With the current tenure of both Central Bank Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell and National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) general secretary Dennis Clarke due to expire by the end of this week, it will be interesting to see if either man opts to pack his “Georgie bundle” and ride out gracefully into the sunset.
Already, rumours abound over who will replace Dr Worrell at the Central Bank at the expiration of his five-year appointment as Governor on November 1. But knowing the way how Government works in Barbados, one shouldn’t be surprised if Cabinet approves Dr Worrell’s contract for another term –– complaints or no complaints about the quality of his economic reporting.
And as for Mr Clarke, the NUPW may have to drag him kicking and screaming out of its Dalkeith headquarters, if his latest warning to the Barbados Community College (BCC) this past weekend is anything to go by. Mr Clarke, who is currently caught up in a seemingly, never-ending roller coaster ride with the BCC’s management that has some part-time tutors walking around with their pockets wide open, is determined that he must get his way in this latest bitter impasse between the two sides before he goes home.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY just yesterday, the union boss said: “I don’t know if they [BCC management] are deliberately pushing back meeting with the NUPW into next week when they feel I’m no longer at the union . . . . But what they fail to understand is that I’m simply on four months’ leave and therefore, with the permission of my council, I can deal with them for the next four months.
“So they can run, but they can’t hide. They [will have] to deal with us on these issues, and we want a swift meeting to deal with this matter. Next week is too long, way too long,” he warned.
But based on recent success of the NUPW in resolving industrial matters, four months could easily turn into a year.
If you doubt us, just ask the workers at the National Conservation Commission who have been left giddy, and without any real justice, after they were unceremoniously sent home by the Government back in March.
And if our memory serves us correctly, Mr Clarke was spewing some of the same tough talk back then too!
Worse yet, the current malaise and unease have also bedevilled the other “powerful” trade union –– the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU), which, after taking the bold and forward-thinking step of appointing its first female general secretary back in August, now seems to be stripped of the testicular fortitude to nicely say to Sir Roy Trotman: “Sir, it’s time to go home.”
In an absolute mockery of the union’s elaborate process of confirming Toni Moore in the post more than a month ago, we are made to understand that Sir Roy Trotman has not left Solidarity House, even though he has been given a cruise ticket for two. We further gather that Sir Roy, though not general secretary, yet occupies an office as he did before, and still carries the appearance of general secretary, even though it has been nearly a two months since he formally handed over to Ms Moore.
Granted, she has taken over at a most difficult time in industrial relations in Barbados, when the union boss is no longer king, or, more appropriate to the BWU right now, queen, and Ms Moore could do with the broad shoulders of Sir Roy from time to time. But can’t the need for his wise counsel be furnished from the comforts of his own home, or even on a cruise ship?
Shouldn’t Ms Moore be given a free hand, as Sir Roy would have demanded himself, and been afforded over the years. Why should she be made to look over her shoulders? And does it really help to engender confidence in her ability?
Our advice to Sir Roy is: pack up your bags and await the new general secretary’s call.
Yes, she will make her mistakes, but as Mia Mottley often reminds us in her borrowed quote from Richard Nixon, “the finest steel has to go through the hottest fire”.
Step aside, Sir Roy! And, let Ms Moore really flex her muscles. We are confident, as you yourself indicated you are, that she can do it. And we are sure BHL boss Richard Cozier will never again take her for granted, as he did last Friday, and ended up losing thousands of dollars.