The fate of Akanni McDowall could be decided as early as next week, following the successful tabling of a motion of no confidence against the head of the island’s largest public sector trade union last Friday.
An initial attempt to oust the president of the National Union Of Public Workers (NUPW) had flopped after the number of official signatures fell short of 50 required to summon a special general conference to debate the motion.
In a brief comment today, Acting General Secretary Delcia Burke confirmed to Barbados TODAY that she was in receipt of the document. However, she said she still had to check the number of signatures submitted to her.
Once that process is complete, all that would be required is for a date to be set for the conference of the NUPW’s membership, which numbers 8,000-strong.
However, given the 14-day timeline which the union’s regulations stipulate, the General Secretary must act on the resolution from the date of receipt. The NUPW’s membership must also be given seven days notice of the meeting by way of an official notice in the Press.
Based on a copy of the resolution, which has been obtained by Barbados TODAY, McDowall is accused of acting ultra vires by instructing Sagicor in writing not to deal with Capita Financial Services Inc. as brokers for the NUPW’s medicare plan.
He is also charged with failure to settle outstanding benefits which resulted in the staff of the NUPW Secretariat taking industrial action on more than one occasion.
Furthermore, the NUPW president is accused of not presenting the minutes and the annual report to national conference for the first time in the union’s 72-year history.
The President is also being called to account for his participation in the Opposition Barbados Labour Party’s “march for justice” on Thursday May 19, 2016, which is said to “have the potential to divide and fracture the membership of the National Union of Public Workers”.
When contacted, McDowall said though he was aware of the move to oust him, he had not yet been officially notified of either the charges or any pending hearing. However, he said based on what was reported to him, the charges against him were “spurious”.