Sunday, March 3, 2024

BWU on new path


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Employees should get rid of the idea of not working on their birthday and of taking a day off when they feel like it.But employers also have to dump the idea of pocketing all the profits and exploiting workers through low pay, job insecurity and the absence of benefits.General secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU), Sir Roy Trotman, made these recommendations yesterday when the BWU delegates conference resumed at its headquarters.Sir Roy told the more than 200 unionists that the BWU was pushing for worker/employer partnerships “as the new way”, but both sides have to give of their best.Labour should be “honest” and “go beyond the four walls of the job description” to get the work done and to make Barbados a more profitable and productive place, he suggested.He said the idea of people refusing to work on their birthday did not fit into this picture, calling it “madness” and “selfishness”.He was also critical of those workers who insisted on taking days off even though not ill or faced with an emergency.However, he made the point that employers must not seek to pocket all their profits, given that workers help create that wealth “and capital by itself can do nothing”.He told the meeting that while Barbados had a number of good employers there were several bad ones operating security, supermarket, petrol and other businesses, where workers were “severely marginalised” and exploited.Some of these employers have no respect for workers’ rights and appear bent on “sucking the very marrow from the bones” of the workers and the economy, he charged.He warned that a country would not progress far unless the workers who contributed to its economic growth benefited from decent work programmes.Sir Roy said the union, in promoting the idea of partnerships, was extending the left hand of fellowship to employers “but the right hand must still have the sword of righteous indignation”.Employers should not think that because the union is seeking a partnership that it has “become too weak to fight” or “too tired to fight”, he said. (TY)


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