Another ultimatum

NUPW gives Govt one day to get workers out of condemned immigration building

Another day and another ultimatum has been issued by the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) to Government.

This time the union, which had earlier given the Freundel Stuart administration until January 15 to respond to its pay proposals, is demanding that workers at the Immigration Department be moved out of their condemned headquarters building by tomorrow, else the workers would be forced to walk off the job.

In issuing the ultimatum today, NUPW General Secretary Roslyn Smith said that officers stationed in the condemned Careenage House Wharf Road headquarters had run out of patience with Government.

It was back in November 2016 that Minister with responsibility for Immigration Senator Darcy Boyce had announced that the department would be moving to a new location by June 2017.

At the time Boyce had acknowledged that the current home of the Immigration Department was in dire need of repair, but said the workers would first have to move into temporary accommodation before the renovations could begin.

“I will hold each one accountable to make sure that come June, 2017 the Immigration Department can move into a brand new accommodation,” the minister had stated during the November 2016 citizen induction ceremony for 110 immigrants at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

In view of that statement, Smith pointed out today that Government was a long way over the promised timeline to move workers out of the unfit conditions and into the repurposed Barbados Tourism Investment Inc car park.

Therefore, “by Friday at 1p.m. we are expected to tour the new building, but we feel that the building should have been handed over since June last year. So they are really behind time and I believe that this visit come Friday should be the end of the suffering of the workers.

“If we do not have a positive outcome, then the workers would know exactly what they should do . . . All we will say to them is do not go into the building,” said Smith, who was speaking to the media following the launch of the union’s membership and discount card.

Smith explained that the immediate demand was for Government to address the physical location of the staff since the cleaning of immigration files would require more time.

“The existing building has been condemned and is full of everything that is not conducive to a healthy work environment. I know they have made strides in moving all of the files that have been affected. I don’t know how far they have reached, but the cleaning of those files will take a while, so I don’t expect them to take them into the new building,” she said.

At the same time, the union official said she was deeply concerned with the number of environmental problems plaguing Government buildings.

On Tuesday, workers in the Accountant General’s office, which is housed the Treasury Building in Bridgetown, hastily abandoned their stations and congregated on the outside of that building on account of a pungent odour.

Today, Smith informed the media that an environmental assessment was currently being done on that building. However, she said she was not pleased that workers were still being forced to report to work in the days that the assessments were taking place.

“The environmental condition at the Treasury Building is causing a lot of discomfort to workers. We have workers complaining of running noses [and] eye problems.

“I understand that they would be doing some testing at that building over the next two days. I expected that management would have at least allowed the workers to remain off the job so that those carrying out the investigations would have a free range,” she said, adding that “to me that building has been causing a lot of problem over the years because of where it is built and the maintenance is not what it should be.

“Years ago we had one officer that had died from working in that environment and that is why I take serious issue with persons trying to split hairs about having the workers come and report and sit outside. That is a waste of time,” she said.

9 Responses to Another ultimatum

  1. Pho Khus-Harris
    Pho Khus-Harris January 12, 2018 at 12:40 am

    Andrea Mallett

  2. archy perch January 12, 2018 at 3:48 am

    Stupse. The irrelevant NUPW.

  3. Freeagent January 12, 2018 at 7:09 am

    We wonder why government puts specific dates to proposals when there is no guarantee that these proposals will be guaranteed. That gives the unions ammunition with which to work.
    Another mistake by the government

  4. petra January 12, 2018 at 7:49 am

    stupse arch what is your purpose. always seeking to pull down

  5. archy perch January 12, 2018 at 8:17 am

    I dont understand petra. I never seek to pull or put down Barbados. I seek to remind the crooked Barbados Labour Party that it has a record engraved in granite, that’s all. I seek to remind that party of rascals of their lame past.

  6. Caroline Boxill
    Caroline Boxill January 12, 2018 at 8:19 am

    All the time so smfh why not step up the action stop the lotta long talk

  7. Greengiant January 12, 2018 at 9:06 am

    The N U P W is making itself irrelevant, jumping from issue to issue while getting nothing completed.

    The Immigration department is being relocated to the B T I car park building on Harbour road and was being prepared since last year. The union would want the workers and the whole of Barbados to believe that they made this happen for the workers.

    What that incompetent executive at the N U P W needs to do is to get the civil servants back money now, they should have done so long ago. Instead of asking for the impossible 23%, then jumping to a coping subsidy, and now setting ultimatums.

    All that you will allow is that the government will dissolve parliament, call elections, and unless this government is reelected, your members will have to endure whatever hardship, restraint, or wage freezes will come. The president and his executive has failed the workers, they have kept much noise, walked up and down but with nothing to show. As the song says, “nothing from nothing leaves nothing”.

  8. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce January 12, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    Return of the dinosaurs.

  9. milli watt January 12, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    trying to find one of the party faithful to secure a 5 year lease as soon as I get the particulars worked out (wink) I will get back to yuh all


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