PM a no show

The trade unions and the private sector were left feeling slighted Friday after Prime Minister Freundel Stuart failed to show up for a meeting he had summoned to set the agenda for the highly anticipated gathering next Friday of the Social Partnership.   

Top executives of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU), the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT), the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU), the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA) and The Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) met Friday morning at Government Headquarters for almost two-and-a-half hours.

The labour movement and the business community staged a 20,000-strong march on July 24 to press for meaningful dialogue with Stuart on the austerity measures, especially the National Social Responsibility Levy, which rose sharply from two per cent to ten per cent from July 1.

BPSA President Charles Herbert (left) and former BWU boss Sir Roy Trotman heading into Friday’s meeting at Government Headquarters, for which Prime Minister Freundel Stuart was a no show.

By the scheduled 11:30 a.m. start time, the Social Partners were told that Stuart would not chair the meeting because he had to attend a funeral, and that Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy and Senator Darcy Boyce would take charge of the proceedings.

Speaking to the media following the talks, BSTU President Mary Redman said the Prime Minister’s excuse did not resonate with the participants.

“We were disappointed in so far as we were under the impression that the Prime Minister would be in attendance. We understand that he had a funeral to attend, but our expectation was that he still would have attended up until the point in time that he would have left for the funeral. However things did not work out that way,” Redman said.

BWU General Secretary Toni Moore echoed Redman’s sentiments, although she disclosed that the initial disappointment was quickly brushed aside as everyone got down to the business at hand.

“We came this morning anticipating a meeting with the Prime Minister but in fact it was chaired by Minister Sealy because he [Stuart] had another commitment. It was really an initial disappointment but in terms of the outcome and where we are heading, we are concentrating more on that aspect,” Moore said.

However, the union leader said it was unfortunate that the unions were unable to obtain clarification from the Prime Minister about his threat to ensure any future meetings with the unions and the private sector would be held in the full glare of the public.

“We didn’t get into those discussions here today because that is something the Prime Minister said within the four walls of Parliament, and unfortunately he was not here at the meeting to address that particular issue. But one way or the next that is not a concern for us. What is a concern for us is  . . . addressing the issues and challenges confronting Barbados and the issues which a number of people took to the streets in support of last week Monday,” she explained.

Speaking in the House of Assembly last month on an Opposition Barbados Labour Party motion to discuss the issues that led to the July 24 protest, Stuart made it clear the next meeting of the Social Partnership – now scheduled for August 11 – would be broadcast live on television.

The BWU head made it clear that meeting would not be just “another talk shop”.

“It could only be a talk shop if the parties involved allow it to be that. We are of a strong belief that there is a strong basis for the position we are representing, which redounds to the benefit of not only our constituents but for all Barbadians. Therefore we will not allow for discussions to veer off the interest that we represent,” Moore stressed.

38 Responses to PM a no show

  1. Wayne August 5, 2017 at 3:54 am

    What I don’t understand, If the labour movement is the representatives of the 20,000 why are they concerned about having the meeting in full sight and sound of the other 230,000 remaining population, I thought transparency was a good thing.

    • Ernesta Catlyn August 5, 2017 at 7:51 am

      There is nothing in the article to indicate the unions have a problem with a live broadcast. However, the social partnership was formed out of the 1991 walk – from then til now it has never been ‘live’. It is a partnership thus all the factors associated with a partnership agreement should be in place. 33.3% of the partnership cannot make a unilateral decision of such a proportion – respect due.

  2. jrsmith August 5, 2017 at 4:46 am

    This is how the priminister behaves, as like all of his ministers, rude , bad behave , arrogant and as the ghetto people in the (US)……… No accountability to the masses………………………..
    This is why our black bajan masses needs to wake up , shake of the chains , get they fingers out and put the bajan politicians in they place………………….
    ………We need an (Act) of parliament , namely so the…………..(ACCOUNTABILITY ACT 2017)…. to give us bajans back our country and our democracy……….. We need the automatic right , that the same votes casts to put these politicians in office , be used to remove them if they are not working in or for the interest of the people ……..
    We must stop the (lock down ) , the physical centuries of slavery and now the mental overlap , still being control…………………….

  3. John C Chapman August 5, 2017 at 5:02 am

    We must not behave immaturely.It was just to set the agenda for the meeting, that is what would we be talking about. This is a very immature article it is not the meeting of the 11th of August

  4. Tony Webster August 5, 2017 at 5:18 am

    Hmmm…inch by inch…we surely getting a better understanding of what “Independence” means…like realising we cyan no longer blame others for when we crap our own pants…by what we do…or fail to do….all the doo-doo (virtual and real) covering the hills and fields (and the South Coast again) is our very own! We is no longer anybody’s li’l boy…we now 50 years old, and – supposedly- realise we are mature, responsible adults…..err….I think so….

    I used to try to duck school on Mondays….because I had to attend a funeral…or was it to go fishing on Grand Anse beach…or perhaps didn’t I simply failed to face up to my Algebra “challenges”? I dunno…must ask de P.M. when he re-surfaces.

  5. fedup August 5, 2017 at 6:44 am

    Man practicing being absent.. like he gine be next year.

  6. Troy August 5, 2017 at 7:26 am

    How convenient for the PM.

  7. jaded one August 5, 2017 at 8:15 am

    It was not the substantive meeting for christsake it was to set the agenda. What is the big deal?

    Grow up please union leaders!

  8. Sisleen Greene August 5, 2017 at 8:17 am

    The unions can’t see that the Prime Minister only set that meeting fo August 11, to ward off any industrial action that may upset Carifesta.
    He is not really interested meeting with them his only aim to ensure that Carifesta he looks good during the hosting of this event.
    He is even hosting his Party’s Conference during that festival.This man abd his party are only interested in the optics.

  9. Angela August 5, 2017 at 8:27 am

    I am puzzled, you marched for a meeting and now you need another meeting to set the Agenda. I thought it was stated what the March was for and therefore these things should form the agenda.

    From my understanding from news carried on a radio station, there was even easy agreement made about what they wanted on the agenda. Things looking funny . I cannot wait for the televised broadcast of this meeting.

  10. Angela August 5, 2017 at 8:33 am

    This paragraph should read –

    From my understanding from news carried on a radio station, there was not even easy agreement about what they wanted on the agenda and it took 3 hours to get the agenda. Things looking funny . I cannot wait for the televised broadcast of this meeting.

  11. Donild Trimp August 5, 2017 at 9:04 am

    So let me get this right.

    Who the hell these trade unions and public sector leaders think they are?

    “Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy and Senator Darcy Boyce would take charge of the proceedings”.

    I see nothing wrong with someone else other than the PM meeting with the trade union and private sector leaders and reporting back to the PM.

    Things happen and if the PM could not attend because of circumstances beyond his control, the people he designate to attend on his his behalf should suffice.

    • Roger Headley August 5, 2017 at 9:48 am

      The Trade unions represent the people that voted for them

      • Sunshine Sunny Shine August 5, 2017 at 12:12 pm

        You could really shut ya rip. The presence of the Prime Minister is not the same as the presence of two ministers. Also, a funeral is not a sudden occurrence. He would have known in advance that he had a funeral to attend on the same date the meeting was planned. The Prime Minister as I have said is manipulative and deceitful, failing not to mention pretensive as well. He had no intentions whatsoever in meeting with the social partnership, None at all.

        • Roger Headley August 5, 2017 at 5:01 pm

          Sunny don’t be so hostile – we on the same page with this one. I am responding to the comment above where Donild Trimp is asking who the trade unions think they are.

  12. islandgal August 5, 2017 at 9:12 am


  13. Donild Trimp August 5, 2017 at 9:21 am

    This story is much a do about nothing.

    Making a mountain out of a molehill.


  14. Frank White August 5, 2017 at 9:45 am

    This just goes to show that the prime minister is keeping to his standard and that’s not fit to be any leader of any country…

  15. Ernesta Catlyn August 5, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Let me see if I can explain. The Social Partnership meeting was set for the 18th August – Correct?
    The march was because they had been a number of issues that the Union and the Private Sector (67% of the partnership) had written the PM about – nothing to do with the usual Social Partnership meeting – and he had refused to have dialogue on these matters – correct?
    The PM decided, following the march that he would have a meeting with the 67% on 11th August – Correct? It can thus be inferred that this 11th August meeting is to dialogue about the issues that resulted in the march – correct? and the planned Social Partnership meeting for 18th August should continue as planned – right?
    Well apparently my understanding and inferences and other logic thinking individuals along with the 67% all got it wrong since the PM through Darcy the Man seem to have their own understanding of what the agenda should be. Go figure

  16. Roger Headley August 5, 2017 at 10:02 am

    The PM about dealing with matters? The televised meeting will be about him. I am sure the poor PR people must be having sleepless night trying to come up with something to soften his image for the populace. Campaigning grandmother now to start.

  17. mervin Kellman August 5, 2017 at 10:10 am

    The Prime Minister has no time for you. He and his boys are focused on finding ways to stop Mia Mottley from practicing law in Barbados That is paramount. He has already given his position on the NSRL. It is here to stay in its present form, like it, lump it or starve.

  18. Toby August 5, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Total disrespect. Please tell me, what can you do for the dead.
    I’m sure that someone could have attended on his behalf. Our issues and concerns are not with the dead they are with the living wake up lion chase some living prey. SMDH

    • Jennifer August 5, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      @Toby – true. But you must understand that this lion has incurred a disability, in that he has lost both his paws and canine teeth.

  19. Jennifer August 5, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Just another psyop. Let the dead bury the dead.

  20. Tennyson Drakes August 5, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Here we go again. Most of the above comments are all emotional and not factual. Why can’t the meeting be televised?. In so doing all of the Barbadian population will be able to see and hear ALL of the various arguments and their possible solutions put forth by all of the participants. This would be a good way of demonstrating what transparency is all about.

  21. Milli Watt August 5, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    never thought I would see the day that the lamb and the lion lay down together………wait of all the slaves they could pick to walk wid massah they pick this full spent, don’t know when to go home, always in things that don’t concern him could barely get past the height of the table trotman sssstttttuuuupppssseeeeeeeeeeee. FRUNS RIGHT want to see what dey going do when that tax don’t move.

  22. Seaweed August 5, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    The following report by the Auditor General is appalling, and should be a basis for discussions between the government and social partners. There is no accountability in the public sector. We can’t continue to print money!


  23. jrsmith August 5, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    We are emotional , the priminister think he is clever and some people thing a silly televise meeting, is going to convince bajans , that he the priminister can ever be trusted……………………….
    Lets see how honest and trust worth the priminister and his government is and lets see the transparency…………………. He must come on TV and answer questions as to what has happen , to the 900 millions bds dollars that he and his government cannot account for ……………………………………………..

    To to remind bajans this was an (Audit General’s) report , which no one had the so and so to challenge……………………………..

  24. Roger Headley August 5, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    I would be disappointed if the 67% of the partnership agree to have it televised.

  25. Bajan boy August 5, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    The PM taking these on a political ride while he plays for time..The man don’t give a cats aSS bout them nor anyone…

  26. Cavil Best August 5, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Some of you all can really hush your ass. He is the Prime Minister of a Nation, not the Chief Editor of The Nation News, nor a Union Representative nor a owner of some Private Company nor a Permanent Secretary nor Principal of a primary School nor a Vice Chancellor of some University nor a Commissioner of Police. He has the right to send any of his Ministers to represent Him. Whenever a Trade Union Leader wants to meet with a Company Director or Owner, the company sends someone to represent them. Ask Sir COW! So who the hell is Mary Redman and Toni Moore, Whatever his name is Mcdowald, Pedro Shepherd and the rest of the bloody Parasites to demand that the Prime Minister should be present whenever they want him to be? All of you need a bush bathe.

  27. Milli Watt August 5, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    @ Best……….AGREED

  28. Lorenzo August 6, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Cavil Best the PM was elected by the people as a servant of the people.The PM set up the meeting, why would he not be present for it.I assume ,he would have known befpre hand about the funeral.This is not a good sign of good faith and certainly a lack of respect for the social partnership.

  29. Samantha Walker August 6, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Every excuse is used under the sun. Doesnt the PM have anyone to make sure his appointments dont clash…… You hear excuses like: he/she is out to lunch. he/she left the island, he/she had to go to a funeral…..

    Why is it that instead of facing the music, there are sooo many excuses….is anyone accountable for anything in Bim, sad state of affairs, Bim will not survive with this type of disrespect. Do what you supposed to do in the position you have…. Its not rocket science…..Why is everything complicated, when life is simple !!

  30. Greengiant August 6, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    why shouldn’t the meetings be televised in the future? These claim to be representatives of the workers, and the ‘bottom line is profit’ private sector are the ones calling for transparency. It has to start somewhere. So why not with them?

    If their working for the better of the workers, and Barbadians in general, what’s so secretive or intimidating about the public viewing of the meeting? They know why, and so do I, the custom is that all their recommendations are not worker friendly.

  31. Milli Watt August 6, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    massah to inches: “how de big ride we get fuh yuh.”
    inches to massah: “could barely see ovuh de dash but it smoood.”
    massah to inches:”you think it make sense to get one for akani.”
    inches to massah:”nah, what would toni think……….you bought one for her already.”

  32. Donild Trimp August 6, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    @ Cavil Best –

    My sentiments exactly.

    Let me add that some posters here are jokers just like the trade union and public sector leaders.

    No respect for the PM or the office of the PM and no clue whatsoever about protocol.

  33. Helicopter(8P) August 7, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Just want to let you all know that Ossie Moore tells me when he was at elementary school St. Giles Boy’s there was a certain teacher called Mr Athurley who would send a prefect down to the west gate and south gate to take the names of those who came in late and were not present at roll call and with that his piece of hippopotamus South African leather would have a personal meeting with the preposterous potion of the anatomy!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *