Every few months we hear the Minister of this or Minister of that talking about productivity and how lately Bajans have been losing ground compared with many other countries. This stuff matters because when outside investors look for new locations to establish businesses and even to invest in the tourism industry, one of the first things they look at is the quality of the workforce and the recent history of labour relations.
What do outsiders notice about our history of labour relations?
The government always pays workers who go on illegal strike, that’s what.
Consequently government workers tend to walk out whenever they please and often over the smallest incidents. Who can blame them? They have been taught well that they will get paid no matter what. Just ask the teachers at Alexandra School who walked out for almost four weeks and were paid for it. They used school supplies to make their strike signs and no one said boo about that either.
The Alexandra School teachers who didn’t strike must feel like right fools. Next time they’ll walk though. Why shouldn’t they?
Look at labour disputes whether under DLP or BLP governments and you’ll find a curious fact about Barbados: government employees can do what they want with no worries – because the government always pays their wages even while they are on illegal strike. This is done because governments don’t want to set the workers off, and because the governments fear the unions and especially so when we are only months from the next election – as we are now.
Will 100 striking National Assistance Board workers be docked pay? Not a bloody chance…
Over 100 National Assistance Board (NAB) workers stayed off the job this morning protesting what they term “the over-looking” of one of the longstanding employees for the senior position of team leader.
The workers have pledged to continue protest action until the matter is resolved for Maynard to get the job.
Read the full story at The Nation: NAB workers off the job
Cartoon by Shona