The sugar strike should never have happened, says Opposition MP Cynthia Forde, who has taken issue with the Barbados Workers’ Union calling out workers and threatening to widen the shutdown, while refusing to take similar action in support of thousands of laid off public workers.
“If you didn’t strike for all those thousands of people [public workers] going home, how do you come now and hurt the only industry that is going to bring in something –– and it’s not even at the level it would have been years ago. Something is definitely wrong,” she said.
Forde lamented the amount of money being lost as a result of the action, estimated at $144,000 per day by the Barbados Agricultural Management Corporation.
And she said a solution must be found as a matter of urgency.
“I would want for all the agencies involved to come to the table and at least . . . come up with some kind of resolution that people would go back out to work . . . and we can get on with the business of reaping the sugar cane and not be experiencing all these losses,” she said, referring to cane which had already been harvested and at the factory.
“It really needs urgent attention, and if there has to be some other form or strategy to be implemented, I believe that that would work better than putting a pause on the business of reaping the sugar cane and getting the harvest to a level where we can reap the tonnage that we are looking at for export purposes. Let us get on with the business,” Forde urged.