During the last weekend, the Brass Tacks radio program moderated by Mr Sanka Price hosted the Honourable Minister Sandra Husbands who responded to a question on the INTEL saga 35 years ago to the effect that INTEL had pulled out of Barbados because “its tax holiday had expired”.
It was noted that this was outside the Minister’s area of responsibility, but no one questioned the validity of her statement. The facts can easily be ascertained in the Nation Newspaper’s excellent archives in Fontabelle.
1. INTEL was so important to the Barbados economy that the Prime Minister at the time, the Honourable Tom Adams, had relocated the responsibility of monitoring that industry from the normal line ministry to his own portfolio;
2. INTEL was so important to the Barbados economy that even if INTEL’s tax holiday had expired, it would have been extended;
3. INTEL’s tax holiday was not the issue;
4. The issue was the demand by the Barbados Workers Union for increased pay for INTEL’s employees, which INTEL objected to because its products were being supplied to external buyers on fixed-price contracts that could not be varied at short notice;
5. The BWU challenged this and their “bluff” was called. Unfortunately, Barbados and its INTEL employees (not the BWU) lost.
How many of INTEL’s employees would have preferred to keep their jobs with no salary increase? Are we afraid of the truth? Please, Brass Tacks Barbados, progress will be limited by “twistory”. Get the facts right!