Acting Minister of Labour Senator Maxine McClean has intervened to stave off planned industrial action tomorrow by the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW).
But the union still has its membership standby to take action.
Meanwhile, up to late this evening, the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) executive council had not met to decide on taking industrial action.
BWU assistant general secretary, Dwaine Paul had said yesterday after talks broke down under the chairmanship of Deputy Chief Labour Officer Victor Felix that he would immediately report to the executive so it could make a ruling on the next step.
The unions had been waiting for a time to meet with McClean today but that did not materialize.
She is expected to bring back the disputing parties – the NUPW, the BWU, and the management of the National Conservation Commission (NCC) – to the bargaining table tomorrow at 2 p.m. with the hope of reaching an expeditious settlement and avoid the planned strike action.
The main bone of contention is what the unions claimed was a breach of the Government’s last-in first-out policy in retrenching over 200 workers as part the Freundel Stuart administration’s cost-cutting fiscal measures.
The NUPW is insisting that the commission reopen negotiations on that process in order to correct the method used in sending home the staff.
If tomorrow’s discussions, under the chair of McClean, fail to reach agreement, the conventional option left is for the Prime Minister to intervene.