Exactly who has the “power and authority” to summon workers back to their jobs and who gives the all clear after a storm or national disaster, is one of the topic on the agenda for the Barbados Workers Union Delegates’ Conference.
The trade union’s 72nd annual confab, which gets underway this weekend, promises to be one of the largest in the union’s history, said General Secretary of the BWU, Sir Roy Trotman, on Friday during a press briefing at Solidarity House, Harmony Hall, St. Michael.
Pointing out there will be 557 delegates and 283 observers, this year’s conference which begins this coming Saturday and concludes on September 7 will have as its theme: Unfazed, Unrelenting, and Pressing on.
He argued that the theme has some significance for the BWU particularly in light of events that have been taking place over the past 12 months or so and disclosed that the Delegates’ Conference will be opened by Minister of Labour, Senator Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo and addressed by the ILO director for the Caribbean Dr. Giovanni d-cola.
The theme of the conference will be supported by five resolutions and one constitutional amendment, while Sir Roy pointed out that the theme itself will be one of the resolutions as the membership debates the challenges that confront the labour movement and moreso the BWU.
”But that apart from the support given by the BSTU, we have had to stand alone against what has been really very terrible criticisms and attacks from the labour movement, from the employers, and it would seem from some government officials. In addition, we shall be dealing with the response that there should be in crisis. We want to know particularly, to examine what happens in the event there is a storm or national disaster, who it is that has the power and authority to determine the all clear, and to summon people back to work. We are going to be treating with that particular issue,” Sir Roy said.
He announced that the conference will also be looking at a resolution on how Barbados and the BWU should respond to the challenges in the current crisis, including the crisis of the austerity budget that has only been recently presented.
The General Secretary added that they will be putting before the union’s membership the action of the Executive Council of our seceding from the Congress of Trade Union and Staff Association of Barbados.
”It is a decision that has already been taken, but we will subject it to open and frank discussions though we are aware that several of our members have been telling us for years that the best thing for the BWU was to steer its own course,” he said. (NC)