Outspoken trade unionist and Senator Caswell Franklyn has accused Government of moving downsize its official printery through legislation.
As the Upper House debated the Interpretation (Amendment) Bill, he claimed that there was a meeting at the Government Printing Department at 3 p.m. on Tuesday during which its staff were given separation option forms.
Senator Franklyn told the Chamber: “Civil servants are uneasy. Every day there are being reminded that their jobs are underlined. It is wrong. This is not how we do business in Barbados. When you are going to reorganise a Government department the decent thing to do is talk to the union. Government did not give the people six minutes with the option forms. How can you have laws on the books to tell the private sector how to behave and then ask people to sign off on documents they only had for five minutes?
“I am shining the light on Government’s behaviour. These things are not circulated not given with enough discussion. Government is rushing to do everything and doing it badly. These are the people who voted for you. The people who voted for you are now the collateral damage. Labour parties protect labour. Everything this Government has done so far has devasted labour.”
He continued: “When you take away a man’s duties and assign them to someone else that is disrespect. This is unfair to the hard working people at Government’s printery. People work through the night to get things done. Instead of following the normal procedure you bring them before Parliament. When I see Government’s hand trying to get rid of civil servants I have to stand up and speak.”
But saying she “strongly objected” to his statements, Minister of Information Senator Lucille Moe rose to her feet on three occasions, joined by Senator Lisa Cummins who also interrupted on a point of order.
Senator Moe said: “The senator is using the opportunity to malign me imputing improper motives because he is protected by the chamber. These defamatory statements and allegation should not be allowed to continue. I rise to say stop Senator Franklyn from carrying on as if he is in Fairchild Street.”