The largely young brigade of the country’s largest public sector union is still at its helm.
Moments after brushing aside three other challengers to emphatically reclaim the post of presidency of the National Union of Public Workers’ (NUPW), Akanni McDowall remained large and in charge and proclaimed that the union was united.
At exactly 8:50 p.m. tonight, and with only a small crowd present, the 38-year-old health planner was announced the winner having accumulated 354 votes to retain the presidency he has held since 2015.
His nearest challenger, former first vice president Fabian Jones got 292 votes while Verrol Scott and Joy Ann Inniss totaled 237 and 193 votes respectively.
In his victory speech to the media, surrounded by scores of supporters and members of the new Executive Committee, McDowall gave his assurance that the NUPW was not broken.
“What I would like to send out there as a message is that the union is together. Even though we might have our differences, even though some things might have been said during the election, it does not mean that the union is divided. The union is together,” he promised.
“All of us will come together at the end of this exercise after tonight and into tomorrow and make sure that we put together all of our policies, all of our ideas, all of our programmes to make sure that the union does its best.”
McDowall said his first priority as president was to fight for those long-standing workers who are still waiting to be appointed.
“The first thing we have to do is to ensure that those officers who have not been appointed as yet are now appointed. We also have to make sure that we put those priorities as dictated to us by the membership as the number one, two and three.
“Some of those priorities can be further salary negotiations. We can look at having medical services here at the union as well as developing an NUPW app. There are big things in place for the trade union movement, especially the NUPW going forward,” he said.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, Scott, who was the only losing presidential candidate present when the results were announced, blamed his defeat on a low turnout.
“If you look at the number of persons that are in the union, the financial members, you would see that there was a low turnout. We are about 7000-strong and look at the totaling. I think that had an impact on the result,” Scott said.
Not all of McDowall’s team was successful in the bid to win a seat.
While Kim Webster was elected as first vice president and Charles Bostic was the overwhelming favorite for second vice president, Dionna Browne-Findlay and Michelle Edghill lost their bids to become third vice president and deputy general treasurer respectively.
Kimberley Agard is the new third vice president while Roy Greenidge was elected as deputy general treasurer.
In a surprise result, general treasurer Asakore Beckles was defeated by Pamela Humphrey. firstname.lastname@example.org