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.

It is clear that the maturity of the BWU in seeking to demonstrate in a manner that seeks to make the point without necessarily holding everyone to ransom, has not appealed to the consciousness or sensitivity of those whose response can make a difference.

It is clear that the maturity of the BWU in seeking to demonstrate in a manner that seeks to make the point without necessarily holding everyone to ransom, has not appealed to the consciousness or sensitivity of those whose response can make a difference.

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.

They say the workers should be grateful that they have a brand new facility at a time when others are complaining of working in sick buildings. They say that the workers of the BWA should be grateful that they don't have bird droppings coming into the containers that were their work spaces.

They say the workers should be grateful that they have a brand new facility at a time when others are complaining of working in sick buildings. They say that the workers of the BWA should be grateful that they don’t have bird droppings coming into the containers that were their work spaces.

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.

Yes, the BWA and the BWU have been discussing monies owed to workers of the Authority for the past 10 years but the workers did not commence demonstration on Wednesday 16th March 2016 because money is owed. The workers' action is a direct protest to the BWA's continued retreat, disregard and dishonouring of agreements.

Yes, the BWA and the BWU have been discussing monies owed to workers of the Authority for the past 10 years but the workers did not commence demonstration on Wednesday 16th March 2016 because money is owed. The workers’ action is a direct protest to the BWA’s continued retreat, disregard and dishonouring of agreements.

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.

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Comments

add a comment

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.