A possible last-ditch effort gets under way tomorrow to try to avoid industrial action against the National Conservation Commission (NCC).
Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo will be bringing back the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) and the NCC to the bargaining table at her department, armed with fresh information that could resolve the contentious selection process by which over 200 commission staff were recently retrenched.
Suckoo met today with the NCC management on the information she requested during last night’s negotiations when the meeting acknowledged the lack of sufficient consultation on the selection of those retrenched.
Asked what would be its next step if a settlement was not reached tomorrow, deputy general secretary of the NUPW, Roslyn Smith, told Barbados TODAY: “When we get to that bridge, we will cross it. They [NCC] know what we will do. When we get to that bridge and we can’t cross it. You would know what we will do.”
The BWU has been insisting that it had no intention of taking industrial action until the entire process had been completed.
Assistant general secretary Dwaine Paul said the union’s executive council had not yet addressed the issue.
He has said the BWU could not be accusing the NCC of breaching the process by which it retrenched staff, then turn around and do the same by striking before the negotiation process had been fully exhausted.
When Suckoo spoke with reporters at the end of talks last night, she was optimistic of a settlement at the next meeting of all parties.