NUPW strike a second blow to Barbados tourism, says Symmonds

Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) spokesman on business Kerrie Symmonds today said that news of a planned national shutdown over stalled public sector wage talks could not have come at a worse time for Barbados.

Symmonds contended that a strike was likely to negatively impact the country’s tourism sector, which has already taken a hit from travel advisories from Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, warning their citizens about the ongoing sewage crisis on the south coast.

“I think it is the worst possible news. You now add a national shutdown in the middle of the winter season when tourists are supposed to be here. This is when we are supposed to be doing the best of our business in Barbados. We cannot afford this now, but equally, we could not afford to have three consecutive advisories issued against us by our three main source market,” he told Barbados TODAY this afternoon, shortly after the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) ordered its members out for “two days of protest and resistance” beginning tomorrow.

The planned two-day national shutdown follows a breakdown in pay negotiations between the island’s largest public sector union and Government.

“Public servants have taken the brunt of this Government’s draconian cost-cutting measures and can take it no more. We deserve better,” the union said in a statement announcing its planned action.

However, while the BLP spokesman was bracing for the fallout, he argued that even though the country was in dire financial straits, the workers, who have not had an increase in ten years, were being provoked by the lavish lifestyle of some in  the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Government.

“It is no surprise to me that right thinking trade unionists, even in these difficult times, would dig their heels in. If the paymaster is living large then you must expect that everybody must feel that should be able to do likewise. These are not the days of plantation slavery when Massa lives in a big house and everybody else live in a dirt floor hut,” Symmonds contended, while making reference to the decision by DLP legislators in January last year to restore the ten per cent pay that had been cut from their salaries in 2014 at the height of austerity.

“One has to be mindful of the fact that public servants have not received a salary increase in ten years, while the cost of living in this country has become increasingly burdensome . . . . They restored their ten per cent salary reduction to give themselves a cushion of comfort prior to the implementation of National Social Responsibility Levy. The Prime Minister has also failed to lead by example. He brought out not one, but two new Mercedes cars, jointly valued at $1.3 million, then he expects the ordinary workers not to look on in horror regarding how his lifestyle has become more lavish while theirs have become more painful,” the Opposition parliamentarian said.

23 Responses to NUPW strike a second blow to Barbados tourism, says Symmonds

  1. Troy Whitehall
    Troy Whitehall January 17, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    South coast jobby place

  2. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba January 17, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    ah want the airport and sea port closed..then the rest can follow..these greedy, greasy, vindictive, low life scum of the earth..brute beast must fall one way or the other…….up de thing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Dennis Taitt
    Dennis Taitt January 18, 2018 at 12:08 am

    Pay up now.

  4. meakai January 18, 2018 at 1:36 am

    It would have been nice if all other politicians were also looking on in horror, instead of with eyes glazed with anticipation.

  5. Mackar January 18, 2018 at 2:04 am

    What is happening to our beloved Barbados!!! The water and sewage people destroying the touris section of the econamy.

    The Government selling off the last assets of Barbadians and now the unions are about to drive the last nail in the coffin to finish her off. All I can say is Rest in peace. Dear Barbados!!

  6. Freeagent January 18, 2018 at 7:44 am

    Barbadians, you can use this two-day strike to get on your knees and ask God Almighty to drive out the forces of darkness that are over this lovely island. We have allowed the evil forces of greed, hatred, anger and unforgiveness to overcome us and we have forgotten that Satan is the one who is responsible for these vices. Cussing and hating government ministers will not help us. We need to remember God’s model of love, forgiveness and obedience.
    Lord, help us to remember your promises that you will help us if we come to you in prayer.

    • allison archer January 18, 2018 at 9:29 am

      we are always calling for prayers to be made but God Almighty will only drive satan & evil forces out of Barbados if there is true repentance sought forsaking all evil from the people
      He is a reciprocal God you know, a Jealous God Who will never share His glory with another
      truly the people continue to turn their backs to Him

      be bless in Christ

    • Mark Rosmar January 18, 2018 at 10:59 am


  7. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn January 18, 2018 at 8:21 am

    Ali Bab when these port closed down what you think would happen to the country. I am not agreeing with you. It will hurt the economy. Government can’t afford to lose revenue at the moment. They will hurt the tourism industry.

    • Joy Waldron
      Joy Waldron January 18, 2018 at 9:39 am

      Hm… so who hurting right now….

    • Barker Antony
      Barker Antony January 18, 2018 at 9:57 am

      you will hurt more when this or the next govt got less revenue.

    • Ali Baba
      Ali Baba January 18, 2018 at 10:54 am


  8. Barker Antony
    Barker Antony January 18, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Blows we cannot afford

  9. Ossie Theophilus Moore January 18, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    Papa Symmonds thats the onset of your surposedly loving brothers and sister of your nation! I’ve seen a colony of snakes about 300 or so in their pit but not one so dear swallow the other.

  10. Errol Rayside
    Errol Rayside January 18, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Get DEM out

  11. Greengiant January 18, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Get Dem out. Symmonds can probably when in the history of this country was it that MP’s weren’t living large.

    The Bees were removed from office in 2008 for similarly scandalous behavior by some of their MP’s.

    So this is the pot calling the kettle black. Same kitchen, different utensils, same heat and burns for the citizens of this country.
    The Bees generates money through any source even if the rates of repayment are unsustainable for the masses.

    We need a government who can repay our current dept, generate productivity, and grow our GDP with a method that’s sustainable. Unfortunately both the B L P and D L P have proven beyond a doubt that neither of them has this ability. Did someone say it’s time for this country to turn a new political page?

  12. Patrick January 18, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Ai.baba sounds like a uneducated political pimp

  13. Kevin Watson
    Kevin Watson January 18, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Government getting licks left right and centre. Why dem just couldn’t get the meetings going even if it dint work out

  14. Mark Adamson January 19, 2018 at 7:01 am

    Mr Symmonds was part and parcel of the last Barbados Labour Party government that has been PRIMARILY responsible for the dedevelopment, decay, collapse, ruin, and destruction that have currently been taking place in so many of the affairs of the people of this country.

    Back in the first decade of the 2000s, the People’s Democratic Congress had been warning Barbadians about the very hard times that we are experiencing today, and so was the then DLP leader – Mr. Clyde Mascoll (now Dr. Mascoll), as a result of the very regressive, destructive and backward political, economic and financial policies and programs of the then BLP government.

    Mr. Symmonds cannot speak without recognizing those same policies and programs and their very adverse long term effects on the broad masses and middle classes of people in Barbados today.

    The last BLP government so grossly and so recklessly mismanaged the political, economic and financial affairs of this country – MASSIVE borrowing, MASSIVE government DEBT, MASSIVE squandermania and MASSIVE government, that – under this failed and flawed Westernist oligarchic exploitative and dependency “model of development”, the days were going to come when monies, receipts, credits were going go entirely slow down.

  15. Mackar January 21, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    This finance minister is now acting in the capaticy of the real estate agent for the people of Barbados.

    Could some body explain to him the ethics of full disclosure to your client.

    The people of Barbados, who are the sellers of the Hilton Hotel. It is sad, the sellers are asleep and the agent is doing what he like as he like.
    Could some learned Lawyer step foreward and save us from this mess.????


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