The Unity Workers’ Union (UWU) is welcoming more members even as the two main trade unions are reportedly seeing a falloff in their numbers.
With both the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) and the Barbados Worker’s Union (BWU) said to be experiencing a decline in their membership, Opposition Senator Caswell Franklyn said his UWU has, within the past five weeks signed up 50 new members to the already more than 1,000 already on its books.
“I am not taking anybody, they are coming. I have been working six days a week to keep up with the influx,” he said.
In fact, the General Secretary said that he and his volunteers have been so busy in recent weeks, that it appears as though he may have to soon hire additional staff.
“I don’t go out looking, I wish I had the time to. But people would come to me and tell me ‘somebody tell me come and see you, talk to you, join you’. My reputation now seems to be fueling the growth of the union. Within the last couple of weeks, I have even had several members of staff of the BWU, not asking, joining,” he said.
The UWU was founded in 2010 by Senator Franklyn who is a former grievance and industrial relations officer. The union is opened to all categories of workers in the public and private sectors.
Today, Senator Franklyn suggested that in addition to unfavourable decisions being taken by the heads of the unions, there were members still not pleased with the march staged by major trade unions in 2017, to protest several measures taken by the then Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration.
“I refused to join them on that march because I thought it was political and I thought it had more to do with bringing down the government than representing the workers. If their members now believe that they have been deceived, the members would do what they have to do. I believe that the membership of those unions would make their decision not me,” he said.
While delivering remarks at BWU’s 78th annual delegates conference, held at Solidarity House last Saturday, an emotional Senator Toni Moore said that the union, which is being accused of not delivering, has been facing a difficult period.
Wiping tears away, the BWU General Secretary said it has not been easy to see people that you have committed to serve suffer, or to be leading a fight on their behalf and to be feeling their pain, and in some respects, feeling helpless.
But Senator Franklyn, who acknowledged that he knew Senator Moore was in an emotional state when she addressed her members, suggested that she made the wrong move.
“You are a leader. You can’t let the follower see you in that state. It doesn’t inspire confidence,” he said.