The National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) and the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) are on course for a major showdown as early as next week.
This possibility exists after the statutory corporation failed to meet a noon deadline, set by the union, for the withdrawal of termination letters given to 13 workers.
An NUPW committee dealing with the issue met for just over an hour at union’s Dalkeith Road, St Michael headquarters today to strategize on the way forward after noon went without the required response from BIDC’s management.
Speaking after the meeting, acting General Secretary Roslyn Smith told Barbados TODAY a special meeting of the National Council was summoned for next week to come to an agreement on the union’s next move.
On Wednesday, the union threatened to take the BIDC to court for “unlawfully and unfairly” sending the 13 employees who are over the age of 60 into early retirement. The terminations letters were handed out one day ahead of a scheduled meeting between the BIDC’s management and the union.
Acting Deputy General Secretary Delcia Burke, speaking to disgruntled BIDC workers outside its Pelican House, Princess Alice Highway headquarters, said the BIDC was in breach of the Pensions Act, as well as the Employment Rights legislation.
NUPW President Akanni McDowall said it was unconscionable for the BIDC board to take this action while in negotiations with the union. He accused the board of not taking into consideration the human element of the situation.