Employees of the Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) have returned to work, ending their five-day strike after a resolution was reached today in the row between the leading financial institution and the Barbados Workers Union (BWU).
However, the union’s General Secretary Toni Moore isn’t happy with the way the impasse was handled, contending that the issue could have been resolved a week ago.
The over 100 bank employees returned to work just after 10 a.m. today after the BWU received written correspondence that an offer to an intern of a high-paying temporary position had been withdrawn. The union was upset that the intern would have been receiving a higher salary than appointed workers in more senior positions.
However, having successfully taken the fight to the bank, Moore said she was disappointed at the manner in which the management of the CBB had handled the situation.
“No, I’m not generally satisfied because I think that the matter ought to have reached this point long before now, as in Friday, when a senior member of my management team was on the spot seeking to bring resolution at that early time,” Moore told Barbados TODAY when asked in an interview this evening if she was satisfied with the outcome.
“That the matter has taken as long as it has on account of the bank’s unwillingness or inability to recognize the issue for what it was, and to address it as an urgent matter is one that has caused us much concern.”
She revealed that management of the CBB had delivered official correspondence to the BWU communicating their decision.
Moore acknowledged that there was more to the strike than the letter to the intern, revealing that there were other grievances which workers were seeking to have addressed.
She did not give details of the grievances but said the union had proposed several dates for a meeting with the CBB to deal with those pressing matters.
“The bank has also recognized that the situation involving the temporary contract is not in itself the issue which brought workers outside, but we can say it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, or it was the last drop in the cup that led it to overflow.
“They have committed to looking at a number of the outstanding issues between us, with a view to resolving them in the earliest possible time,” Moore disclosed.
The decision by the bank to withdraw the letter, which had offered the intern a temporary job with a salary of $4000, averted heightened industrial action threatened by the BWU.
The union had promised to make a decision during a meeting of the Executive Council yesterday evening, but those plans were discontinued after word was received that the bank was planning to withdraw the letter.
“The Executive Council had anticipated that the bank might respond one way or another and all I would be able to say in that regard, is that we were prepared with a suitable response whatever the outcome. But we are more satisfied that industrial harmony has been restored,” Moore said.