The leader of one of Barbados’ newest political parties believes that local trade unions have too much power, and has also questioned the presence of Opposition Leader Mia Mottley at Monday’s massive march by public and private sector workers, which was said to be non-political.
Apostle Lynroy Scantlebury of the New Barbados Kingdom Alliance (NBKA), in an interview with Barbados TODAY, further argued that the country needed to be fixed and that it could not be done “by doing the same thing over and over again”.
“I think there is a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things,” he said in response to the march organized by the trade unions and the Barbados Private Sector Association to press their case for dialogue on the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL).
“ I do not think that it is a very good idea to destabilize the country at a time when it is on the ropes,” he said, while taking a shot at the organizers for claiming that the demonstration was not political with Mottley and other Opposition members in attendance.
“I say that it was political because the Leader of the Opposition, Mia Mottley, and other members of the Barbados Labour party were very visible in the march,” Scantlebury argued.
“ I think both the union and the private sector should have said: ‘Mam, this is not political,” the 46-year-old apostle said, while contending that the organizers should have told Mottley ahead of time that while they appreciated her support, it was best for her to stay away.
He also questioned whether the march was successful in sending a message to the Freundel Stuart Government.
“We have had marches before in Barbados. Monday came to an end, Tuesday was another day and everybody went back to work. The Government is still in place,” he pointed out, while arguing that there were other means of getting a message across to a government.
“They could have moved in a newer way by having petitions signed and sent to the Government,” he suggested.
The apostle also voiced concern over what he saw as “the tremendous disrespect” for the leadership of the country.
Scantlebury said the Office of the Prime Minister had to be respected even though he acknowledged that Stuart refused to entertain a delegation of four trade union leaders at his office in Parliament on July 11.
At the time the leadership of the Barbados Workers’ Union, the National Union of Public Workers, the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union and the Barbados Union of Teachers were seeking to deliver a letter to the Prime Minister which included an ultimatum for him to grant relief for their members from the NSRL or else.
However, after they were turned away by Stuart, the trade unionists proceeded to the Office of the Opposition Leader in the West Wing of Parliament where they hand-delivered a copy of their correspondence to her.
Turning to the upcoming general election, the NBKA candidate who officially kicked off his campaign to replace incumbent and former Prime Minister Owen Arthur in St Peter, said he was in the process of meeting with several individuals who have expressed an interest in running under his party’s banner in the poll.
“We are looking to establish a very strong alliance with individuals with different skill sets who are capable of bringing innovative thinking to the process of Government here in Barbados. The country is experiencing tremendous financial problems and we in the NBKA have several strategic initiatives that will alleviate many of these problems,” Scantlebury said.
He told Barbados TODAY that so far his party has a number of initiatives dealing with tourism, agriculture, education, the whole concept of national prosperity and national safety to roll out.
Scantlebury gave Barbadians the assurance that if he assumes office he will get rid of the Government’s $15 billion debt in two years.