Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has called for the return of the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) to the Social Partnership.
Stuart made the request yesterday while addressing the May Day celebrations at Browne’s Beach, Bay Street, St Michael.
“All sides now recognise that the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) is the most representative trade union in Barbados and should be allowed to return to the Social Partnership and the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB),” he said.
Stuart contended that having “midwifed” the Social Partnership and CTUSAB, the BWU should be welcomed back into both groupings.
“There is a distinction between having the most representative trade union and having the most representative workers’ congress. If you speak about an association that has the most staff associations and unions in it, that will be CTUSAB. However, if you are speaking about an organisation that is representative in the sense that it represents workers in the public sector, workers in the private sector, workers at the bottom and workers at the top, then you are speaking about the BWU,” Stuart outlined.
The Prime Minister maintained that the Social Partnership was not “nearly as strong, not nearly as effective as it was when it benefited from the insight, the hindsight and foresight of the BWU”.
Stuart contended that all sides have now recognised that the BWU cannot be blown away by a side wind.
“I shall like to make a call to newly elected general secretary of the BWU, Toni Moore, and the Executive Council of the union to think this matter through and see how best we can get the family restored to its state of integrity. Having taken this step, the workers of Barbados will continue to be the beneficiaries of the best advice, the quality input and leadership of the BWU.”
Meanwhile, Stuart gave the trade union movement the assurance that his government will maintain an open door policy in dealing with it
The Prime Minister stressed that he never took offence when any of the unions took a position in defence of the workers who pay them to look after their interests.
Commending the leadership of the trade union movement for the sense of responsibility it has displayed over the years, the St Michael South MP said: “What I like about the trade unions of Barbados is that even when we disagree, the trade unions are not disagreeable. We share information, exchange information, we debate, discuss, we argue, sometimes we even shout at one another, but when all is said and done, I am satisfied that there is no trade union not committed to the balanced development of this country.” (NC)