Former general secretary of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) George Pilgrim is questioning the selection of the leader of the island’s largest trade union to join elective politics.
Pilgrim, who issued a press release today, queried if Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate for the upcoming St George North by-election Toni Moore was an official member of the party and for how long now. He also raised questions about her functioning in Independent capacities both as senator and co-chair of the BERT monitoring committee.
“Can Toni Moore, general secretary of the Barbados Workers Union (BWU), as a declared candidate for the Barbados Labour Party, credibly continue to serve as the co-chair of the independent body charged with monitoring the implementation of the much-touted BERT Programme?
“Is Ms. Moore, general secretary of the BWU, a member of the Barbados Labour Party and if so, how long has she been a member? If Ms Moore is a member of the BLP, was it fit to serve as a member of such an independent monitoring body?” Pilgrim asked.
The politician, who is vying for the leadership of the DLP, said while former union bosses were known to be affiliated with political parties, their association was no secret.
“We are familiar with political unionism and the courtship between unionists and political parties. This is not new to Barbados, history records Sir Frank Walcott, Sir Leroy Trotman, Bobby Morris, Evelyn Greaves and so on. What is new, however, are the times we are in, and our expectations, as well as the fact that the political stripes of these gentlemen were no secret while they practised unionism,” Pilgrim said.
Pilgrim suggested that Moore should have declared her political hand before being appointed an Independent Senator by Governor General Dame Sandra Mason.
Pilgrim stated that Barbadians were “demanding greater transparency and democracy” as promised by the current administration when the party was in opposition.
“How is our democracy advanced by the co-option of the leader of the largest private sector union to the fold of a Government that already holds all 30 seats? Over the weekend I raised the troubling issue of the fragile nature of our democracy and what needs to be done to strengthen our bonds as a society. The state of our democracy is in uncharted waters. Barbadians are watching on.” (IMC)