Strike action at the United Commercial Autoworks Ltd (UCAL) is expected to intensify tomorrow, as angry workers continue to demand payment of their salaries and wages.
Today, the 140 UCAL workers made good on their threat, which was reported on by Barbados TODAY yesterday.
Richard Newton, a shift foreman and director of UCAL, explained today that monthly paid workers had not receiving their salaries last Friday while weekly paid workers did not get theirs today. He said the situation amounted to an unsatisfactory trend, which workers could no longer tolerate.
“We have been paying the staff late because of [the] Transport Board. We have had enough, enough is enough. This is unfair to workers. This will intensify tomorrow by all means even if we got to go out on the front road,” Newton exclaimed.
He added: “We can’t work like this, this is the end of the month, you got bills to pay, you got to buy food, you got to put gas in the vehicles. This is not right, we need something happening and we need something happening urgently.”
In a bid to rectify the non-payment issue, which seems to have escalated in recent months, Newton said representatives of UCAL visited the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) office yesterday and requested that the Union intervene on behalf of the employees.
He is therefore disappointed that no one from the union visited the work stoppage site today in a show of solidarity.
“We are very disappointed, not only in the union, but also Sir Roy [who is also chairman of UCAL]. Sir Roy is general secretary so he know[s] what going on. He should be here first thing this morning to meet the workers unless he want[s] to continue with the work stoppage and that is why he ain’t coming. He should be here this morning to show us support,” Newton said.
Duty driver Troy Nicholls voiced the same concern.
“The thing that got all of us upset is that Sir Roy hasn’t come to us as yet and we went to the Union yesterday, laid our claim and told them what we were going to do and this morning we expected that somebody would have come and represent us. We are totally frustrated by that. If nothing happens today we are going to take it another step further, Nicholls said.
(Please also see Sir Roy’s comments on Pages 8&9 in our digital ePaper – http://epaper.barbadostoday.bb)