BWU Settles Bridgetown Duty Free dispute

BWU Settles Bridgetown Duty Free dispute


The Barbados Workers’ Union claims success after a four-hour meeting with the management of Duty-Free Caribbean which ended after 7:30 that night at the Labour Office in Warrens.

The BWU requested the meeting after a breach of agreement surrounding the payment of a lump sum of money to Bridgetown Free employees led to a work stoppage at multiple branches across the island.

At the meeting, the Union stated it has in its records, a settlement under the penmanship of Duty-Free Caribbean reaching a resolution to make that lump sum payment in December 2022.

The Barbados Workers’ Union was particularly interested in a letter the company wrote to its employees on December 15th, 2022, in which they indicated that Duty Free Caribbean took the decision to give what they described as an enhanced monetary token of appreciation, in lieu of the customary voucher the employees are accustomed to receiving.

When the BWU reached the settled resolution with Duty Free Caribbean, as recently as November 2022, management never indicated that they would remove the customary payment to employees.

The Union believes that if they intended to do so, they should have, in good faith, indicated such – but they did not.

The BWU contended what Duty-Free Caribbean did was effectively trade one form of discretionary bonus for another – and this was not the agreement.

Furthermore, during negotiations, Duty Free Caribbean admitted they made a mistake in their letter disseminated to employees on December 15th.

While the Barbados Workers’ Union understands that mistakes will be made, it insisted that they must also be corrected. Good faith bargaining must not be compromised.

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