Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo has been lambasted for leaving the country on the eve of threatened industrial action by unions involved
in the National Conservation Commission dispute.
The criticism has been levelled by Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley.
“How can a Minister of Labour go overseas when the whole industrial relations of the country is on a knife’s edge? There is nothing more important for the Minister of Labour to do than to preside over a resolution of the matter between the NCC and the NUPW and the minister of finance,” she told the House of Assembly today.
The dispute was today referred to the minister for resolution. However, it has been handed over to Senator Maxine McClean, who is acting in the post due to Byer-Suckoo’s absence.
Mottley hinted that the minister should be asked to return to Barbados.
As it relates to the layoff of workers, the Opposition Leader accused unnamed board members at a statutory agency of acting as if they are in the “wild, wild, west”, and protecting family members, while sending home workers, who have as many as eight children and 15 years in the service.
“All the Government has done at the Transport Board and at the NCC is to expose itself to paying out significant money in legal claims because it is not following the laws of the land and the Minister of Finance must be concerned because these are contingent liabilities that will affect his deficit, the very deficit that we should be reducing,” Mottley stated.