Retired trade unionist Sir Roy Trotman said he was “disappointed and embarrassed beyond words” by the Freundel Stuart administration’s treatment of the more than 150 small shareholders of United Commercial Autoworks Limited (UCAL).
Sir Roy, a former stalwart of Stuart’s ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and Chairman of UCAL voiced this concern in a letter dated June 1, 2016 to Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Chris Sinckler.
In the letter Sir Roy recalled that in March 2016, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs had indicated it would pay the weekly invoices when UCAL sends them to the Transport Board and would also reimburse UCAL approximately $22 million which successive Governments have run up in debt.
The retired trade union leader claimed Government had betrayed the trust of the workers and not only had the administration not paid the promised $1.8 million, it had also closed all communications channels.
Sir Roy, who is one of Barbados’ most respected trade unionists, added that UCAL was awaiting the opportunity to have “a fair and honest” account of the monies paid between October 2015 and March 2016, when the Transport Board failed to make meaningful payments.
He contended that some members of the administration had publicly stated that UCAL was to be “squeezed to death”.
Making a plea to Government “in the name of what is decent and fair”. Sir Roy asked the administration to pay the $22 million owed to UCAL; give it a few months to pay its creditors from that money and allow UCAL time to resettle elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Barbados TODAY received copies of financial reports dated April 29, 2016 and June 7, 2016 which shows UCAL owing over $3.5 million to the National Insurance Scheme,
$794, 520.81 to Inland Revenue and a further $5, 655 719.12 in Value Added Tax to the Barbados Revenue Authority.
As at June 7, 2016 Corporation Tax arrears had climbed to $1, 823 678.09 and rent owed to the Transport Board for use of the workshop at Weymouth, St Michael stood at $1, 278 444.53.
As at June 7, 2016 UCAL’s bank balance stood at $191, 691.55.