Strike on

NUPW to take the fight to Govt

It had issued an ultimatum to the Freundel Stuart Government to respond to its pay concerns by January 15, else it said there would be protests.

But with the Stuart administration refusing to budge and today’s deadline passing without a single word being said by Government on the matter, the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) this evening announced that it would be immediately embarking on a public sector strike.

Demonstrating that the union means business, NUPW executives met with shop stewards at their Dalkeith Road, St Michael headquarters for prayer this afternoon, before rolling out the plan of action.

Speaking to the media following the brief meeting which started at 5p.m. and ended at 5:22p.m, NUPW President Akanni McDowall said that he was disappointed with Government’s lack of response to the union, while emphasizing that NUPW was prepared to fight to the bitter end for pay increases for its members.

From left, NUPW General Treasurer Asokore Beckles, President Akanni McDowall and General Secretary Roslyn Smith during today’s meeting.

“As you know, we would have given the Government an ultimatum to conclude salary negotiations by January 15, which is today. We also told them that if they did not do so we would go full on into industrial action. Unfortunately, the Government has chosen not to respond, so therefore the union is left with no choice but to take industrial action,” McDowall said, while stopping just short of announcing precisely when the planned protests would begin and how widespread the action would be.

The NUPW boss did however reveal that all options were on the table. He also stressed that the time for talk was now over and that it would take much more than invitation to get them to return to the negotiation table with Government.

“All gloves are off. The mandate from the [NUPW’s executive] council and the general membership was that the Government must conclude negotiations by today, so we are prepared to do whatever is necessary to conclude salary negotiations.

“What we do not want to do is to tell you what plans we have so that Government can put measures in place to prevent us from being as effective as we could be,” McDowall added.

The NUPW president also hinted at the involvement of sister trade unions in the protests, saying, “we are prepared to do whatever is necessary and that includes forming whatever partnerships are needed and that includes speaking to whomever we have to speak to.

“We have been in constant contact with all of our partners that would allow us to do this,” he added.

Barbados TODAY understands that the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) has already pledged its support to the NUPW’s position.

However, sources say the BWU still has to meet with it is membership to finalize its participation in the NUPW-led strike.

“But I can tell you that we already have their support with certain strategic initiatives,” one source said. The development comes just over a month after Government offered to make a $49 million lump sum payment to civil servants, which was rejected by the NUPW.

Instead, the union is proposing a $60 million lump sum, which would allow for an across-the-board $2,500 payment.

The NUPW, which has been demanding a 23 per cent increase, has however made it clear that the lump sum was not a substitute for the proposed pay hike, which has been outstanding for the past ten years. In fact, the union had called for both matters to be settled by today.

Following the presentation of the May 30 Budget by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler the NUPW had joined with the BWU, the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union and the Barbados Union of Teachers in demanding the subsidy as a means of helping public workers cope with the drastic increase in the National Social Responsibility Levy, which rose from two to ten per cent of the customs value of locally produced and imported goods.

However, in recent days there has been a seeming reluctance on the part of the BUT to push too hard at the Government with its president Pedro Shepherd suggesting to Barbados TODAY last week that McDowall and the NUPW were being too anxious amid the current economic challenges facing the country.

However, McDowall has since responded suggesting that Shepherd was out of touch with his members’ wishes.

41 Responses to Strike on

  1. Ras January 15, 2018 at 11:56 pm

    Strike On
    Shut down Airport, Seaport, Transport Board and the complete Civil service.

    Hope wunna got Strike money to pay the workers while they off the job, cause Bills still got to pay while them on strike
    Remember No Work No Pay

  2. Caroline Boxill
    Caroline Boxill January 15, 2018 at 11:59 pm

    Wunna should have Done it last month peak time this is a Dead month not much going on smfh

    • Olutoye Walrond
      Olutoye Walrond January 16, 2018 at 12:02 pm

      Strikes are not called willy nilly. They usually follow a stalemate in the negotiations. The talks might not have been at the current status last month.

  3. Saga Boy January 16, 2018 at 1:39 am

    I am convinced that this threatened strike action is purely political. It makes absolutely no sense. I wonder how many people attended the meeting. Not a peep from BT about the 20 people who attended.

  4. Kevin January 16, 2018 at 1:40 am

    So if the BWU joins, will private sector workers be given an increase as well? The union is just trying to get a deal before the next elections. And if the BLP wins it will be interesting to see if the unions push as hard as they are doing now.

  5. Sherlock Holmes. January 16, 2018 at 1:52 am

    Asskani Mcdowall is at it again this political immature operative just love to bloviate and is always reckless as to what his hap hazzard decisions could cause. I am not at all impressed with him,heck to be honest i never will, i am tired of political motivated actions perpetrated by anyone or group who have hidden agendas steeped in bias for any of the two parties whether BLP or DLP. The country and it’s well being must come first. More and more i am leaning towards a third party especially those who have christian based candidates.

    • hcalndre January 16, 2018 at 3:48 am

      @Sherlock Holmes; at least do you think that someone from the government could have met with the Union? when the Unions were ran by the DLP agents for so many years the workers were short-changed and the agents were rewarded by the DLP after they were no longer with the Union, every one of them. When you say the well being of the country, do you mean health wise? like the Sewage issue. Can`t you see that this elected lot has no leader so they were bound to fail, every tax that they put on the people for the 10 years have not reach its goal, even the NSRL has fallen short. They will do their 10 years, they have the 10% plus in their bank a/c so they could go merrily home at the end of their time.

      • Sherlock Holmes. January 16, 2018 at 7:00 am

        Read what i said carefully, there are several points made by you that i totally agree with, this current government has been failing consistently in various areas, but i will say this both of them being the two major parties mirror each other to a T. So @hcaindre you do not have to convince me, but i will not support blatant agendas that are designed to cause disruption for personal and political gain.

    • Rechelle January 16, 2018 at 7:54 am

      Do you believe the workers deserve a salary increase after 10 years? Just answer the question.

  6. Lorenzo January 16, 2018 at 5:36 am

    The usual Dems on here,Ras,Sherlock holmes,Saga Boy andKevin,tell me when the past leadership of the Union many of whom were associated with the Dems you all had no problem hyprocrites as they were singing in your choir.Now we have Mr McDowall actually fighting for the Workers to get an increase for the first time in years to help with the increase in the cost of living due to heavy taxes of this government,and in light of the fact that the MP,s got back their 10%youy hyprocrites got a problem with that.It is all about party for you all you care nothing about Bajans welfare,which is a downright shame.By the way where were you voices on the Sewerage matter I guess you all could not blme anybody for that level of incompetence.

    • Sherlock Holmes. January 16, 2018 at 7:09 am

      Low energy Lorenzo is back at ti again. Your myopic views are also part and parcel as to why politicians can easily brain wash certain people actually sometimes i get the impression that if a politician had ordered some of you to commit some act and i chose the word act to avoid outrage, let say at midday some of you would commit it at 10.30am in your zeal to please.The difference between most of you and myself is that i call a spade a spade regardless of the party involved.

    • Kevin January 16, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      I am not a Dem. I am a floater voter.

    • Ras January 16, 2018 at 7:17 pm

      Lorenzaaa There have Dems in here, BLP, UPP in here, Sodomites in here, Thee Un Godly in here, everybody in here
      But it seems you fear thee Dems
      How comes you Fear thee Dems but like to be in Trinidad

  7. Sheron Inniss January 16, 2018 at 6:30 am

    Take a number and join the queue.

  8. Freeagent January 16, 2018 at 6:56 am

    When a man digs a hole he usually falls into it.

  9. fedup January 16, 2018 at 7:17 am

    Guh long and strike do! De PM duz b pun strike ALL DEE FRIGGING time cos he doan do diddly. steupse.

  10. Patrick January 16, 2018 at 8:22 am

    As I have said before, You people who are agitating for a strike are the ones that will suffer from any fall out because most of you live from pay packet to pay packet and cannot afford to go without one day’s pay

    • tedd January 16, 2018 at 12:23 pm

      workers need to accept sacrificing a few days pay to make the point that they are dissatisfied.

  11. Barker Antony
    Barker Antony January 16, 2018 at 8:45 am

    I agree strike and next year go home

  12. 3rdsun January 16, 2018 at 8:56 am

    If de Govt aint move for 10 years wanna feel they gine move at de last minute. De PM gine announce elections next week and de NUPW gine be long forgotten

  13. Saga Boy January 16, 2018 at 9:14 am

    There will be no strike because the NUPW does not have the support. Fewer members are attending meetings and so the time for taking action has been diluted. People are beginning to recognize that Akani’s agenda and script is written by Mia Mottley after their usual weekly meetings. Why should the gov meet with NUPW if there was an agreement in terms of the way forward? A proposal was submitted, a counter position taken and now its time for the gov to respond. Why is it that they cant wait but instead have to threaten and bully gov? There is a difference of opinion among the union leadership on the island in terms of how to approach the current negotiations and the absence of large numbers of members should send a message to Akani. If there is no money where is it going to come from?

    • andy g January 16, 2018 at 10:12 am

      fruns is a smart man.akanni is not..watching him speak when fruns debated with the labour movement last year .he seem so nervous,came up with some old tale that has been around for as long as I can remember.(going in supermarket pay for old person grocery).fruns going to outsmart you can put fruns and Erskine sandiford in the boat. we all going sink together.the bell will be rung before the union action take place.But what was discussed is anyone guess.meeting started at 5 pm finished 5.22pm. you gonna be trumped, fruns gonna throw the deuce in your face.

  14. Carson C. Cadogan January 16, 2018 at 10:21 am

    This idiot man does not realise that evil wins battles but never wars.

  15. milli watt January 16, 2018 at 10:22 am


  16. Kathy January 16, 2018 at 10:25 am

    The new year start too quiet for Akanni. He expected to see peiple running around creation fuss of things they expect to happen, but everything so far falling flat. So this immature idiot want some attention so he at it agiai.Boy, go and wash your face and take a seat.

  17. Tony Webster January 16, 2018 at 11:52 am

    New “instant cou-cou” recipe: 1kg. Unstoppable force; 1 kg. Immovable object; 1 kg. Youthful ambition; 2kg. Empty Treasury; 1 kg. “Coping sugar” put in political oven turned up to “roasting-hot”. Bake until evabody screams “fire”
    Then fire evahbody standing right next to de oven….waiting for “fresh bread”. Sorry…cou-cou. Yes….that’s exactly how de cou-cou-cou-crumbles. Yes….it’s WE that gine pay….how did you ever guess?

  18. milli watt January 16, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    CTUSAB ain’t on board want to dialogue and communicate…. lololololol away wid you Cedric the millennials are in town

  19. luther thorne January 16, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Sherlock Holmes is not a DLP Pimp
    Sherlock Holmes is not a DLP Yardfowl
    Sherlock Holmes is not

    • Sherlock Holmes. January 17, 2018 at 7:29 am

      Lickrisk lazy Luther you at it again?

  20. Lorenzo January 16, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Shrlock Holmes,you call a spade a spade since when?I am yet to see you critcizethis Government about any thing,case in point this sewerage mess not a peep from you and why you would have to criticize your beloved DLP,so gimme a break.You are a DLp apologist,and you nor any other Dem on this blog will stop me being critical of this party.As for Kevin you are what a floater,and on every blog defending the DLP.Saga Boy you know your were on here prancing up and down about Mr McDowall being wrong on the CBC matter and it turned out you were the person who was wrong and you did not have the decency to apologise to Mr McDowall but for you three as anyone criticize the Dems you can look out for you three along with GreenGiant,Sticks and Stones,Sharon Taylor ,CCC and Archie Perch.In my opinion the writing on the wall.

    • Sherlock Holmes. January 17, 2018 at 7:31 am

      You are soon going to burst an artery politics have you going stark raving mad.

  21. Steven Layne
    Steven Layne January 16, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    Ok ,strike,pm start talking about his upbringing everyone get quiet,please .

  22. Alex Alleyne January 16, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Which top the list “DOWNGRADES OR UNION STRIKES ??????.
    They just keep coming left, right and center………back&front, top&botton.

  23. Saga Boy January 16, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    Wait Lorenzo you n dead yet? Are U not supposed to be on a hunger strike?

    • Sherlock Holmes. January 17, 2018 at 7:32 am

      A truly good one Saga Boy.

  24. Haskell Murray January 16, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Working for ten years without a pay increase is absurd NUPW should have struck 9 years ago .

  25. Lorenzo January 16, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    Saga Boy that is the best you could do poor fella,i will be aroundwith god,s help to hear you after the Election and your party is hopefully booted out of office for their lack of performance,so don,t worry about me.You cannot refute nothing I saidand once again you will be wrong.Just for your information which party did the following belong ,Sir Frnk Walcott,Sir Roy Trotman,Bobby Morris ,Evelyn Greaves etcalong with by association Mr Clarke ,Mr Maloney .I didn,t hear you hyprocritcal Dems voicing any objection back then,so what is your problem now you all want all Union leaders on your side J/A?Give me a break moron.

  26. Belfast January 16, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    Playing right into the hands of Mash-up-Barbados Stuart. This will be his last joker in the pack before being tossed out.
    Stuart will be laughing, all the way down to the wire, like he does when hob-knobbing with Europeans.

  27. Greengiant January 16, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    This is now like a comedy show in the N U P W auditorium staring Akanni, Asokore, Roslyn and crew.

    This can be described as the third act. What will they achieve by doing this? The workers won’t get their money. They won’t force the government from office either.

    Parliament will dissolve, elections called, and they will have to deal with a new administration. That will be the final act by this executive as they will be removed from office at the election having the title of ‘the barking trade unionists’. They have bitten off more than they mouth can hold.

  28. RB January 17, 2018 at 6:50 am

    In Barbados the wealthfare of the workers is never important. It is not poitical . The union has to represent. Strike on do.

  29. petra January 17, 2018 at 11:50 am

    The govt should reply to the union. just don’t be silent. it’s silence that got them where there are today. the people are fed up with the Prime Ministers silence


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