A sick out has been ordered by this island’s four major trade unions, amid a deepening row with Government over recent tax increases.
The unions notified their members by Whatsapp message last night that they were “upping de ting” with sick out action planned for Wednesday and Thursday in a bid to pressure the Freundel Stuart administration to grant immediate relief from the National Social Responsibility Levy, which was increased from two per cent to ten per cent on July 1.
The stepped-up action comes after a 48-hour ultimatum to Government expired last Thursday without a response from the Prime Minister.
Since then members of the Barbados Workers’ Union, the National Union of Public Workers, the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union and the Barbados Union of Teachers have been engaging in a work-to-rule and a go-slow, but to limited to effect.
Up to 8 a.m. Wednesday, Government operations, including the state-run Transport Board were up and running, even though officials said some workers had responded positively to the union’s latest call. The sick out has however forced some state departments to re-allocate personnel.
Just last night, private sector officials reported to Barbados TODAY that Stuart had agreed in principle to a meeting with members of the tripartite arrangement. However, President of the Barbados Public Sector Association Charles Herbert said the Prime Minister was yet to fix a firm date for those talks.