It is back to the bargaining table at 2pm Saturday for representatives of the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) and management of the Barbados Agricultural Management Company (BAMC).
A marathon six hour session, chaired by the Chief Labour Officer Vincent Burnett at his Warrens, St Michael office, began at 5:30pm and had to be adjourned at 11:30pm Friday, with the discussions scheduled to resume in the hope of reaching a settlement and avoiding a national shut down.
Earlier in the day, the BWU had threatened to call out workers at two of its largest divisions – the Barbados Port Authority and Barbados Water Authority – in support of striking sugar workers, who have been off the job since Thursday.
Emerging from the talks late Friday night, union boss Sir Roy Trotman, who has accused the BAMC of treating sugar workers with disrespect and of failing to consult with them on the contentious matter of redundancies, said the entire dispute could have been avoided had the BAMC tendered an apology.
However, he told reporters that “for what reasons suits the management of the BAMC best and only their concern, they are choosing to take a line that would further exacerbate the situation which they created in the first place and which ought not to have taken place”.
BAMC officials were tightlipped at the end of the meeting.