The woman nominated general secretary designate of the Barbados Workers’
Union says she is mindful of the historic significance her possible elevation to the
post later this year, could have for the 70-plus year-old institution.
However, 37-year-old Toni Moore, who currently serves as the union’s deputy
general secretary, believes that although there are those who might see it as a major
step to women, that for her is “secondary”.
“I think that the issue is not whether one is a woman or a man, whether one
is young or old, but whether one is committed to the cause of workers and to
advancing that cause. If I am to be successful in August that will be a first and that
will not be removed from the union’s history.
“. . . And I would be glad to be that first, but I think more important for you and
more important for the constituents then would be that I have the mandate or the
charge to lead . . . [that would be a sigh of] how committed I am to them and their
cause, how effective I can be as their general secretary,” Moore said.
In making the announcement on Wednesday, Sir Roy noted that Moore has been
with the BWU since 2004 and serves as director of industrial relations
with the body.
“She has been chosen by the executive council on my nomination and she will be
the person that we are presenting and projecting to the public as the person that we
wish to groom for possible ascendency to the office of general secretary when the
election is held in August of this year,” he said.
Moore, 37, attended the Combermere School and holds a Bachelor’s Degree
from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, as well as a Masters in
Human Resources Management and, the Management of Innovation from McMasters
University in Canada.
She prepares to take up the mantle of leadership of the largest private sector
bargaining body on the island, at a time when it is faced with many significant
economic and labour related issues.
Moore says she is ever mindful of this.
“Naturally succeeding Sir Roy, just like in his time, succeeding a Frank Walcott
is something that will naturally be overwhelming. Even more so if one considers the
fact that you’re female and you don’t want your legacy to be seen as anything but
one that brings pluses to an organization that has served and served outstandingly for
over 70 year. [But] I think that there will never be the perfect moment even if the
climate was not as it is; there would never be that perfect moment to replace one
who has served as outstandingly as Sir Roy has serve.
“However, I think that the commitment I have and more so the commitment of
those that will have to work with me, is what will make the difference in riding this
tide and the others to come. I recognise that it will not be a Toni Moore that will
be the answer to workers’ questions and demands in this situation or situations that
are to come. It will be a team,” she added, stating foremost in her mind was doing
her best and “endeavouring to be that number one provider in the Caribbean and
improving the well being of workers in Barbados and beyond.”