Monday, April 22, 2024

Workers’ rights being abused


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Dear Christine,
I am writing this letter about a very prestigious business on this island.
There is much unrest and unfairness in this place towards its employees. Management does not wish for anyone to join the Barbados Workers’ Union. There is no unity (among workers) and so management takes advantage of this.
The management has cut back on the food bills, workdays and almost everything you can think about. When meetings are held nothing ever comes out of them. It’s just a waste of time!
The nurses work very hard for little pay. There are over 35 residents at this place, with some residents paying over $5 000 per month. The least a resident pays is $3 000. Just do the maths and see why this letter is being written.
Absolutely no respect is given to employees by the residents or the employers. The workers get just $7.50 per hour, while the management takes regular trips and chat about their home gym and pool.
By law, there are six certified sick days in a year but workers do not get any. They are paid for three bank holidays – Christmas, Independence Day and New Year’s Day, but workers never get the pay the same week. They get it maybe three or four months later. The cooks are paid more than the nurses and the maids are at a cost point.
At the end of the year there is no bonus and no “thank you” for all the work. There is no encouragement given to make employees really want to work.
These things are so unfair to big women, who turn up for work every morning only to be subjected to this kind of slavery. These employers are black, just like all their workers. You would think that white employers would do this kind of nonsense, but no!
I would rather work for white people before I work for people like these again.
We need someone in Government (perhaps the Minister of Health) to visit this home to see what is happening and see what can be done to help the workers. The residents are just fine.
– Tired, Frustrated and Need To Help My Friend
Dear Tired And Frustrated,
Your situation, or rather, your friend’s situation, is not one I can deal with from where I sit. My advice would be to take these concerns to officials at the Labour Department and have them look into the operation of this business.
If all you’ve written is true, then I believe there are issues which must be addressed in a professional and business-like manner.
Go ahead and give the Labour Department a call and allow officials there to carry out their own investigations.


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