Take action now or watch the economy “crash and burn”. Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados President, Cedric Murrell, summed this up as the situation now facing Barbados.
Additionally, his counterpart, Barbados Workers Union General Secretary Senator Sir Roy Trotman, said Barbadian workers are ready to help fix the economy, but are not prepared to carry the load themselves.
They both made the comments this morning while calling for the speedy introduction and implementation of a recovery plan where the burden and benefits were shared equally.
This occurred at the beginning of a day-long National Consultation On The Economy where, unusually, there were two trade union representatives at the head table following the BWU’s recent withdrawal from CTUSAB.
Murrell said Barbados was in a holding pattern for too long and now needed to take off or it would eventually “crash and burn”.
“In air traffic control terms Barbados has been in a holding pattern for a long time and we need to leave the gate and fly a defined path to our destination, for to continue holding for much longer may mean that we will run out of fuel, crash and burn,” he stated.
“We absolutely have to return to a growth path in this country. The collective expectation and resolve of Barbadians is being diminished by the dark cloud of uncertainty that hangs over our island.
“Today we must up the ante, imbue ourselves with hope, built upon old visionary ideas and plans… We cannot afford to stand still any longer, let’s get running, the pace has got to get hotter, let’s get to work to build a more resilient economy.”
Murrell said there was a need for “a decision on those actionable items that we can begin implementation on immediately”.
“It is absolutely important for today’s consultation for us to focus on our workforce, particularly … because as we move forward in the crisis of the day we are seeking to build an economy and a society for the future. It is important therefore that we are able to focus really on how do we ensure our growth for the future,” he stated.
Sir Roy said it was important to ensure there was no disproportionate burden on individual sections of the society, and noted that the labour movement was doing all it could to fulfill agreed commitments, but others were not doing the same.
“Failure to honour those commitments will only put us in a position where our partners, where our agreements, where our future are all frustrated and where we end up in positions where individuals may benefit, but the country as a whole might suffer,” he warned.
“Unless we are able to practise within a shared vision that we should have for our nation, even during his crisis, then I sense then we are going to have the problems resulting from the discarding of the consultative process.
“I sense elements of it now in 2013 and have experiences of the practicality of it in 2013, I sense evidence of efforts to suppress the interest of others and I think it is dangerous, and I sense a wish being put into practise to impose by force on those who may have less strength than we have.
“That is not the moment for divisive behaviour, we need more than ever before the services, the contributions and the goodwill of each one of us.” (SC)
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