Royal shop ‘workers’ still being paid


SOME OF THE 13 workers in the industrial dispute between Royal Shop and the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) are still being paid through the union’s strike fund more than two years after the fact.
BWU general secretary Sir Roy Trotman told the SUNDAY SUN last Thursday the union would continue to take care of them and make “sure that they are not in a worse position”, until the matter was resolved.
Sir Roy said the other workers had found jobs elsewhere, and that the union might take Royal Shop to court.
The step would likely follow, given a breakdown in the process following referral to the Labour Department.
“We had set up a mediation panel, and the guidance of the mediation panel was not followed by the Royal Shop management, and we thought we would test it legally,” Sir Roy said.
“So we’re seeking to hear what the legal people will tell us on that . . . . That may lead usinto the courts, but in any event we haven’t given up on it.”In February 2008, Royal Shop fired a worker for refusing to be transferred to the store’s shop at the Bridgetown Port. Twelve others who walked off the job in solidarity were also fired.
The BWU was also fighting a case for Sandy Lane staffers who walked off the job in February 2008 in support of a colleague who was taken away by police after money was reported missing. They were subsequently fired.
Sir Roy said the union took a decision not to pursue the Sandy Lane matter about a yearand a half ago.
“Although we thought that the company had taken a position which was harsh, we thought that they could have taken a less harsh position,” he added.
“But at the end of the day, we had given instructions to the Sandy Lane workers, which they had not followed, and we think that that led to a problem where we ended up having to beg the company to be less harsh, rather than to be in a position where we could say that the workers had done nothing wrong. We did the best we could,” he said.


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