The Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) boss is not concerned about the rift between her organization and the umbrella Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB).
General secretary Toni Moore told reporters this afternoon that the matter in which the BWU terminated its membership in CTUSAB was not causing workers to suffer and therefore was of little worry to her.
“I think that any unresolved issues between the Workers’ Union and CTUSAB have to be handled at that level between the two parties and not treated to in public. There have been no efforts to have meetings, or there have been no actual meetings held,” she said.
“I am in receipt of correspondence from the Congress of Trade Unions that at their last conference a motion was passed to make every effort to ensure that the Barbados Workers’ Union is brought back into the fold, so to speak,” she added, disclosing that no action had yet been taken to make that happen.
The BWU boss said she was more interested in ensuring that the workers of Barbados did not lose out in the circumstances.
“I don’t think that the workers are suffering as a consequence of that fracture right now, so I am not particularly worried about the situation between the BWU and CTUSAB. I believe that it’s a situation that over time will work out itself,” Moore emphasized.
While all is not well between the BWU and the umbrella union, the same cannot be said about the union’s relationship with the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW).
The BWU boss therefore took the opportunity to congratulate new NUPW president Akanni McDowall and his team.
“Akanni is full of energy, and I think that it speaks well for the labour movement to have some person who is youthful and interested in continuing the fight on behalf of workers,” Moore noted.
She said she looked forward to working closely with McDowall because she believed that youth plus experience could bring a freshness the labour movement desperately needed at this time.
However, Moore made it clear that the her union was not on the same page as the NUPW when it came to dealing with the non-payment of severance for the former National Conservation Commission (NCC) employees and the one-year delay in having their case heard by the Employment Rights Tribunal.
While the NUPW had demanded severance for the former workers and gave Government a month end deadline to start hearings, Moore said setting deadlines in these cases only created high expectations for workers which could be dashed when those dates expired without any action.
She told reporters the BWU had been given a tentative date for the start of hearings, but she refused to put it to the workers.
The long delay, however, is cause for concern to the union.
“Unfortunately, their [tribunal] aspirations and what is now reality do not match and it is cause [for] tremendous concern for the Barbados Workers’ Union, not only because of the numbers of former NCC workers that are awaiting a resolution in the situation, but for the many other workers who have had cases before the Employment Rights Tribunal, even before the NCC matter,” Moore stated.
The general secretary said she was aware that the NCC matter had been brought forward for special attention.
She told reporters if the tentative date set for the start of tribunal hearings failed to come off, the union would meet again with their workers to decide on the next step .