by Anesta Henry
Anglican Bishop Michael Maxwell is urging the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) to motivate members who were retrenched into being innovative.
But at the same time, he is reminding Barbadians, that working and being productive is not a curse, but rather a mandate from God.
The leader of the Anglican Church is urging citizens not to see work as a burden, but as a service to God, each other and necessary for the rebuilding of the nation.
Speaking at last evening’s May Day 2019 Annual Service of Thanksgiving, at the union’s headquarters at Solidarity House, Harmony Hall, St Michael, Bishop Maxwell urged workers who are now on the breadline to look to God who would inspire them to be unafraid to take the risk to create self employment.
He also urged the union to take up the mantle to work with Government in preparation for the retraining and retooling of those who were retrenched to find another avenue to serve.
“Encourage your members to dig deep and pull out those talents within them; to keep abreast of the markets to which they can offer their talents and their skills so that they will be relevant and up-to-date in the times in which we live.
“Teach them to be in touch and in tuned with the world in which we live. Help them to be prepared for such a stage in our world,” he said.
Referring to Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s warning that the country would be negotiating some rough seas ahead, the Bishop also asked Barbadians to stay the course. However, he said with Barbadians recognising the full potential that God has given them, they will make it, and find themselves in a place where all can work together as employees, employers, trade unions and Government, to be excellent stewards of God’s creation.
According to Bishop Maxwell there were too many people who see work as a curse and something to be avoided.
However, he said that people need to see work as part of who God created them to be.
“He made us to be like him. He made us to be productive; he made us to be creative. He made us to be co-workers with each other and with him. He made us to be good stewards. By working, we are fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives. By working, by being productive, by being creative, by serving God, all these would enable us to be our true nature of who we were created to be. When we don’t work, when we just laze around and sponge off of others; when we just idle our lives away then we are neither serving the purpose of God, or even bettering his creation. And that is serious,” he said.
Bishop Maxwell reminded the service that the Bible states that the one who is unwilling to work shall not eat, and that by the sweat of a man’s brow, shall he eat bread until he returns to the earth. He indicated that being called to work until the end of life, means that work must be done beyond retirement through finding ways to continue to be productive.
Delivering remarks at the service, General Secretary of the BWU Senator Toni Moore, said the theme for this year’s May Day season, Revive, Re-energise suggests revising the past and going back to a point in time when things were better.
SenatorMoore said the Executive Council of the BWU, wished to use the May Day season to encourage workers, employers and leaders to work together for a revival.
“We are recognising that there is a need to rebuild. Rebuilding people is a big challenge where there is no work. It therefore requires change, it requires steadfastness and revival is one that this Barbados Workers’ Union intends to lead. This is an institution that has been here since 1941, we are therefore in our 78th year as an organisation.
“We have seen our share of challenges and we have been able to overcome these challenges. This is another opportunity for us to work towards restoring and reviving a climate of buoyancy,” Moore said. (AH)