The private sector is being hit by more layoffs.
Just how many more Barbadians will go on the breadline is still unclear, but Barbados Workers’ Union general secretary Sir Roy Trotman confirmed this evening that there would be more bad news for workers at least two companies. And he’s keeping the identity of those businesses close to his chest for now.
“We are concerned about a number of other layoffs, some of which we’ve been formally made aware of, and there are also some layoffs where we are guessing,” he said, as he prepared to resume talks on a possible settlement to the eight-day strike by workers at Portvale Sugar Factory.
Pressed to give more details, Sir Roy refused.
However, he did disclose that there had been progress in discussions with management of RBC Royal Bank over pending job cuts, with the latest talks taking place this afternoon under the chairmanship of Chief Labour Officer Vincent Burnett.
“They have agreed with us regarding the process that was to have been followed and what would go forward into the future,” he reported. “And I think that all that is left here is for some details to be worked out regarding the nature of the separation package in those cases.”
Sir Roy told Barbados TODAY that about 12 workers would be made redundant at the bank at this stage, but additional negotiations had to take place on the planned closure of some branches of the bank, as a result of the merger between RBC and RBTT.
The veteran trade unionist also reported on talks with the Transport Board this morning. He said the BWU would continue those negotiations as soon as the Transport Board management got back to the union regarding the industrial relations process by which workers were sent home.
“We were looking at the matter of the process –– the same kind of thing for the sugar people –– and the question as to whether there was proper consultation regarding process, whether there was time given for us to look for alternative approaches to the matter of budget reduction,” he said.
“Those talks have been held, they have been cordial, but they are to continue as soon as the Transport Board is able to get back to us.”
Sir Roy insisted that as long as the correct process was not followed, there were “bound to be problems”.
“The Royal Bank,” the union leader pointed out, “has had those discussions and both sides have been able to iron out differences; most of the differences which there were.
“Having got that far I think we should be able to proceed at the next meeting without too many problems.
“So, both meetings were meetings [where] some level of progress was made, particularly the meeting with the Royal Bank of Canada.”