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Happy New Year
Monday, 05 January 2015 00:00

We are into a new Year and we offer thanks and praises to the Almighty God for allowing us to enter another year. During the end of the past year, we started to see a glimmer of hope insofar as our economy is concerned, especially in tourism, and we pray that this country, with the help of God, and the will of our people to commit themselves to working harder and smarter, would realize growth, particularly in our productive sectors.

With the economy in the USA experiencing growth during the last quarter of 2014, we are hopeful that that tourism figures from that country would reflect increases in the number of visitors from that country. We are also hopeful that some of the projects, spoken about, earlier in the year would start. We also believe that much more could be done in the agricultural sector as there is too much wastage with regard to agricultural land, too much of which has been allowed to degrade into bush and grass.

We strongly believe that Barbados can pull itself from the crisis, but this will only be achieved, firstly, by trusting in God, by strong and creative leadership from all sectors, and a commitment by every Barbadian person to put in that extra effort to drive the country forward.

This year, 2015, will mark an important two-year period for Labour in Barbados. This year, the Ministry of Labour will be marking the 75th anniversary of the establishing of the Labour Department; and next year, the year 2016, the Barbados Workers’ Union will be marking the 75th year of it founding. The next 24 months will be a period of celebration and reflection as the Ministry of Labour and the Labour Movement, the Barbados Workers’ Union, in particular, review Labour’s contribution to the development of Barbados and the stability of the industrial relations system in the country.

Both institutions were formed on the recommendations of the Royal West India Commission, also known as the Lord Moyne Commission, which investigated the 1937 Disturbances in Barbados.

There can be no doubt, even in the minds of the naysayers that the Labour Department and the Barbados Workers’ Union have made significant contributions to Barbados’ development, through their efforts in creating stability at the workplace. The BWU, through its dynamic leadership and its foot soldiers, over the past seventy years, have worked vibrantly to wage war against injustices at every level of our society, but particularly, at the level of the workplace. And we make the point that it has been a key institution in our development, since, in the words of Guy Perrin, the island’s first Labor Commissioner, writing in 1945, the most unhappy state of affairs I to have a community with a smoldering sense of injustice which has no voice or outlet. The Barbados Worker’ Union has provided that safety valve and has given Labour an opportunity of cooperating with capital in the determination of wages, working conditions and freedom of expression.

BWU Involved in Collective Bargaining
Friday, 05 December 2014 16:47

The Barbados Workers’ Union is currently negotiating new collective agreements with a number of companies among which are - the Republic Bank, G4S weekly and monthly, the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Principal Staff, and the CXC Support staff and ancillary staff. The Republic Bank negotiations commenced in the month of March, this year, and the agreement is effective April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2016. The CXC negotiations began in October and the contract runs from October 1, 2013, to September 30, 2015. Restructuring is the principal feature of the RBC contract.

The BWU has reached agreement with Harris Paints. That contract is effective from July 1, 2013 to June 30, next year.

Alwyn Tull Passes
Friday, 05 December 2014 09:45

alwyn tull The Executive Council of the Barbados Workers’ Union mourns the passing of Comrade Alwyn Tull, 91, who died on Saturday, November 15, 2014. His funeral service was conducted at The Christ the King Church on the morning of Friday, November 28, 2014.

His funeral service was attended by B.W.U. officials, officers and members, particularly his comrades from the BWU’s Postal Division.

Comrade Tull served the Barbados Workers’ Union with distinction for more than 50 years, during which time he held the post of B.W.U. shop steward at the General Post Office where he was employed. In addition, he was a member of the B.W.U.’s Executive Council, before being elected to the office of Vice President and latterly as Trustee. So devoted was Tull to the B.W.U. that it was only last year, at age 90, that he retired from active trade union service. He was subsequently honoured by the Executive Council and his former colleagues at the General Post Office for his devoted service to trade unionism.

Comrade Tull was a member of a trio of trade union stalwarts, comprising Comrades Claude Skeete and George Reid, all former members of the Barbados Volunteer Force, who served during World War 11. Their reputation grew in the halls of the B.W.U. after they were able to mobilise the postmen into the Union in the early 1960s and as they continued to serve the Union at the highest levels. Comrades Skeete, Tull and Reid were later to distinguish themselves at the level of the Executive Council where they held leadership positions. Skeete became the third President of the B.W.U., succeeding Sir Macdonald Blunt, and held that post from 1971 to 1979. George Reid served the B.W.U. Executive for many years as a Vice President.

The Executive Council paid high tribute to Comrade Tull at its Wednesday, November 19th meeting, describing him as a man who was totally committed to the Barbados Workers’ Union and the forward advancement of the labouring class.


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