The National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) is taking steps to add new members to its roll but its outreach will be dependent on the successful passing of a resolution at this weekend’s annual conference.
The resolution being proposed looks to bolster membership by opening it up to those outside of the public service.
“All workers across Barbados would be able to join the NUPW so that they can have a voice,” said President of the NUPW Akanni McDowall, ahead of Saturday’s meeting at the union’s Dalkeith Road, St Michael headquarters starting at 10 a.m.
The present 9000-member public sector trade union is made up of workers in all areas of Government which include but are not limited to senior and management staff, security officers, employees in the legal service, health, education, revenue collection, statutory boards, welfare, clerical staff as well as temporary employees.
McDowall said he believed the resolution was necessary as unions around the world are moving towards community unionism.
“Giving the global trend of the trade union movement and the local reality, it is imperative that we structure to ensure that the current staffing levels are maintained. If you look at unions the world over, you would notice that they are moving towards community unionism as a way forward so that the union can form partnerships with other entities to help bring pressure to issues going forward.
“Partnerships are the way to go to meet the needs of members and the wider community. That is why I am discussing it at annual conference,” he said.
The president noted the resolution will be placed before the membership for a vote. Should it be passed, he explained, it will allow workers from other non-governmental entities to be able to join one of the oldest trade unions in Barbados.
“Ultimately the members will decide. The NUPW recognizes that there are persons across the island of Barbados outside of those who are allowed by the Constitution of the NUPW to be members, who can also benefit from the advancement of growth for the island,” he told Barbados TODAY adding that a quorum must be met.
Questioned on the competitive nature of the proposed union membership drive, McDowall said he does not expect any major fallouts from the other unions on the island.
“There are enough workers in Barbados for every union. Additionally, workers are allowed to join as many unions as they wish,” he said.
Turning his attention to the union’s general elections set to be held on April 3rd, 2019, McDowall said:
“I am confident, and I am also satisfied with the achievements that I would have made through my time as president. I want people to judge me based on what I have been able to achieve. There will be differences of opinions, but the facts are the facts!” he said.