The long and painful wait for former workers of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) who were hoping to secure thousands of dollars owed to them in pension payments has been extended.
But the once angry workers, who in early September staged a demonstration in Queen’s Park to air their discontent say they are now willing to wait until the end of the year after a meeting on Wednesday with management of the state-owned corporation.
Barbados TODAY understands management acknowledged the worker’s right to their money for the first time since news of the situation broke. They also reportedly explained that the corporation’s statutory fund deficit severely restricted the corporation’s ability to fulfill its obligations under the CBC pension plan.
Consequently, Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Public Affairs Senator Lucille Moe promised to take the matter to Cabinet for the necessary financial assistance.
“This is the first time they have assured the workers they have a legitimate right to their money and they said they would do everything in their power to pay the money by the end of the year but they don’t want to wait so long, because there is a process which needs to be followed because there is a statutory fund deficit… and it has implications for us as the ex-workers and those still at CBC. So they are going to try everything in their power to put it on a viable path,” workers’ spokesperson, Peter Thorne, told Barbados TODAY.
Last week he indicated a resolution to the matter would have been announced on October 9th after a previous September 30 deadline for resolution was missed.
Initially, the two dozen affected employees claimed CBC had never acknowledged their right to early retirement under the Occupational Pension Benefits Act (OPBA) 2003 Cap 350B although the Financial Service Commission (FSC) had previously affirmed the ex-workers’ position.
Aside from Senator Moe, Wednesday’s meeting was attended by CBC’s recently appointed Chairman, David Leacock, General Manager, Sherwood McCaskie, Peter Thorne and five of the affected former workers. According to Thorne, the discussions lasted over two hours and workers were satisfied all reasonable measures are being taken to rectify the issue.
“They acknowledged finally that they do not have a leg to stand on in terms of paying the money. They apologized at least ten times between the Minister and the chairman. They said they understand the pain,” said Thorne.
Barbados TODAY’s efforts to reach Senator Moe for comment have been unsuccessful.