Union Dispute – Chairman of Online Consultancies Posts On Barbados Free Press

In a previous post Barbados Workers’ Union Spat Heats Up, Barbados Free Press published an unattributed letter to the Chairman of Online Consultancies (Barbados) Limited, regarding the ongoing dispute with the Barbados Workers’ Union.

Yesterday, Barbados Free Press received the following response apparently from Philip Pile, Chairman of Online Consultancies (Barbados) Limited. While we have not been able to speak directly with Mr. Pile, we have taken steps to verify – and do believe at this time – that Mr. Pile is the author and sender of this letter. If it turns out that some other person has gained access to Mr. Pile’s email server – we’ll let you know. Meanwhile…

Response By The Chairman Of Online Consultancies (Barbados) Limited to the author of BFP post Barbados Workers’ Union Spat Heats Up

Yet another Bajan with a huge chip on there should, you find it necessary to attack me personally, I hear nothing about the hard working Barbadians at OLC, for which the BWU is destroying something they have built over the last 9 years, I have nothing to defend why don’t you get some hard facts from the people working at OLC & not the short term ex staff of OLC and BWU proper gander.

You seem to have an idea that ex pats come to Barbados for easy money, that is almost laughable, if money was my motivation I would do whot your fellow countrymen do and work in the USA,Canada or the UK. Thankfully in the UK we treat people with respect and dignity, even to the point that laws have been enacted to protect against bad union practices and racial discrimination, all this is sadly lacking in Barbados.

Next time you decide to vent your views, try to engage your brain first, much the same as the BWU, you spout off your half truths and proper gander.

OLC has always had a policy of people first; to that end it has always had a Monthly profit sharing scheme in place, which distributes 50/55% of the gross profit back to the workers that produced it.

Interest free loans are made available to staff members for cars/household items. loans can be repaid at a rate which suites the employee ever month.

From the beginning OLC has tried to establish a competitive company offering excellent service and reasonable cost to the public of Barbados, to that end many practices are different to the old ways known in Barbados, OLC offers employment from 9:00am until 6:00pm with ½ break for lunch, this makes the company more efficient and more profitable which is returned to the workers in the profit scheme, OLC has always actively encouraged a family team approach to the work environment, when workers come in late because they have bills to pay or leave early to attend classes or other activities, they were never refused or reprimanded, only yesterday a member of staff was telling me how badly she was treated in her former job with a Barbadian owner, she stated how much she enjoyed working in the happy family environment at OLC, all this is now being destroyed by the BWU.

It has been alleged by an ex employee there were forced to work as “PORTERS”, the truth; workers are asked to volunteer to help unload any shipments that come in, for this the are given an extra $50/$100 cash in recognition of the extra help.

One ex employee stated in the media he was forced to clean toilets, The Truth; some members of staff complained at the condition bathrooms were left in by other staff members, it was resolved at a meeting that all staff members would leave the bathrooms in a clean state after use.

The above is my opinion, but as I stated before it is the people still working at OLC today that are the ones who are being affected most by this issue, go ask them.

As always I will stand by the staff at OLC, offering any assistance I can to enable them to achieves there goals in live.

Philip JF Pile – Chairman OLC
pjfp@caribsurf.com

35 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Offshore Investments

35 responses to “Union Dispute – Chairman of Online Consultancies Posts On Barbados Free Press

  1. BarnYard people

    Proper Gander, Proper Goose,
    proper ducks and drakes.

    My goodness the whole danged barnyard’s involved!
    Dear oh DEAR!

  2. rightvwrong

    no one has any illusions how difficult it is to do business in Barbados but an interesting response almost 6 weeks after the first letter?

    wonder if this failure to respond diligently is partly a contributing factor to the companies labour relations problems???

  3. Hants

    If the work environment and the pay is so good at
    OLC, why after 9 years would employees want to Unionise?
    Clearly there are serious problems at this organisation.
    Example in the civilised world, janitors are employed to keep toilets clean.
    Something smells about this “story”

  4. Green!

    They sold me a hard drive as new.
    It died a yr.later..
    – turns out it was a refurbished HD.

    Now, I don’t mind buying a refurb
    but at least let me know.

  5. Green!

    Perhaps Mr. Pile should do like many do..
    get fed up, close the business,
    put ppl on the breadline
    and try elsewhere(another country).

    Doing bizniss in B’dos.
    is not for the feint-at-heart,
    but he’s probably doing it
    just to escape the balmy English climate!

    Try Trinidad next time, boy!

  6. ILLUMINATOR

    I tend to agree with the previous blogger . Admittedly i am not privy to all the details involved but my impression is that the majority of the staff wants to be unionised . People don’t feel the need to be unionised because of too good treatment but quite the opposite . I work in a unionised environment and the BWU is the union involved and they always try to be fair and even go out of the way to avoid industrial action . To the point that employess sometimes feel they need to be more aggressive. I find it to be a joke that Mr Pile and people like Garth Patterson (Brown Sugar fame ) try to imply that unions are bad and try to bully companies . People need to respect people’s rights and do the right thing and they won’t have anything to worry about . Incidentally profits have continued to grow at my workplace still .

    I think it should be noted that in the US there is a general push to weaken the power of unions through legislation. I hope we wont be going that direction in this country , things are already rough enough as it is . I can’t say in all cases but quite often employers will try to take advantage of employees , not because they are necessarily wicked but because they can and it makes things easier . Employees then have little recourse except to leave which is sometimes out of the question at the time .

    It is unfortunate that we can’t rely on people to do the right thing so i think responsible Unions are very important right now.

  7. ILLUMINATOR

    Hants that is. Took too long to write i guess .

  8. Crusty

    There are at least three versions of the truth:
    yours, mine, and that of an objective viewer.
    We have seen snippets of the first two. I wonder
    if the third will ever be revealed.

    PS: Comments about spelling and syntax are
    unhelpful to the debate. Gone are the days
    when dictionary and thesaurus were a writer’s
    best friends.

  9. Hants

    Unions in Barbados are very reasonable in their dealings with Employers.
    How many Businesses have gone Bankrupt in Barbados because of unreasonable demands of Unionised workers?

    I have never worked anywhere in Barbados or Canada that did not have a janitorial service.

    Also, paying this extra $50 to $100 to unload a truck sounds a little unusual as a Business Practice.

    I hope this is resolved in a manner that is acceptable to all involved.

  10. Greg_or

    I am extremely split over the issue of union representation and the help or damage they have on the employee and by extension the business. I must state upfront that I do think unions are necessary, especially as an organization where the worker who can not afford financially to represent themselves; has a unified champion for their cause against unscrupulous employers. But in this particular case allow me to draw upon an analogy; I come into your house and beg you to recognize me as your friend and the friend of your daughter, you refuse and I burn your hard earn investment to the ground, displacing not only your daughter, but your entire family. Do you think this is right?

    The workers who were allegedly fired because of their union involvement need not seek recourse through their union but through the Labour department for wrongful dismissal, to which they paid their taxes to support. If they can’t do this, it means that they were justly fired by being given all the necessary warnings and opportunities to correct any problems. I did not read that Pile said publicly that he will not hire persons represented by a union, as the owner of Brown Sugar did, and if his business practices are questionable, that is an issue for the Fair Trading Commission and the same Labour Department to investigate and take the appropriate actions. But I do not agree with the involvement of the union to this degree in this matter, the public discrediting of a SMALL business and the call for persons not to patronize the establishment only puts the livelihood of the employees in jeopardy. Shame on them all!!!

    Ps. Pile, you need to create more employment by hiring a janitor…

  11. missinghome

    It is unusual that a CEO of a company would choose a blog to deliver his message. Yes?

  12. ……Man let him go. Phillip Pile isn’t doing anyone any favours with his retail business. There isn’t anything unique about buying wholesale and selling retail, anyone can do it. I don’t find it strange that the same condesending, attitude in this response attributed to Phillip Pile is similar to the opinions of him held by those who have dealt with him. Intel up and left Barbados and we still survived, the fact that they spent heavily on training left us richer not poorer, Macdonalds came and couldn’t compete and we still survived. Who will missed OLC?

  13. Jane

    Adrian, the point is that we do not know what really happened. I do not think the union would do what it is doing without reason.

    If OLC broke the law then an action should be brought against them.

    We should not be too quick to judge and lose people their jobs without the details. Pile is only one person the staff are many.

  14. Jane: I am well aware of the importance “A JOB” takes on when an employer is in an indefensible position. These are not Jobs to be protected at the expense of allowing the assumed to be true actions of Philip Pile. We are all ways ready to protect “Jobs” even when some Jobs by their very nature are keeping people back, encouraging mendecantcy, stagnation etc. I don’t have to know the your version or Mr. Pile’s version of the truth to assume or conclude that Mr. Pile needs to move on, for he will not be missed. In the very same fashioned that BFP tabled charges against the Minister Gline Clarke for him to answer so too did they table charges for Mr. Pile to answer, while he did respond, he did not seek to answer any of the specific charges laid. You can continue to give him the benefit of the doubt, I have decided not too. He can shut shop, as he threathen to do as It would not be to anyones benefit for him to recognize the Union so grudgingly and reluctantly.

    ….Barbados needs to raise the bar on the type of businesses and persons we encourage to setup businesses here.

  15. SinTax

    but..Crusty,
    God gave us edjukashun and spelling and English language so dat when I right propaganda I REALLY mean proper goose..no maybe even proper pork!
    Yuh sights? I doan think so.
    When I write cow, I don’t mean Charles O.Williams, I really mean Sam Poochy.
    Huh??!
    If you’re going to participate in today’s internet discussions with worldly people, please learn to write spell and sin-tax like you went to an educational instutution of some consequence!
    More than EVER, today’s discussion using correct English language and spelling are relevant. COMMUNICATION depends on accuracy of communication,via a chosen language.
    In this case, English.
    I insist on proper spelling,or I will shame you, so try and find your -ed’s at the end of past tense verbs,
    or I will assume you are an un-educated intellectual lightweight,
    not worthy of my consideration.

    I hope you understand my “problems” between ‘proper gander’ (-twice!)
    and propaganda.

    Good Grief,man, this is 2006, not 1843!

  16. Sintax wunnuh could only shame who want tuh be shamed. I will not be fooled, i can still spot an attempt to silence even if it is disguised as language maven concerned about proper grammer and correct spelling. Such concern has little utility left after it has been abuse and misused much in the fashion that you are applying it. Gladston Holder’s raise to fame was much the same, and was so usefull that after two weeks of his death and burial hardly anyone can recall one of his articles, that were always grammatically correct and correct spelling masterpieces yet filled with nothingness, void of substance and relevance.

  17. Be strong Mr. Pile!!
    OLC is what inspired me to start the journey of a computer tech! Be sure to look out for one of my application letters within this month!

  18. Some inspiration that is. I thought it would have encourage you to start your own computer business, it aint that difficult.

  19. Jaffor

    Who says that Mr. Pile does not have a janitor? I would appear that many persons in this island are very unhygenic..Indeed they prefer to leave washrooms, kitchens and even the work environment dirty..never caring that others must use these facilities behind them. Yes the organisation may have janatorial services but does this mean that we are to live worse than animals.

    Come on…is the Janitor expected to go into the bathroom after everyone to clean up. Is this practicle. When are we going to start taking responsibility for our own actions. This is the same mindset that causes others to litter with excuses that include public sanitation persons are employed to take out the garbage.

    Honestly, have any of you ever seen a selective virus, a rat population that picks only the poor and not the rich, a contaminant only affecting the maid because she has not cleaned. Enough of the selfish attitude..we should all strive to keep our environment as clean as possible. Is this not what Mr. Pile was getting at.

    While I will certainly offer no comment in respect of the issue to unionise or not to unionise I do certainly think it fit to remind everyone that “janitors and maids are people too, they are there to serve not to slave.” There is a difference.
    Clean Up Behind Yourselves…The Janitor will do the specific cleaning afterwards.

  20. Well it was inspiration never the less -_- .

    Also, that was very well said Jaffor.

  21. Veronique

    There are always two sides to a story. In assessing a situation one must be cognisant of all the factors. Unfortunately we live in a society where the press is very selective about what they print..sometimes taking the salacious and throwing it into the “ring” so to speak while we behave as hounddogs pouncing and snarling.

    I have had the privilege of being on both sides of the coin. Some union representatives can be surly, uncooperative, arrogant and high handed..They can bring offensiveness to a situation which can otherwise be easily resolved. Some employers likewise are imbued with the same characteristics. The bible states that “a quiet word turns away wrath”. We have witnessed a situation escalating out of hand, those who establish international businesses are watching and while they, for the most part, will observe our rules if they wish to conduct business here, we also need to be careful not to bite the hand that feeds us. That’s the reality like it or not.

    Can someone indicate how many local organisations employ persons, what is the extent of that employment etc. I am in no way suggesting that we should bow and scrape to International or foreign business men or their representatives, I am in no way suggesting that we should sit and allow persons to whittle away at our rights, what I am saying is that Union members and Employers alike should seek to bring their best attitude forward for conflict resolution. At the end of the day employers get bigger profits from productivity when workers are happy.

    On the issue of Unions when will we see a concerted effort to have more transparency with respect to the work permit issues especially in the hotel and construction industry. when will we have organised efforts to defend those workers who work for wages that can barely manage to pay bus fare? When will the unions gather their members to demand that every person in Barbados, whether unionised or not should work in safe, dust free/clean air environments, that there is more than one exit from a building? When will the Union orchestrate these things..when will you impress upon workers (public and private) that they must improve on their relational skills especially when dealing with customers and client’s? When will you become pro-active? I certainly long for that day…and maybe just maybe when we see how fair you are, how much you truly care about your workers that we will join you wholeheartedly in ridding ourselves of employers who only care about profits and not people.

  22. Veronique

    Mark

    Thank you Jaffor for reminding us. Sometimes we just do not think beyond ourselves.

  23. Hants

    Does any of you believe that a bunch of well paid employees at OLC went and called in a Union for no good reason?

    It is always good to hear both sides of a story but you can also use your own reasoning.

    I feel sorry for the employees at OLC whose jobs may be threatened but if Pile leaves someone else will fill his place.

    Unions are an absolute nescessity in Barbados and they have been effective in protecting workers from exploitation.

  24. Crusty

    Jaffor said:
    October 2nd, 2006 at 10:34 pm

    …It would appear that many persons in this island
    are very unhygenic..Indeed they prefer to leave
    washrooms, kitchens and even the work
    environment dirty..never caring that others must
    use these facilities behind them.

    —-
    Yuh got that rite. I seen carpenters and masons
    doin their bizness at the door of the portaloo,
    ’cause inside either too dirty or to hot – so they say.
    Whch is worse, them or the guys afore them?

  25. John

    I think the interesting thing coming out of this matter is that we are getting sides of the story which the local press just cannot and do not carry.

    There is discussion, some people feel one way, some another. I am not trying to blow BFP’s horn or taking either side, but look for a moment at what is happening.

    I think there is a real benefit to having a forum where many voices are heard/read and to which anyone can contribute.

    It can get out of hand but that is what freedom is all about. We are all big people capable of doing right and wrong.

    Hopefully we get this discussion right and we help the parties to find a proper solution.

  26. Adrian

    I will judge each labour dispute on it’s merits, indeed this is the past practice of the Barbadian public. I will not allow the attempt to recast Philip Pile as a victim erase is behaviour todate. I will not forget that his business is but a retail outlet. The point is that Barbadian workers have the right to seek union representation and Philip Pile’s assumed generosity, and good staff relations does not remove that right.

  27. RRRicky

    Veronique says… “When will the unions gather their members to demand that every person in Barbados, whether unionised or not should work in safe, dust free/clean air environments, that there is more than one exit from a building?”

    Barbados does not have laws about environment and working conditions I don’t think. For sure no laws about disposing or working with strong chemicals.

    Without these laws it will be difficult for the union to ensure safe working conditions because there is no national standard.

    Banana republic or sugar republic all de same same!

  28. Max

    People have the right to associate or not to associate.

    Does this mean that each time the Union seeks recognition that companies should fall in line?

    My thing is, whether a company recongnises a Union or not at the end of the day I am a consumer and what I need to get is proper service and I don’t get this from most businesses. Employees and even some employers need to develop better human relations 1st when dealing with themselves and the important people to the business, the CUSTOMER.

    To me poor human relations and customer service are a bigger threat to the performance of the businesses especially small ones.

    We as Barbadians have become less caring about each other, and some of the things around us that we have been blessed with. The things I observe people caring about are cars, trips, clothes, partying and sex.

    Why not spend time trying to own a piece of land, reconnect with old friends and family and develop strong relationship and stop being so selfish and self centered.

  29. Veronique

    Hi RRRicky:

    We do not need to wait for Paliament to enact legislation to effect a particular purpose. Unions should use some of their time to lobby strongly for legislation which protects the employees..that balances their needs together with that which inspires economic development.

    Barbadians are generally known to be intelligent people, who can articulate what they want. The problem is that we tend to feel safer “cussing off in small groups” “being disgruntled behind close doors”. Enough of that…when will we truly band together to demand the reasonable things that are needed…we must not be distracted but must stay focused on those principles which will at the end of the day be beneficial to all who live and work here instead of a select few.

    Government will have no alternative but to respond to the reasonable demands of its people especially if they want to remain elected.

  30. RRRicky

    Hi Veronique

    I agree with you 100% that we need street action NOW!

    But that still doesn’t change my point that these SOBs do not enact laws about the environment or conflict of interest or integrity as they know that the people would use the laws against them by the courts.

    That is why they do not put laws in place about working conditions and hazardous chemicals. The BLP done been there 12 years an they could have done any of these laws but chose to not.

    Your way of street action might be the only way to get their attention. Even the newspapers doan question nothing

  31. Anonymous

    All U Bajans Need to start loving one another, and get out of this Slavery thinking that ya’ll all have. you are all Beautiful and thats is that.

  32. Andrez

    Philip Pile is dead. RIP.

  33. Nathan

    Opinions are like A$$holes……… Everybodys got them it what’s produced when used properly that counts

    Think on…. and think again as second opinions are most likey to better’d

  34. crunked

    yes philip pile is dead but they management @ olc still moving forward with his bull….