General secretary of the Barbados Workers Union, Sir Roy
Trotman, says he will not be taking any action that will be to the
detriment of his membership or the workers of Barbados.
It is for that reason that calls by some sections of society for
a general strike in response to Government’s planned sacking of
3,000 civil servants are being dismissed.
The union boss told journalists tonight there was no
foreseeable likelihood that a national strike, similar to what
obtained back in 1991, would be considered by the BWU’s
executive council –– at least for the time being.
Sir Roy was speaking after meeting at Solidarity House with
public sector workers drawn from within the ranks of Central
Government and which the union represents.
“ . . . On current information I am not inclined to advise the
president, the treasurer or the executive council itself that that
would be the best course of action at this time. I don’t know
who it will help. It certainly will not help the persons who will get
laid off,” he said, suggesting that the scenario when thousand of
Barbadians, including employers, took to the streets of Bridgetown
to protest then Prime Minister Erskine Sandiford’s austerity
measures was different from the current one.
“The Government has shared information this time around. We
are not happy with the information that we have seen and we are
not happy with where we are at this moment. We are devastated
by the idea of so many people having got to surrender their jobs.
“Having said that I would need to be satisfied that if we went
on strike tomorrow that we would be able to do something about
those people’s welfare.
“I’d be very frank with you and say that I don’t know of
anybody that has a strike fund big enough that we would be able
to take care of the needs of those people in the long run. If there
were a strike in this matter, as there was a strike a couple years
ago in England, we would be able to take a different course of action,” said Sir Roy. (RG)