Former National Conservation Commission (NCC) workers will have to wait a bit longer to have their matter heard by the Employment Rights Tribunal.
That’s because several people critical to the process will be on leave over the next few weeks, according to information from general secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union Sir Roy Trotman.
“It does look to me that in the next couple of weeks we are not going to make any strides forward,” Sir Roy said.
In a message to the close to 200 retrenched workers, he said the BWU had not turned its back on the matter and remained anxious to have it resolved.
“We have indicated that we will endeavour, including at the level of the Prime Minister, to see what other approaches could be taken. We are getting an assurance that they will seek to get this matter moving as quickly as possible. That is not any great news for anybody because it has been a very long [process],” he said.
“I would wish to let them [former NCC workers] know that I have in fact followed through on the commitment I made and raised the matter at the level I promised to, at the prime ministerial level. I cannot tell them or anybody else how soon the first meeting will be held, but I know that we will be making our best efforts to ensure that we don’t have as long to wait.
“We have been endeavouring to have meetings with our attorney at present. It would be great news if I could have heard that as early as next week we were able to have a meeting with the chairman [of the tribunal] and her team and our attorneys and other officials . . . so that we would be sure that the rights of workers are going to be respected and honoured in the operationalisation of this particular board.”
Sir Roy opined that the tribunal’s focus on getting the process right may be contributing to the delay.
“The board is trying to be careful because you could only make one first effort and if your first effort is wrong then you’re going to have significant problems,” he added.