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BWU 76th Annual Delegates' Conference

The Principal of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Professor Eudine Barriteau will address and declare open the two-day 76th Annual Delegates’ Conference of the Barbados Workers’ Union (B.W.U.) which gets underway at “Solidarity House” on Saturday, August 26th, starting at 9:00 a.m.

Some 473 delegates and 169 observers, representing a wide range of economic activity in Barbados, have registered to attend the Conference which is being held under the theme, “The Future We Want”.

The Conference is being held against the backdrop of a lingering economic downturn and at a time when the B.W.U. has noted that, in the current climate, wage-related negotiations are more protracted than usual and, increasingly, companies are citing an inability to increase the workers’ compensation.

The B.W.U. states however that it stands committed to securing the best levels of wages and salaries for the workers of Barbados as well as improvement in their conditions of work. The conference is also being held in an atmosphere in which, according to the B.W.U., there have been attempts by some employers at union busting. The B.W.U. has promised to name and shame those who seek to deprive workers of their rights to unionise.

Over the two days, the Conference will be appealing to delegates to place much focus on its theme, “The Future We Want”, which is embodied in a resolution.

The resolution calls on the Conference to reaffirm its commitment “to build worker power and memberhip in a renewed union that is seen as winning for workers” through:

  • building union power;
  • fighting precarious work;
  • safeguarding the vulnerable;
  • influencing and promoting sustainable socio-economic policy at the national level; and
  • lobbying for environmental sustainability.

The resolution renews the call for workers throughout Barbados to unite to ensure that the future is strengthened and secured and appeals to the Government to renew its political will and commitment towards creating the environment that would allow the Social Partnership to function positively for the future we want.

Much interest is also expected to be placed on the economy, the role of the Barbados Social Partnership and on the following resolutions which have been prepared for debate

  • Retirement Benefits
  • Crime and Violence
  • Retired/Unemployed Worker Participation on the Executive Council
  • Business of Annual Delegates’ Conferences