President of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), Akanni McDowall, says he is not at all fazed by efforts to remove him from the helm of the country’s largest public sector trade union.
McDowall issued a clear the air statement today in response to a Barbados TODAY story published last night, which revealed that a no confidence vote was due to be brought against him.
One of the charges levelled by senior NUPW officials against the President is that he has been disrespecting staff, including the General Secretary and older NUPW heads, as well as acting in a dictatorial manner.
However, McDowall has called on his critics to bring “specific details and/or evidence” of this so that he could respond appropriately.
Internal sources have also accused McDowall of trying to overturn the National Council’s decision on the union’s Medicare group programme, which is due to be transferred from the Insurance Corporation of Barbados (ICBL) to Sagicor from June 1.
However, McDowall said that was simply not the case.
“In fact, I agreed with Council and facilitated all decisions made,” he told Barbados TODAY.
The NUPW president, who has just returned from Cuba on official business, pointed out that in his absence, Thursday’s meeting of the council was chaired by the NUPW’s Vice President.
“As such, I was not part of that meeting or the decisions made therein. Neither have I received minutes of that meeting to date, and hence I am unaware of the discussions held.
“Therefore, it is not true that I sent any letter to Sagicor dated May 6th trying to reverse any decision that Council made. Let the claimants present the letter,” he said.
However, McDowall did acknowledge that a meeting was held with Sagicor officials on Tuesday, which he said discussed a letter sent by General Secretary Rosalyn Smith.
He, however, maintained that there was a move by some current and former NUPW officials to sully his name because of their political associations.
“. . . especially since I am about to approach Government for salary increases, and appointments for public servants,” he said, adding “I will not be fazed, and I will continue to make sure that the rights of workers are protected.”