Morris, that I contrived to twist my ankle, tear up the ligaments and put myself in great pain.

“But the latest [accusation] is the attempt by the Prime Minister to imply to Barbados that the unions seemed to have struck some secret deal with him in relation to a pay increase in September but yet we are here marching . . . in an effort at collusion with the private sector towards social unrest,” Redman said.

Her sentiments were shared by BWU General Secretary Toni Moore, who spoke of Stuart’s reference to the biblical story of Esau and Jacob as he urged Barbadians not to be misled by the unions and the BPSA.

“When I hear scriptures being used conveniently, I know that is generally a tactic of those who are floundering to appeal to the senses of people who have a spiritual upbringing,” Moore said.

Drawing reference to the functioning of the Social Partnership, the BWU leader lamented that while it had been touted internationally, it has now been reduced to an institution that was “under functioning and underperforming.

Political commentators Corey Worrell (left) and Peter Wickham (right) took part in Monday’s march.

“In the union we say [it takes two] hands to clap, but in the Social Partnership, it takes three pairs of hands to clap. Today we have two pairs of hands clapping and we have the other pair of hands telling you that we have no right participating in matters that impact us . . . that we should leave the principle decisions that will govern us, and the principle decisions that will determine our future to a few who make up the Cabinet,” she said.

“We reject that we must mute our voice so that Cabinet and only the Cabinet of Barbados can influence our lives; make decisions to influence our lives.”

Moore also lamented that it took the intervention of the private sector for Stuart to agree to dialogue with the Social Partners.

She said the unions had written to the Prime Minister on three separate occasions requesting meaningful dialogue, but he had not responded, but agreed to meet when the business community demanded talks.

“The private sector wrote two Fridays ago, asking for a response by the following Monday, one business day later by 4:30 [p.m.]. It is my understanding that they didn’t get by 4:30 [p.m.], but they got it later that night.

“You as the workers of Barbados have to understand for yourself what this says to you, because when you don’t respond to Toni Moore it’s not a personal thing . . . . When you don’t respond to me, you have failed every single one of my members, even the ones who are yours,” the union boss stressed.

She said the movement remained concerned, but more so saddened, that all “of a sudden the unions and the private sector could together stir up some form of reaction”, but workers by themselves could not.

26 Responses to Oh no, Stuart

  1. John Everatt July 25, 2017 at 2:07 am

    Well it seems that the Social Partnership so often tooted by government and held to high esteem by them is in reality only 2 of the 3 parties. Government has chosen to stay silent on this except for the negative noise that the prime minister and some of the other ministers have spewed forth. So I can see that the Social Partnership which Barbados was so proud of is in reality dead at the moment.

  2. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba July 25, 2017 at 2:14 am


  3. Sheron Inniss July 25, 2017 at 6:23 am

    Proverb 21, v13

  4. Saga Boy July 25, 2017 at 6:30 am

    This is all about the whites retaining power and control of foolish black people who walked with them. People who dont mixed with them and whose interest is only in the cheapest labour to enhance the bottom line. Tell Charles Herbert that you want to see more black people on the boards of these white companies on the island. Tell him that you want to see more senior black managers on these white companies on the island. Tell him you want to be able to go to the bank and get a bank loan without collateral. Black people were used yesterday. They were paid to march against a government that has been trying to protect them from these capitalist.

    • Hewers of wood July 25, 2017 at 6:39 am

      @Saga – that is normal daily activity. This people is used to and also oblivious to it. It is called boot licking.

    • Wayne July 25, 2017 at 11:20 am

      Saga boy, it will get worse after the election, the propaganda machine is in full drive, sometimes I wonder if this newspaper and the nation news are owned by the same entity, the best thing is to exercise and implement the plan and if and since it’s such an unworkable plan, let’s see if the incoming government would repeal and replace. I think not. Don’t it concern us that the lions have been embraced by the lambs?

    • hcalndre July 25, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      @Saga Boy; in this morning`s daily Nation newspaper there`s a letter to the Editor titled ‘House Negro’ leaders abound, I have been saying it for a long time, all they have done is to take the baton and continue the journey, what makes it so heart wrenching is that they look like us and in some cases they`re worse especially the ones that came up poverty.

    • street knowledge July 25, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      what does race have to do with what in going on in barbados at the moment.

  5. Michelle Griffith
    Michelle Griffith July 25, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Wow,”lambs and lions unite”I know for sure who are the lambs…………morons.

    • Anderson Cave
      Anderson Cave July 25, 2017 at 7:33 am

      Is the lion or the lamb dead, or both ?

    • Hewers of wood July 25, 2017 at 10:09 am

      Michelle – well said. That paper should read lion OVER lamb or lion EATING lamb. Mind you the lion ain’t even denying that it is false that he is a lion. Well world wide he is CURRENTLY king of the jungle, including this one.

  6. Lisa Frederick
    Lisa Frederick July 25, 2017 at 7:46 am

    So this only bout race right? Lmao look I cannot wid stupid people. Everybody wants open dem backside on talk programs and in bars. Nobody want to take a stand. Just sit back and let everything pass. I done talk tho lol ignorance is a serious thing in a country which USED TO have a high literacy rate.

  7. DE July 25, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Saga Boy, what does that have to do with the hardship that the same black people is going through imposed by the same black government that is in power.

  8. carlos July 25, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Does anyone else realise that the private sector’s solution to this tax is to “rationalise” the civil service…AKA send home civil servants. While they may have a point from an economic perspective, how does the Union leadership join them in a march when their new marching partner’s solution is to send home their members.

    • David G. Brooks July 25, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      Are you sure about that or is that is what the DLP is putting out – they have a very good distraction based propaganda machine – I understand the two committees that were appointed by the PM to look into the issues were sworn to secrecy – might that not have been a prelude to being able to ‘control’ the information that is spread about what they actually did propose?

  9. hcalndre July 25, 2017 at 8:02 am

    “Peoples!” as Mac Fingall would say. Tune in to 100.7fm ‘talk ya talk’ this morning and for the rest of the week and hear the hosts, the trini, Romeo, the commish., Assfa, and others from the farm giving their take of displeasure of the march and the numbers. Maureen and Romeo the teachers are still on vacation.

    • Wayne July 25, 2017 at 11:27 am

      MANY People call in, only certain ones are answered and allowed to speak, can it be explained why certain individuals who post in this thread, why some are published instantly while others has to be reviewed and sometimes removed,

  10. DE July 25, 2017 at 8:06 am

    Saga Boy and the others, please let go of the politics and face the reality. Our brains are clouded by our trusted politicians on both sides.

  11. Breadfruit. July 25, 2017 at 8:58 am

    @ saga boy

    You is de one dat looking foolish?

    A bank loan without collateral???? you got to be playing!

    Why tell de white man we want dat we want more black men on de boards of white companies?

    why in hell can de black man form their own companies????

    All did damn racism and its foolish comment like your dat showing me who it is that really keep the black man shackled.

    it is de black man mind not de white business man. if me and you did born into what de white man got today we would be doing de same damn thing to run we business.

    Ask branker, nevel rowe. bynoe or any of d other black business people.

  12. Bradg July 25, 2017 at 9:21 am

    @Breadfruit I agree with you. But you got to understand that Saga is probably one who believes in eating crumbs that fall off the table. He would never think he can bake his own bread.

  13. Hewers of wood July 25, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Some people don’t even bake their bread, they just exploit and steel it.

  14. DE July 25, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Breadfruit & Bradg, I agreed with you both. They get brain wash when they hang on to the politicians tail because they cannot see pass the tail.

  15. Carson C Cadogan July 25, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Consensus between Gov & Unions- revenue needed to pay increases

    But we said look at the end of September when we see how the tax is performing as long as it is performing in accordance with our cherished expectations we would be prepared to look at the issue of a salary increase. And I left the meeting, I told the Min of Finance look the Press waiting downstairs, go downstairs and just let the Press known where we are on this issue, the Unions would speak to the Press as well but I think we have make some progress on this issue. At least everybody understands that we need to get the revenue in order to pay salary increases but certainly also to narrow the fiscal deficit.
    You have heard, I believe, that you are hearing all of this for the first time. You would not believe that this happened in the presence of the Minister of Finance, the director of Finance and Economic Affairs.

    Extracts from the speech delivered by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart at the DLP Christ Church West Luncheon on Sunday, 23rd July 2017

  16. David G. Brooks July 25, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    The person holding the poster ”lambs and lions unite” is actually of mixed blood … not unlike the last POTUS Obama … so he was holding a very fitting sign. Maybe some here are in fact more prejudice than they would like others to think.

    I was very proud to match yesterday, as I have in all the previous one, and all Barbadians present did so with dignity and decorum, and more importantly we march as ONE !!!

  17. Lorenzo July 25, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    saga Boy and hewers of the wood you all try the race card along withCCC and Joan Worrell to stop people from marching it did not work,so ease off the nonsense.Over twenty thousand march no one forced them that is 20,000 votes plus their families and friends and I kow that got you all really frighten.I would suggest the PM get off his high horse and have immediate dialogue with the Unions because if they call out all their workers it will have serious consequences.Listened to talk yu Talk with the DLP moderarator this morning the first three callers the Trini Dem ranting and raving about Mr Stuart speech should have been giving full airplayetc ,she even said she saw Jeremy Stephens in the March only to hear on brasstacks that Mr Stephens is overseas.She owes Mr Stephens an apology but the Dems desperate,next was Rawle aman who disappeared for years I guess because ofbeing disenchanted with the government all of a sudden resurfaces talking pure nonsence and then this guy who claims to have a party and will send off letters calling for the removal of mr McDowall,this same man was critical of the moderators and the program a few months ago now I hear him saying the moderators at CBC are nos 1,2and 3..Really which survey showed this all I know of has Mr Ellis ,Mr Wickham and Mr Johnson at the top,there propaganda.these three Moderators are the most biased moderators I have ever heard,all DLp supporters.Of course Ms Holder had all her choir today so she did not have to raise her voice good for her.

  18. Milli Watt July 25, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    is this the pic of the planter, merchant class circa 2017


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