No pay in four months for Advocate staff - by Randy Bennett
June 22, 2022
June 22, 2022
June 22, 2022
With legal proceedings still ongoing, employees at the Barbados Advocate are continuing to feel the pinch.
As of yesterday staff had not received their monthly salaries for February, March, April and May, with payment for June highly unlikely.
However, a source told Barbados TODAY that workers received a memorandum from management today indicating that half of their February salaries was available.
It is not the first time the staff has gone unpaid for months as the island’s oldest newspaper has been thrown into turmoil following the death of its owner and chairman Sir Anthony Bryan in June 2020.
Late last year they went two months without being paid before eventually receiving some of the monies owed them in December.
Barbados TODAY understands that the staff complement has decreased as a result of the dire financial situation.
The company’s inability to meet its financial obligations has been linked to legal action, Court Order CV 450, brought by Sir Anthony’s son Allan Richard Bryan et al, against Gail Sherry-Anne Padmore, one of the directors of its Board.
As a result of the court action the Barbados Advocate’s main account has been frozen since the end of July last year and the director is not allowed to dispose of, deal with or diminish the value of any of the assets, whether solely or jointly owned. The company’s main account was included in the order by the claimants.
Barbados TODAY was reliably informed that the matter was heard in the Supreme Court on Monday but no details were readily available.
When contacted, Allan Bryan, who is represented by Anderson Yearwood of Yearwood and Boyce, opted not to give a comment.
A source who spoke to Barbados TODAY said the morale of staff had been at its lowest as a result of the ongoing crisis.
The source questioned how a provision could be made for Padmore, a director at the company, to receive a stipend until a resolution had been reached, but no provision was made for its staff.
“This has absolutely nothing to do with the staff and yet the staff is being disadvantaged and unfaired. The same way that Ms Padmore can receive a stipend there should have been a provision for the company to pay its monthly staff and bills. The staff at the Advocate is unfortunately just collateral damage,” the source said.
A staff member who spoke on condition of anonymity described the situation as “disgraceful”.
The employee said they were experiencing serious financial hardships as a result of not being paid.
“It is unconscionable for us not to be getting paid. We still have our bills to pay and our families to support. The legal battles of the Barbados Advocate are not our fault and therefore we should not be the ones to get punished,” the frustrated worker said.
“We are still working and putting out a newspaper. What is happening to us is nothing short of disgraceful.”