Barbados Workers Union says Wages Dispute is in Water Authority’s hands
The strike by the BWU division of the BWA is now in its third day and yet the board and management of the Authority and the parent Ministry appear unbothered by the action which will now, in all likelihood create further water worries to the general public.
This is particularly worrying when one considers that the BWA and the BWU reached an agreement regarding the approach that would be taken to bring to a close the too protracted issue of outstanding monies owed to workers; an agreement which was reached under the chairmanship of the Minister in the parent Ministry of the BWA on February 24, 2016.
Within two (2) weeks of establishing consensus for the way forward, other influences seem to be provoking a retreat from the most recent commitments. Worrying too is the propaganda created by those who know better and who have sought to relegate the workers’ demonstration to one which is simply about money.
They say that the workers are supposedly fighting for money at a time when they should be grateful that they have jobs, and have not yet suffered the same fate as some, perhaps at the NCC, NHC and Transport Board.
This is most tactless and regrettable. For it is one thing when the capital class would wish to have workers behave as if they are mendicants but it is particularly frightening when representatives of the people, by the people and for the people publicise similar expressions.
It should therefore establish in our minds that our democracy is under threat and bad governance is likely to become the ingrained, accepted new norm by those who should know and do better.
It took six (6) years for the BWA to remember that increments was the agreed compromise if the Authority did not implement a performance management system and it appears that they would want to take another six (6) years to remember that we agreed to a process, just three (3) weeks ago, that had potential for seeing the matter finalised in only another few meetings or exchanges.
Workers and citizens of Barbados, leadership at any level which takes serious issues lightly, which gives commitments only to go back on them and which fails to act in good time to salvage explosive situations, is leadership that is reckless.
The workers of the BWA are not deterred; we will continue demanding our right to respect and our right to dialogue through good faith bargaining. We are therefore appealing to you for understanding; to you members of the public who still believe in fairness and respect and who reject arrogance and carelessness about the plight of people.