Barbados union plans nationwide strike
The Barbados Workers Union (BWU) says it will definitely embark upon industrial action after efforts to get the telecommunications company, Cable and Wireless (Barbados) Limited, to retract dismissal letters sent to nearly 100 workers last week failed.
BWU general secretary Sir Roy Trotman said that while no date has yet been decided on when the industrial action would start, he was insisting there will be industrial action but we will determine where, how and when. The time and the hour will be decided when the General Secretary announces.
Speaking after an emergency executive meeting on Thursday night, Sir Roy said there was absolute and total support of the BWUs membership after Cable and Wireless (Barbados) Limited, which operates under the brand LIME, reneged on a collective bargaining decision on New Years Eve.
I have spoken to all of the issues, the members support all of those issues and feel strongly about them and this will guide our actions, he added.
Last week LIME, blaming substantial losses, said it would be outsourcing its retail operations in a bid to improve its financial position.
LIME managing director Alex McDonald said while the company would be sending home 97 employees 48 new positions would be created.
Earlier this week, Sir Roy met with Labour Minister Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo and warned afterwards that if by Wednesday there was no indication that the matter would be resolved, he would be seeking the support of his executive council to declare a national strike.
Sir Roy was also critical of the decision of LIME to use bailiffs to deliver the redundancy letters to some of the workers at their homes in the middle of the night.
He also condemned the Barbados Employers Confederation and other entities that he accused of being in solidarity with LIME managements position.
The Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA) has denounced plans to stage the industrial action.
Totally disproportionate to the matter at hand and the threat to the economic well-being of the entire country cannot be justified, said BPSA chairman John Williams, who is also calling on all stakeholders to review their positions and settle the matter without putting Barbados and Barbadians at risk.