Friday Comment: The Social Partnership

Alex McDonald LIME BOSS

For some time, we have warned that the trade union movement in Barbados was being marginalized. The coziness with employers brought about by the so-called Social Partnership, has long been a cause of concern to the Mahogany Coconut Group. The frequent love fests of the employers’ representatives and the union bosses were brilliant public relations stunts designed to fool those who don’t understand the treachery inherent in such exercises.
We have reached a state of utter delusion, if we believe that the playing field is level and the actions of LIME clearly demonstrate that the Social Partnership is exactly that-nothing more than high level social gatherings and smiles for the cameras.
Recession or no recession, we cannot surrender the rights of workers and their representatives to be respected. The truth is that LIME decided to dismiss workers while promising to continue the collective bargaining process. No self respecting union can take such an insult lightly.
LIME claims the workers were fired because of poor service. This is more an indictment of management than it is of the workers. Daily on call in programs, consumers are complaining about LIME and the Voice of Barbados (VOB) is often the only hope of those poorly serviced customers getting their voices heard.
 We submit that the management of LIME should resign immediately because they have been most inadequate in getting their product up to the standards required in the world of technology. Blaming the workers is a dastardly act and the Barbados Workers Union is on good grounds for dismissing such garbage. What we have here is a very bold attempt to break the back of the trade union movement.
We therefore support the call for a national strike or any action the Barbados Workers Union deems necessary to stop the anti worker sentiment, now being expressed by those who have climbed the proverbial ladder and now want to kick it down. Without a strong and vibrant trade union movement the economic development of our island state will be left to those who believe that the workers only deserve a few crumbs from the table.

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