Talks are ongoing between management of the Transport Board and the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) to address employee grievances that led to an early morning work stoppage that has crippled public transport services and forced the closure of public schools across the island.
In an update a short while ago, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport and Works Santia Bradshaw who held discussions with both sides said she is expecting a resolution shortly.
“I am at this moment aware that the management of the board as well as the unions are in meetings. They have been in meetings for the last hour or so and I expect that, very shortly, they will be able to have a resolution of this matter and be able to report back to the country that we have been able to resolve the issues that are pending,” she said.
Ahead of those talks, BWU General Secretary Toni Moore said at the centre of the dispute were several issues that were raised at the level of the Labour Department, the Minister of Transport and Works and the Prime Minister, at a meeting held at the union’s headquarters, Solidarity House, since May last year.
“There is not a single issue that has brought workers out here today that is absolutely a new issue. It might be the same situation impacting new people but they are old matters. It is important to say that there comes a point in time where matters are not being addressed as swiftly, as effectively, as expeditiously as they should and there will always be a straw that breaks the camel’s back.
“In the situation this morning, the straw is the situation that has occurred regarding an acting and appointment arrangements that is still on the table and before the Ministry of Labour, through the Labour Department,” the BWU boss explained.