With the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) calling foul on the play, precipitating a halt to a Government mandated merger of the Barbados Tourism Product Authority
(BTPA) and the Barbados Tourism Marketing Incorporated (BTMI) last month, negotiations between the entities resumed today.
This afternoon officials from the BWU, including General Secretary Toni Moore met with management of the two statutory entities at their office at One Barbados Place, Warrens, St Michael. Speaking to reporters following the meeting, which began at 1:30 pm and concluded three hours later, Moore explained that while no concrete decisions were taken, the union now has more information upon which they could base a position going forward.
“The meeting was a very productive one in my view as we received information that we didn’t have access to until today. So, it would be fair to say that today signaled the start of discussions relating to the restructuring process for the BTMI and the BTPA. We anticipate that those discussions will continue,” said Moore.
She explained that prior to today’s meeting, the only information that the union had received was about an implementation date.
The transition and reorganization processes were also expected to result in an undisclosed number of employees from both entities being sent home. However, in the days leading up to the transition, the union made it clear that they were upset about way the process was done.
Following an exchange of correspondence between the BTMI chairman Sunil Chatrani and Moore, the tourism body informed its staff last Friday that the redundancies and transition have been put on hold, pending the outcome of discussions with the union.
This afternoon Senator Moore revealed that the state entities have acknowledged that proper protocol had not been followed and therefore they are now committed to doing so.
“Today’s meeting did not discuss timelines but the parties acknowledged that things should have been done differently and the parties are all committed to ensuring that the correct process is followed and discussions got underway,” said Moore, who noted that while a new transition date has not been put forward, the union understood the urgency with which the restructuring needed to take place.
“We note that there is a certain urgency with the restructuring of these state entities. One of our roles is to ensure that urgency is balanced with the need to follow the legislation and the processes that are in place for dealing with redundancies in any form,” she stressed.