Embattled National Union of Public Worker’s (NUPW) President Akanni McDowall today stood his ground, adamant there was no merit to a second no-confidence motion levelled against him from within his own ranks.
In a video message to the union’s 8,000-strong membership posted on the NUPW’s Facebook page, McDowall said, “I believe this is a deliberate attempt to sully my reputation, distract me from the important task of representing workers’ rights and derail the focus of the constituents we represent.”
However, an irate member of the NUPW Council, who did not want to be identified, told Barbados TODAY this evening that McDowall had “dug his own grave”.
The member said that unlike the first motion tabled three weeks ago, which was quashed after it failed to secure the support needed to remove McDowall, the second was airtight.
“The second motion won’t be defeated. This second motion has the more than 50 authentic signatures it takes to remove an executive.”
The member accused the NUPW President of being “arrogant” and “dictatorial”, claiming that he had exhibited blatant disrespect for General Secretary Roslyn Smith and other union members.
The internal source 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.
“His behaviour is the reason why this no-confidence motion and the previous one were brought before him.”
However, McDowall charged that both motions were “politically motivated” and “initiated on the heels of our salary negotiations”.
“This is especially concerning since this union under my leadership has not reneged on its obligations to all workers. The charges made are without merit and I have evidence to refute each one.
“I will continue to fight this motion, just as I was mandated to fight for improved terms and conditions, including a salary increase and for the rights of workers with more determination than ever. Your confidence in me was not misplaced,” he told members.