Workers at the Barbados Transport Board are thirsty for clarity regarding the direction in which the Board is headed.
Following a three-hour long meeting with Transport Board workers at the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) headquarters Saturday evening, former General Secretary Sir Roy Trotman said workers vented that they are worried about the Board’s future, and are unsure about the role they would be allowed to play in it.
The workers want to know if the proposed restructuring process would involve them having a regular job, or whether it would place them in a position where they are left to have to compete in a market that is less than friendly, and in which they could hardly be expected to do well.
The workers are also concerned about whether they would be expected to take over buses which are old, and in many cases do not work effectively for any length of time.
“So, the questions are not easy from their perspective. Then they have more immediate concerns about what’s going to happen to my years of service? How am I going to get severance? If I am getting severance, what about my pension which was promised for sometime and which has now been agreed to by the Prime Minister?” he said.
Sir Roy also said that while the management of the Board has put forward a vision to the union about the future of transport, he was concerned that none of the ideas have been officially placed on record.
“As we indicated to the workers, the Government’s position is not now a position in writing, which means so far as we are concerned, that there is nothing yet that is cast in stone, that is before us that we could respond to as a very firm proposal,” Sir Roy said.
The former General Secretary said he was standing his ground that Government must remain in control of some public transportation which should not be privatized.
The Union will be meeting with a second batch of Transport Board workers next Sunday evening.
Sir Roy said following that meeting, the BWU will put together a proposal, outlining a vision on public transport from Transport Board workers’ perspective, to be presented to the management of Board, the political director to the Board, and also to the Ministry of Transport. (AH)