Well done, Toni!

NUPW gives BWU a pat on the back for its handling of CBC impasse

The head of this country’s largest trade union is hailing as a major victory for worker solidarity the settlement reached by the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) in its recent impasse with the state-run Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

“I am really happy about the outcome at CBC and I am happy for the BWU,” said President of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Akanni McDowall following the settlement which was announced here late Wednesday, bringing to an end the weeklong strike by workers at the radio, television and cable outfit.

At issue was the payment of four outstanding increments dating back to 2012.

In hailing the outcome of the process, McDowall also said he viewed the win as a victory for trade unions as a whole.

“There has been a popular misconception that unions have become irrelevant even though we have had several successes in recent times, including the salary increase for airport workers,” said the NUPW leader, whose union was in the forefront of the airport impasse.

However, he said the agreement, which was reached during marathon negotiations at the CBC’s Pine, St Michael headquarters and chaired by Acting Minister of Labour Senator Harry Husbands, was solid proof that the trade union movement was by no means dead.

“When we see CBC management coming right out and admitting that they were at fault in an issue that received so much national attention, then the importance of the unions is reaffirmed before the eyes of the entire nation,” he told Barbados TODAY.

CBC General Manager Doug Hoyte on Wednesday apologized to members of the BWU for the impasse over increments, saying “there was a genuine misunderstanding on the Corporation’s part about the terms and conditions of the payment”.  This after CBC had been insisting all along that no payments could be outside of the current salary scales since it would be “tantamount to salary increases” which, according to Section 20 (c) of the CBC Act”, could only be approved by the minister responsible for broadcasting.

However, the BWU had been adamant that the workers were entitled to the payments and had accused Government of reneging on an earlier promise to pay the outstanding increments across-the-board.

In light of these developments, McDowall said it was always sad when “workers have to resort to withholding their labour in order to get what is theirs”.

“Truth be told all the workers have is their labour and in recent times Government and some private employers have been underestimating the power and strength of worker solidarity. So last week we really got a first hand look at what can really happen when workers flex their muscles.

“It is not a case where the unions are always anxious to jump to this action, but sometimes we achieve much more than just burning calories,” said McDowall, in obvious reference to disparaging comments made by Minister of Commerce Donville Inniss about a joint union march to Parliament last July.

However, noting that only 50 of the 250 workers at the CBC had participated in the weeklong protest the NUPW boss cautioned workers not to allow fear to stop them from standing up for their rights.

“CBC came to a Christian understanding after seven days of strike with 50 workers off the job. Could you imagine how much faster this impasse would have been wrapped up if all of the workers had stood up and be counted? he asked, while lamenting that “some of the persons who didn’t join the picket may very well benefit from the deal”.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the two sides in the CBC impasse had agreed to meet again today to determine how the statutory corporation would pay the outstanding monies and while full details on those discussions have not yet been made public, Barbados TODAY understands that CBC has agreed to pay the 50 workers for the seven days they were off the job and on the picket line.


12 Responses to Well done, Toni!

  1. Ron October 7, 2017 at 4:31 am

    It’s a victory for the established trade unions in Barbados, well done to the young trade union leaders who have been criticized from all quarters for their immaturity and irrelevancy. There is the leader of the Unity labour movement Caswell Franklyn who has got it all wrong on each occasion he pronounces on labour matters.
    His last pronouncement was on CBC TV last week, when he told Sir. Roy that he has it all wrong, let the people go back to work there are striking for a non issue.
    I wonder what he is saying now? Again you have got it wrong Caswell. I wonder sometimes why you have to open your mouth on every subject. Is it all about you?

  2. archy perch October 7, 2017 at 4:32 am

    I wish this clown would STOP using the term Christian understanding in his warped ideas of trade unionism. Just like Trump, he thinks he’s the man to change and correct things….all those before me didn’t know what the hell they were doing. I will show them. Workers rights are not in the bosom of trade unions any more. Labour Minister, Dr. Esther Byer-Suchoo took care of that with the Employments Rights legislation. All workers rights are protected within the Act. Unions now struggling for membership while their big ups maintain six figure salaries and fancy cars.

  3. Sherlock Holmes. October 7, 2017 at 4:51 am

    Please do not compare this immature joker to the Trumpster.

  4. Carson C Cadogan October 7, 2017 at 7:49 am

    I don’t see that she has done anything.

  5. luther thorne October 7, 2017 at 8:38 am

    I heard a moderator on the CBC call in programme shouting and keeping a lot of noise about the strike. I was flabergasted when the BWA workers were condemned for joining the CBC workers in support. The moderator claimed that the issue had nothing to do with the BWA workers. I found the claim to be ludicrous. Workers support other workers and if 20 % of CBC workers, as the moderator claimed, were on strike then it was wise of the BWA workers to offer help . Congratulations abd thanks to the BWA workers because their involvement up de ting and sent a strong message. That same 20% of workers at CBC will show their gratitude and their presence at some point in time and may make a difference to the said BWA workers and or other comrades, Brothers and Sisters who might have challenges. The 80% of CBC staff need to take stock. The Moderators at CBC need to ask themselves some questions though. They have destroyed their own collective credibility and should be put out to pasture..

  6. lswiltshire October 7, 2017 at 9:36 am

    RE Just like Trump, he thinks he’s the man to change and correct things….all those before me didn’t know what the hell they were doing. I will show them.


    • Sherlock Holmes. October 7, 2017 at 12:28 pm

      Big up ISWILTSHIRE!

  7. milli watt October 7, 2017 at 10:27 am

    side kick got to be looking for a fight he could win……..might have his day in a few. looking forward to see how he handle it.

  8. Lorenzo October 7, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Luther Thorne agree with you 100%,these anti union,DLP Moderators want taking off the air.Everything for them must be pro Government.Notice the tone change in their voices when any one from the BLP calls that programme especially Ms holder ,she starts to becme aggressive and argumentative.As for all at CBC,who are Union members and did not support the strike I hope they would not benefit from the success of the Union,as I heard the announcers on the morning and afternoon shifts everday the strike was on,maybe they are not members of the Union.To Ms Moore and Mr McDowall keep holding this Government,s feet to the fire,on behalf of the workers.

  9. Saga Boy October 7, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Lorenzo I hope you understand that it Is you who paying the workers at CBC. And it is you and people like you who does encourage the unions to behave irresponsible. Imagine dem fighting a company that bankrupt. Why they don’t fight with private sector companies?

  10. Back Freight October 7, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Saga Boy nah body want dig yam hole but dem want eat !!

  11. luther thorne October 7, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Yeah Lorenzo these people blind and biased as they are, support nonsense although they know it is nonsense they are supporting. They are no better than slaves . They live in denial and construct some alternate world with alternate facts. They would want us to believe thier nonsense and deny reality. People such as the CBC moderators are doing a disservice to this country by not presenting a balanced view on the airwaves. These same persons would want to chastise others and label persons but display stupidity because I would not even call it bias.It is plain stupidity in an attempt to be bias. We need to enforce broadcasting standards. What the moderators at CBC are doing is dangerous to the long term health of the country and highly irresponsible. They should not be allowed to pollute the airwaves . One is not saying that cannot have a view or support someone but they are moderators on the air and they shoulf really not be picking sides but encourage discussion , healthy discussion. Their bias or attempt at bias is sickening.


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