Yesterday’s strike action by Transport Board drivers is a sign all is not well at the state enterprise and trade union boss Senator Sir Roy Trotman is determined to find a solution.
The Barbados Workers’ Union General Secretary today regretted the inconvenience to the commuters, and publicly thanked the aggrieved employees for returning to work on his instructions.
But Sir Roy said it was clear there was much more to the issue, otherwise the drives would not have taken the route of a wild-cat strike.
He was speaking to the media today at the BWU’s Solidarity House headquarters, Hindsbury Road, St. Michael.
The union boss said once workers chose an unofficial or wild-cat strike, it signalled that something was simmering below the surface and if not resolved would steam out or boil over.
“It is clear to me that this was such an occasion and that it has to be examined much more fully so that a proper resolution can be arrived at,” he said.
He said there would have to be meeting at the local level among the workers because some aspect of the problem was within that grouping.
Sir Roy also suggested that the union would then have to approach management with a different position regarding how they trained persons to apply the rules to ensure that management did not become “automatic and mechanical”.
He advised management that it must always take human considerations as part of its decision making process.
The union boss maintained that it was not fair that the matter should have caused members of the public to suffer and he therefore expressed regret on behalf of the union’s Executive Council.
He looked forward to an enhancement and improvement in the delivery of mass transport and expressed the hope that the glitch yesterday would be not be seen by the public as part of the norm.
Yesterday more than 250 employees went on strike protesting working conditions and the delay on the part of management to put in place a pension scheme as promised.
Addressing the issue of the current harsh economic times, Sir Roy said: “We in the BWU have sought to advise our membership that this was going to a result of the economic fallout and we have sought to ask our members to be patient and understanding particularly where we know that we are in a service industry and that much of what we do relates to catering to a discriminating and discerning public.
“There are a number of persons who are experiencing difficulties of one kind or another at this time. We have an economic crisis, a financial crisis and regrettably it is leading to a social crisis and to a human crisis of personal or interpersonal relations. We in the BWU have sought to advise our members to be understanding.”
He was displeased, however, that sometimes the efforts of workers were not matched by similar acts of consideration and maturity by the other contributors to the production of goods and services. (NC)