Customs & Excise Department employees now have the backing of the full membership of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) in their fight to get the Freundel Stuart administration to halt plans to subsume the functions of their department into the umbrella Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) by July 1.
NUPW President Akanni McDowall made this disclosure today following a 2 p.m. meeting yesterday of the National Council of the union at its headquarters on Dalkeith Road, St Michael.
He said the Council had given the green light for the union “to access the [relevant] information from the Ministry of the Civil Service and lend support to any worker who decides not to go to the BRA”.
“What we want to do at this stage is to receive the information from the Ministry of the Civil Service which is outstanding so that employees of the Customs & Excise Department can make an informed decision,” McDowall said.
Yesterday, scores of Customs guards and other officers turned up at union headquarters where they were very vocal in their opposition to Government’s plan to have them absorbed into BRA.
The workers were told by top union officials, including the president, that they should not sign the option forms, which BRA is currently circulating, since negotiations were still ongoing.
The employees were also told that no action would be taken by the union until they were in receipt of outstanding information promised by the Ministry of the Civil Service.