Sandy Lane To Fly In Strike Breakers?


The Barbados Workers Union is talking a nation-wide strike next week and has set Sandy Lane Resort squarely in their sights. The BWU leadership know that they couldn’t be offered a better opportunity for worldwide attention and public sympathy than afforded by that playground of the ultra rich.

The images during a strike will be powerful: low-paid black maids and labourers vs. filthy rich white foreigners at a resort where a round of golf and dinner can cost the same as most ordinary Bajans take home in six months.

Then throw in 18 sacked workers at Sandy Lane – who will claim that it is all about union busting.

With optics like that, the real reasons behind the dismissals and the strike will soon be lost in the public mind. Image is all on the side of the Barbados Workers Union.

A similar situation at the Royal Shop where 12 employees were dismissed is powerful on Barbados but nothing compared with the worldwide attention that will result when the international media start listing the names of the beautiful people who play at Sandy Lane.

I had to laugh at the quotes from Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association President Alvin Jemmott that the day chosen for the nationwide strike – Wednesday – is the worst day because it is the busiest tourism day of the week. (Nation News article here)

Ah…. Yes, Mr. Jemmott: that is precisely why the BWU chose Wednesday for the strike.

Is Sandy Lane Flying In More Staff To Operate During The Strike?

We understand that Sandy Lane has been ordering triple and quadruple quantities from local suppliers for weeks now – stocking up for the strike. Obviously they don’t want their clients to be without their Grey Goose vodka and “organic” Caviar de Riofrio.

What is curious is the Sandy Lane announcement that all will be normal for their guests because they have made an “emergency plan”.


Unless they have enough skilled workers willing to either cross the strike line or stay at the resort, it seems to us that things will be anything but normal at Sandy Lane. Barbados is a small island and it is highly unlikely that locals would dare cross the lines to work during a national strike.

…Which leaves open the door to imported labour to replace not only those who were sacked, but also the staff who will not cross the line during a national strike. We’re thinking kitchen staff and other higher functions. Sandy Lane can operate short staffed for a few days in housekeeping and gardening, but without skill kitchen and bar staff the party is over!


We expect that a few guests will come and go via helicopter, but the usual parade of Mercedes limos will not be able to enter or leave Sandy Lane.

IF Sandy Lane and the Royal Shop are not able to come to an agreement with the Barbados Workers Union, we don’t believe that a one day strike is the last we will hear of the troubles. So far all are digging in their heels and we can’t see that changing before Wednesday.

As for me and what I’ll do on Wednesday, maybe I’ll get me some of that Grey Goose and de Riofrio and see how the other side lives.

… but probably not! 😉

Further Reading…

CBC: No Resolution In Labour Disputes

Nation News: In Limbo

Nation News: Sandy Lane Standing Firm


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Culture & Race Issues, Race, Traveling and Tourism

169 responses to “Sandy Lane To Fly In Strike Breakers?

  1. Tell me Why

    Just as I finished posting up comes this post. Now I am seeing the true behaviour of this hotel, I now asked the public. Are we missing something. Is the firing of these workers just a front for the behaviour of these upper class hotels?

    I am surprised that the Sandy Lane management is bent on not re-hiring the strikers. First let us understand something. Was the strike not based on missing money? If the answer is yes, we can go further. Since we heard that the full amount of money was found in the same room, why is the hotel still adamant of not re-hiring those workers. Regardless if the strike was sanctioned by the BWU or not, these workers had a democratic right to be represented by their union who should be allowed to have discussion with the said company. If the company realised that a mistake was made of firing these workers. The company should be braved enough to re-hire these workers based on ” a mistake”.

    Another area to be challenged is the legality of the guest having $60,000.00 on his person. Was that money declared at the port of entry? If not, since that money has been located, will the authority bring charges against that person with that undeclared amount?

    I fully support The Union on their stance to have these workers re-hired and an apology should be forthwith.

    In relation to the unfortunate worker at the centre of the strike. The Attorney General should should intervene and hastily apologise to this guy on behalf of the Police.

  2. Bajanboy

    It is normal procedure to bring someone in for questioning when a crime has occurred. The worker at Sandy Lane was not charged and has not lost his job. The police followed established procedure in this matter.

    The workers staged an illegal strike and their disruptive actions and derogatory comments about the hotel to the media are what got them fired. The union acknowledges that the strike was illegal and should not have happened.

    Sandy Lane, The Royal Shop and the entire business community should stand firm against the union. Unions need to be put in their place and realise that they cannot make up the rules as they go along. The unions are trying to save face and to justify their existence.

    There are two things this strike will do. First, it will turn many Barbadians against the unions. Second, it will make Barbadians realise that many government departments can run on a skeleton staff because government workers are extremely unproductive.

  3. John

    Tell me Why
    February 16, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    First let us understand something. Was the strike not based on missing money? If the answer is yes, we can go further.

    Suppose the answer to this question is no!!

  4. reality check

    Its managements job to ensure first class service from all staff so that the long term integrity and goodwill of the hotel can be sustained.

    It is the unions job to ensure that basic workers rights are maintained and protected not too intefere with management or support bad attitude or bad service.

    So maybe the bloggers can recant us with some stories to tell us who is offside here?

  5. Donald Duck, Esq

    Wasn’t the issue that the workers walked off the job without following agreed procedures to resolving such disputes

  6. Donald Duck, Esq

    It appears that it is near impossible to discipline employees in Barbados for wrong doing.


    BFP says,

    Yes… same with Tourism Ministers who become millionaires in a few years on a government salary!

  7. Rumplestilskin

    I think that we need more information on this before making a sound analysis. However, it would APPEAR that parties to this case are being less than co-operative.

    Firstly, by Sandy Lane’s own publication in Friday’s paper, it ‘discussed’ the matter with the mentioned employee with the union rep after the Police had their discussion with him, either the next day or after that.

    IF the Police questioned and discharged him, if the matter was not an additional matter, then could the management really have good grounds for having their own discussion with him?

    Any of us can be questioned by the Police. That does not make us guilty of something. Will our employers meet with us as a result?

    From an onlookers viewpoint. Therein lies the issue. The management may or may not have had grounds for their own discussion, but in their own publication, they did not come forward with their grounds.

    If they did explain the reason for this meeting, then it would have clarified the issue. I perceive that this may be the cause of the workers strike. If the workers perceive that management is not being appropriate in the approach to a staffmember, then they would react.

    When one thinks of human emotion, it is irrelevant that the staffmember ‘went home sick’.

    All that did was delay the issue. The staffmember must be taken at his word that he is sick (or his doctor’s word) and when an employee is on sick leave an employer cannot punish that employee in any manner.

    I am apprehensive if Sandy Lane’s ’emergency procedures’ involve importing staff.

    I think that such action will be barking up the wrong tree.

    While by strict interpretation the employee’s strike may have been incorrect, the reality is that it is, as named, an employee’s strike.

    Let us consider that point and the repercussions.

    Firstly, assuming that even if both in union terms and in legal terms the employee strike is clearly demonstrated to be illegal.

    Will the complete firing of these workers solve the problem as a long term measure?

    If these employees may be defined as distinctly, just for argument’s sake, as troublemakers, then possibly this action will eliminate the problem.

    However, if these employees are generally representative of the workers of the hotel, then firing these workers, for a breach of the labour rules ‘status quo’ rather than their working actions ‘per se’, may just leave a problem to fester and present greater problems at a later date.

    Secondly, what would make employees take such drastic action? Is this incident the only such? Apparently there was also an incident in November? Is there a possibility that this incident reflects a deeper problem that must be addressed? If so, surely it is in the interest of the hotel and management to address the underlying problem, rather than focus solely on this issue alone?

    Now, if the hotel rings in foreign workers to solve a temporary problem, I believe that the effects would be far-reaching and I hope that such decision be carefully reviewed before such action.

    Barbadians are generally not confrontational, but I am highly surprised that the human resources advisors for the hotel have not expressed serious reservations on the matter.

    I would be very reticent to approach the matter in such manner. It would jeopardise relations with the union, the employee body generally and those who would sympathise with the ‘Barbadian’ workers i.e. taxi drivers, suppliers etc.

    Let me be plain, ‘foreigners’ brought in to ‘fix’ the problem. This on top of the belief, generally for Barbados, not specific to Sandy Lane, by many locals that foreign staff are already given special treatment, in addition to jobs being advertised by large companies and foreign companies in particular, with such specific requirements as to limit locals in preference to foreigners?

    Oh dear, no.

    I see someone with an opener in their hand and a can of worms on the table.

    My suggestion:

    I believe that management MUST sit down with the union, clarify the position and seek a committment from the union AND the specific workers that future actions will all follow agreed union regulations.

    If this is done, then I believe that we can move forward.

    If the union and / or the employees refuse that simple request, then such may be published and further action taken.

    But a try for the better route MUST be made.

    The alternative is not pretty, it goes beyond breaking the union or making the employees know their place.

    Let us be bigger than that.

    I amnot saying Sandy Lane is wrong at the first instance, I am not saying that the employees are wrong at the first instance.

    I am saying that a reasonable approach should prevail and the workers should be seen as part and parcel of the company and not an asset to be disposed without careful consideration.


  8. Rock

    DD ESQ, I agree with you 100%. It is all but impossible to discipline workers these days. The union continues to send a message that employers must accept poor work ethic and empathize with those who break the rules.

    It had to happen some day, perhaps this time the Union has bitten off more than they can chew……..

  9. gunslinger

    unbelievably biased posts.

    sandy lane and royal shop acted completely within the law and union regulations. they fired staff who walked off thier jobs and would not return to work.
    these staff walked off thier jobs prior to any communication with union reps. this is against union regulations. but as usual the union has one set of rules for thier members and one set for employers.

    the union’s call for a general strike on wednesday is nothing more than extortion.

    do not back down sandy lane and royal shop.

    who is going to suffer? the owners of sandy lane ? LOL
    the owners of royal shop? LOL

    they should shut down thier business, sell it off, take thier money and laugh all the way home.

    then who going suffer? LOL

  10. Cancerman

    I think Sir Roy is going to rue the day he decided to try to test Sandy Lane and the Royal Shop. The staff walked off the job and therefore at that time were deemed to be no longer employeed.
    Until people realise there are rules and there is a penalty for not following these rules then we will continue to see this stupidity.

    If they have a strike what will it achieve since no one is getting rehired.

    Sir Roy must be praying that the PM will save his reputation.

  11. Rumplestilskin

    Yes, we know the ‘technical’ issues AS PRESENTED.

    But look beyond that and at the underlying situation.

    Why did the staff perceive that it was necessary to take such drastic action?

    Sit back first and think before making rash assessments.

    Finally, as I noted above, we all need more information before making a solid assessment.

  12. banned

    Seems to me the Union is guilty of not following through when called upon in the past through “agreed procedure”. Members are wary of this and decided in both instances that they will act on their own. It makes it worse when workers witness union highbreds and their families being treated to lavish meals etc. The workers have forced the unions hand and frankly I look forward to the end of the Trotman era in Trade Unionism. I do not think he holds the respect of either side.

  13. banned

    Trade Union leaders should be changed like governments. When they become too settled bid them farewell. Anyone that thrives at a time when there are severely conflicting interest still around is likely to not push for change. Human nature.

  14. crossroads

    I respect the unions and what they are meant to represent. Unfortunately a lot of the members are misinformed and belive they can get away with anything. As for trotman……..?joker

  15. Private Pirates

    sandy lane have in today’s nation… jobs available. a list of about 5 post to be filled.

  16. banned

    Trotty is not a joker. He has just gotten too old, too tiltled and too settled

  17. Citizen First

    Now I am NOT the most knowledgeable about these matters but wouldn’t the permission of Government be required for IMPORTED labour to be brought in (as per your headline and the words “Which leaves open the door to imported labour to replace not only those who were sacked…” )?

    So, is the BFP implying that the new DLP Government is complicit in an attempt to frustrate the BWU and Barbadian workers?

    Given the influence of the BFP, is this charge a veiled attempt to discredit the new Government by way of unsubstantiated rumour?

    Say it ain’t so, BFP!

  18. banned

    That could not be part of their agenda. Can’t you imbeciles recognise intelligent people when they slap you in the face?

  19. Donald Duck, Esq

    Sir Roy comes on the TV this evening and says he is willing to compromise. He said he would call off the strike if the employers rehire the workers. What sort of compromise is that??? Shame on you Leroy

  20. Rock

    I think most of us agree that in this case the union seems to be wrong. We have the facts as stated in the news media by both Sandy Lane and Royal Shop. (Did the BWU refute these facts?)The workers were wrong in doing what they did and at least in one case, the union admitted as much. Just as the employer has rules and guidelines to follow, so do the employee, break them and blame yourself. The staff took such” drastic action” (as mentioned by a blogger above) because they knew the union would support them whether their actions were right or wrong…………and they were wrong! My only hope is that the Union’s actions do not hurt the many for the sake of a few disgruntled workers who broke the rules.

  21. banned

    The Unions were wrong. The workers were not. As a human being, refute that!

  22. Centipede

    As usual, the public and some who post here, know everything. The facts concerning these cases are not fully in the public arena.

    I have a friend who has a friend who works at Royal Shop. She sent me this e-mail: “Somebody broke their front door 3am-ish. They did not put anything in writing. No job descriptions, no letters of employment… nothing. My friend said that the lady is well in rights as they are just not professional and Mrs. Thani does not get along with the lady, so transfering her was a way of getting rid of her and it was obvious to all what she was trying to do.”

    Now how accurate can the above be? Right away the hasty would run off and broadcast that RS hasn’t a leg to stand on. But obviously RS must be being guided by Council??? So one should be left to conclude RS must have some legal position if they are standing their ground.

    In the case of SL, are there not ‘rules’ governing the staging of ‘wild cat strikes’ ??? If SL is standing it’s ground shouldn’t one reasonably conclude they have solid reason to so do?

    Would it be a good idea for all the facts to come out first, before we start writing Mickey Spillane style novels?

    If these employers are ‘right’ – would it be a good idea to hold fast and win?

  23. Tell me Why

    You all missing the point in relation with the Sandy Lane issue.

    It is a known fact that a guest missed $17,000 Euros and he subsequently called the police.

    It is a known fact that an individual was subsequently questioned about the disappearance of that money.

    It is a known fact that the other employees walk off the job in solidarity with that individual.

    It is a known fact that these employees were given a specific time to return to work and refused.

    It is a known fact that the money was found in the same room as the guest.

    The first and last statement should be the subject and the decision should be made only with them. Forget your personal dislikes about Sir Roy and if the Union or Hotel acted professionally. Let’s deal with the major problem before it become uglier for this country see what is best in the interest of the workers, the country and even the hotel.

    Sandy Lane, based on these facts, it will be better for you to put up the white flag. Remember, the other workers will be looking at your treatment of they counterparts.

  24. Cat

    I’m glad to know that there is a Union looking out for the rights of the worker but who is looking out for the rights of the employers. As far as I’m concerned the frequency in which workers are walking off their jobs without discussions with their union reps have gotten way out of control and it’s been allowed to happen because the union bosses have not communicated to their members that this practice is illegal and leaves them wide open to be terminated by the employer. And yes, I believe that the employer has the right to terminate workers who walk off their jobs just because they’re a Union member.

    Furthermore, the Union should NEVER condone this type of behaviour by its members since it’s fostering a form of terrorism. If they’ve told their members that they shouldn’t, then they have not done so in a firm enough manner, i.e. letting them know that they will lose their jobs if they don’t follow the rules of the agreements. Instead, Sir Gallahad himself is planning an even bigger terrorist attack on the economy of Barbados as a whole. Does he think that holding the entire country for ransom is going to solve this problem. He’s the reason why so many Barbadians and tourists complain about the level of service they receive from the workers in Barbados. He encourages that “don’t give a dam” attitude in the workplace when he refuses to call his members to order and let them know that they cannot just walk off their jobs because they don’t agree with something that an employer has done. There are legal procedures to be followed before it gets to that point. They too have a responsibility to their employers. It’s not just a one way street.

    I hope that both the Royal Shop and Sandy Lane stick to their guns regardless of whether there’s a general strike called or not. And as for the government, the Minister of Labour need to ensure that the Unions and it’s members follow the proper protocol in these matters and not feel that they’re above the law in these labour disputes.

    It’s time that Sir Galahad stop with the Napoleon complex. The last man who tried that got terminated on January 15, 2008. But then again Sir Galahad probably thinks that he has more power.

  25. Pat

    Lol, Centipede:

    Mickey Spillane, is he not the author of Mike Hammer, the gunslinger for a detective. He leaves death in his path. I hardly think the two wild cat strikes merits the analogy.

    However, I hope everthing works out for my childhood friend Leroy. Ooops.. I mean Sir Roy.

  26. Technician

    I personally think this SL matter is more personal for The Grand Old Duke Of York.

    He and the former Iron Lady from Cable & Wireless could never ‘set horse’ and this is another saga in their ‘war’.

    We must all be wary of the BWU.Not only do they encourage wild cat strikes by not informing the workers of the consequences of their illegal action.
    There seem to be a different set of rules depending on the class of workers.
    Trotty is going to milk this cow ’till the nipples fall of …..come out smelling like a rose…..and nothing solved.
    I would know ….The BWU screwed me and my colleagues for years.

  27. Bajanboy

    Cat, a good point you make there. What Sir Roy is planning to do is nothing less than economic terrorism. Holding the country to ransom like that is completely unacceptable. The union should be held liable for the millions of dollars of daily losses that will occur. Parliament should pass legislation outlawing this type of intimidation by unions.

  28. Cat

    Bajanboy….I say Amen to that!!!!!

  29. banned

    “As far as I’m concerned the frequency of which workers are walking off their jobs without discussions with their union reps have gotten way out of control.”

    If only the union would develop a trust with those who support them and pay their bills. The employer has for some time bees escaping with nonsense too trivial for the union to address. Now their hand has been forced and they cannot back down. I am on the side of the worker not the employer who should have been censored years ago, or the union which has found a way to work itself out of relevance.

  30. Negrocrat

    What utter hogwash. The BWU and especially Trotman never cease to pull wool over the eyes of Bajans.
    He does not have a case and that is why he is moving swiftly to a general strike.
    The worker at Royal Shop disobeyed a legitmate request from her employer and she was dismissed. Her colleagues walked off their jobs in support of the dismissed worker. This was and is a wild cat strike, pure and simple.
    The BWU must inform the public unequivocably if it condones wild cat strikes.
    Further the BWU must tell the public if an employer with more than one business location can or cannot transfer one of his employees from one location to the next. That is the crux of the matter.
    If this behaviour is allowd to happen, then all hell will break loose in Bim and workers can ignore what instructions they get from their employers.
    As far as Sandy lane issue is concerned, I do not agree with Sandy lane bringing in strike breakers BUT again, the BWU has to state its position with respect to maintaining discipline at the workplace.
    A worker was taken to the Police Station on suspicion. The workers walked off their job in solidarity. The worker later returned to work and is still employed by Sandy Lane.
    Even Trotman agreed that the workers were wrong for walking off but he wants management to take them back.
    In my opinion, the workers were wrong and since they ignored the management’s pleas to return to work, their positions should be filled. I notice that Sandy Lane is doing just that.
    Trotman, we the public and those of your many workers who you cannot manipulate are asking you to be fair and honest for once.You have two bad hands and you are bluffing.
    I challenge Trotman say what his attitude would be to any of the employees of the BWU who he orders to go from Solidarity House to the Labour College in St. Philip to work and that employee refuses to do so.
    Members of the public, I can tell you that Trotman would fire that person immediately and without going to the Executive Council for its opinion.
    That Council is an unfortunate bunch of Trotman lackeys. Any one of them that challenges Trotman or dare to disagree with him will be removed from the Council the next year.
    Trotman, are you trying to embarass David Thompson and the DLP? The Ministers have only been in Office a few days and you are already complaining about Mr. Thompson not attending a meeting that was set with you and which was postponed. I know that you are sorry that the DLP has won the Government but you have to understand the the public of Bdos is fed up with you and Owen Arthur. You no longer have the power that you enjoyed during his reign.
    Your efforts to deliberately embarass the DLP will come to nought.
    Get real, man and admit that you are wrong on these two cases. You are bringing shame on a once respectable organization.
    I wouldn’t even say shame on yourself because you do not know what shame is.

  31. Cat

    Tell me Why…..
    you need to focus on why the workers were terminated because that is the bone of contention here. They were terminated because they participated in an illegal strike action. It has nothing to do with the guest and the missing money. That part of the equation concerns the employee that was taken in for questioning and later was free to go and is still employed by Sandy Lane.

    Rather than talking about whether the guest brought in his money illegally or not, you should focus on the fact that the illegal behaviour was on the part of the workers so you should not expect Sandy Lane to rush to hire them back. Sandy Lane did not make the mistake. It was the workers who made the mistake of walking off their jobs and I think that the businesses in this country are getting a bit tired of being held under the gun of the Unions and their economic terrorist tactics. They need to be made accountable for the illegal actions of its members.

  32. Hants

    Tell me Why says…
    “It is a known fact that a guest missed $17,000 Euros and he subsequently called the police.”

    You should have said A Guest ALLEGED that he missed $17,000 Euros.

    Rich people can also tell lies.

  33. samizdat


    Very well said.

    Time was when employers’ called all the shots in Bim, and few of us would want to see a return to those bad old days.

    But now the pendulum’s swung way too far the other way.

    At the root of the problem in my opinion is the personality of the man leading the BWU.

    Trotman’s vanity, complacency and arrogance are familiar to all who’ve had the misfortune of having to “negotiate” with him.

    Too bad this narcissistic little creep can’t be forced out so that Bobby M (a great guy) can take over.

    Morris genuinely cares about workers’ rights. He genuinely loves Barbados.

    Trotman, on the other hand, loves only himself…

  34. TMS

    and employers respect Mr Morris too

  35. GoodMorning,yes i agree that the workers at sandy lane should not walk off the job, bad error in judgement,but we are not perfect. how ever much damage have been done to the young man reputation,i see in friday paper S/L gave their side of the story, now that the 16000gs have been found i hope S/L would put a big apology to the gentleman in the papers as well.

  36. samizdat

    Was the identity of the young guy revealed anywhere in the news reports?

    I don’t remember seeing his name mentioned.

    If it was (but only if it was), then I agree it would be fair and make good diplomatic sense for SL to issue a public apology.

    If it wasn’t, then it’s a non-issue.

    Incidentally, I wonder if he intends to walk out in solidarity with his sacked co-workers…?

    TMS, Bobby Morris is widely liked and respected by people from all walks of life here in Bim.

  37. Citizen First

    see page 4 of the Saturday Sun (for the man’s name and some of the details of the issue). Now back to my “issue”.

    Just came in from a great night out, I don’t know anything about Grey Goose vodka or de Riofrio caviar, but the pumpkin soup and the roast pork served tonight were delicious! Anyway conversation turned to the impending strike among other things.

    “Sandy Lane is planning to bring in foreign workers to keep the hotel going during the strike” said one pleasant lady while another nodded in agreement.

    “Where did you get that from?” I replied

    “Oh the Barbados Free Press” she responded .

    “Wouldn’t that require the permission of the Government or is BFP just hypothesising and pointing out Sandy Lane’s difficult position”.

    “well you know Trottie voted against Sandiford back in ’94, the DLP have not forgiven him!”

    “hmm” I replied, nearly choking on a tasty piece of roast pork.

    The plot (as well as the heads of some people) thickens it seems.

  38. Rumplestilskin

    Well, whatever happens, let us hope that everyone in these cases decides to be ‘Bigger’ in mind and action.

    I maintain that this thing is reflective of wider things than just a wildcat strike and as such could potentially have equally wide results.

    Remember, legally right may not always include the best solution. Rules and laws by nature are stringent and must be so, but people and their emotions are not.

    I hold no bias and am just looking at this with a wider scope.


  39. Osse-more Brigand

    Only I solve labour disputes in Barbados, it only takes me a few hours after riding in on my favourite white horse( or is that white rum)???
    Anyway, you remember, I solved the one at the port didn’t I?????????/////

  40. Negrocrat

    It is amazing how afraid Barbadians are of Trotman and therefore allow him to do as he likes. But this will not last long. We have had too many examp[les of these tinpot dictators and their cowardly behaviour . The most recent was Owen Arthur.
    Trotman’s days are numbered as a leader in this country because people are getting to know him and to grow tired of his crazy tactics, and when I say crazy I really mean crazy! Only someone who has lost his senses can do the things that he does.
    In the middle of the last generAL elections, Trotman created a situation at the Telephone Company to give Arthur a piece of the action. This was done in an effort to help Arthur but it was too late.
    I want the Executive Council of the BWU to take a stand against this meglomaniac. Think for yourself, comrades. Trotman is guiding you down the wrong road.
    I feel sorry for the good members of staff of the BWU who have to stand by and be manipulated by Trotman and can give expressions to their true feelings about these matters and about Trotman . I know that they are worried about where the BWU is going and its future and by implication their own future.
    The world is changing and has changed considerably since the 60’s, 70’s and the 80’s, the halcyon days of the BWU and of trade unionism in Bdos. Unfortunately, the BWU has not changed its tactics. The officers led by Trotman’s examples still use the old trade union methods which now look very crude and out of step with the changes that have taken place in the world.
    I compare the BWU to a sailboat on the ocean. The winds have changed but the skipper believing that he is God refuses to recognize the change and adjust the sails to suit the winds and the tide. Eventually, the boat crashes on the rocks!
    Sad to say, I see the same thing happening to the BWU and the other Unions in Bdos. They are all led by people with no vision.
    “Where there is no vision, the people perish” – this is the motto of the BWU.
    O, for the visionary leadership of Frank Walcott in the perilous times.
    So really my plea is for the Executive Council of the BWU to wake up and some members stop sleeping (I really mean that) and pay attention to what is going on. Turn back Trotman and his mad decisions. The time is now. Act now before it is too late.

  41. Thistle

    BFP: I sent the following comments earlier, but they went into moderation – I don’t know why.

    “Samizdat is dead right about Trotman. Unfortunately the man is blinded by his hatred of employers (especially white ones). Bobby Morris is a mature, well-balanced individual, who is well-liked and well respected. Time for Trotman to go and Bobby Morris to take over. Otherwise, we can look for serious trouble down the road.”

  42. Jinx

    Dear oh Dear,
    I had some money stolen from my home some years ago. Seems my former carpenter did some snooping around after i made him lunch and headed on to work …. the police were given his name and home address…. to this day they have not even questioned the man……
    but then, i was not a guest at Sandy Lane…..

  43. Technician

    Lets see how today goes…..

  44. Technician

    Same s**t ….different day.
    Time to find another blog.
    Thanks BFP….you really are a petty bunch.Give you guys some stick and you put me in moderation all the time,for what ?
    Exposing your hypocrisy ?
    Finally getting an answer on the ML story?

  45. banned

    bingo Jinx. We’ve got so many imperfect institutions why should we be so quick too pass judgement on anyside when they could all be at fault? Mr Thompson now your predecessor was an expert at being the knight on the white horse that rode in to save the day. Now’s your chance!

  46. Bajanboy

    Yes, Thompson has been mysteriously silent in all these goings on. Maybe he does have a last minute plan to ride in and save the day on Tuesday evening.

  47. Negrocrat

    Why should Thompson save the day? For whom, Trotman.
    Trotman has jammed himself and the BWU into a corner and I know that he expects the PM to save him.
    Let him stew in his own juice.

  48. Anonymous


    King Arthur usually rode in to save the day because that was the way that he and Sir Galahad planned it….two peas in a pod….just like it happened a few days before the election with Cable & Wireless. Too bad that vote getter did not work in his favour. It will be interesting to see how Prime Minister Thompson deal with this current situation…if at all!!!! If nothing else, I hope that certain rules/laws will be put in place to prevent employees from taking part in illegal strike actions and the Unions to be made accountable for this type of industrial action when it occurs. Business will have no leg to stand on if they terminate workers who’ve followed the protocol laid out in their agreement with the Unions. This is what needs to happen once and for all and it’s a simple thing to do. Let’s get on with it!!!!

  49. mmmmm

    Maybe these Bajans just don’t want to work.

    They’d rather lime on the pavement.

    Well now all 30 slackers have ample time to lime to their heart’s desire!!!!

  50. Goodafternoon, samizdat,i made a mistake,it should be the Saturday sun,not Friday paper sorry. Thanks Citizen First for letting samizdat know.

  51. Cat


    The write-up in the Sunday paper by Sandy Lane stated that the money has not been recovered.

  52. John

    Tell me Why
    February 17, 2008 at 12:42 am
    You all missing the point in relation with the Sandy Lane issue.

    It is a known fact that a guest missed $17,000 Euros and he subsequently called the police.

    It is a known fact that an individual was subsequently questioned about the disappearance of that money.

    It is a known fact that the other employees walk off the job in solidarity with that individual.

    It is a known fact that these employees were given a specific time to return to work and refused.

    It is a known fact that the money was found in the same room as the guest.

    One problem with the last fact, Sandy Lane “alleges” that the money is still missing!! Also, it is useful to look at the alleged chronology, day by day.

    In today’s paper, Sandy Lane alleges ” On Saturday, February 2, 2008, a hotel guest reported a matter of missing money from their guest room to the RBPF. THE MONEY IS STILL MISSING and the Police’s investigation is still ongoing.”

    Look at the date!!

    It goes on “On the afternoon of Monday February 4, an employee, PRIOR TO REPORTING FOR WORK, was questioned by the police and subsequently released.”

    This is alleged to be two days after the money went missing.

    Sandy Lane further alleges that the employee reported for work on Tuesday, February 5, but was feeling unwell and went back home.

    Sandy Lane further alleges that the following day, Wednesday February 6, a meeting was scheduled with Union delegates for 10:00 am to clarify staff concerns relating to staff concerns and questioning of a colleague by Police. “NO DELEGATES ATTENDED AND THE MEETING DID NOT TAKE PLACE”.

    THE FOLLOWING DAY, Thursday, February 7, Sandy Lane further alleges, the employee provided a doctor’s certificate and is away on sick leave.


    The employee who was questioned still has a job but is on sick leave. He has separated himself from the issue of the dismissed workers. In time, he will recover and can return to work.

    The issue at hand is the members of staff who walked off the job!!

    The Union needs to publish its version of events.

  53. samizdat

    Ok Nutcracker, thanks for the heads-up…

  54. lizard

    has bluffed one time too many & hopefully the astute PM will let him marinate in this ‘bassa basa sauce’ of his own making.
    The Union must stop making up & changing the rules as it suits them. But that is Trotman for you!
    It is time that somebody stand up not for Employers’rights, or workers’rights, but for what IS right!
    Trotman deserves this egg on his face. I hope the PM does not follow that terrible precedent of his predecessor & stays out of this one. The Minister is competent to find a solution, if one is to be found. But for Trotman to tell a government, a new one at that that has done him nothing, that it is his “…way or no way!” is wrong.

  55. lizard

    And what if this Weds shut down does not force the companies. Is BWU going to shut down Bdos every week forever? A 66 year old institution should not be behaving like a 6 year old with a tantrum.

    Union leaders should be changeable; especially when they show up for work, drunk with & for power.

  56. lizard

    That man Negrocrat is a GENIUS!!

    But I know somebody wudda had to tell he tings! ‘Cause somebody tell me tings too & de 2 accounts add up.

    Ask Trotman how he does handle he staff.

    Ask Trotman how he wudda handle he staff in de same situation!

    Oh [important] ask he to tell de trute! 🙂

  57. Centipede

    “It is a known fact that the money was found in the same room as the guest.”

    Kindly point me to where this news came from. Thanks.

  58. Bajanboy

    I am pretty sure in the Sandly Lane press release during the week it stated that the money was recovered, but I stand to be corrected.

  59. Pat

    Seems to me that some of you care more about bashing the BWU General Secretary, who is one person, than the members who are out on the side walk.

    I think every thing Leroy does, he learnt at the knees of Walcott. Walcott was not nice to the staff and cussed them nasty in front of their colleagues, for the slightest infraction. I doubt Leroy would do this.

    Although some of the things said about Trotman are true, he was always like that from small. I also doubt he dislikes employers. There was a time when I thought he was in bed with them. That social partnership thing I would never, never buy. I, myself, before I became a professional was a member of, and very active in a trade union. I would not have gone that route. I dont think the members benefitted from that, and if they did, it would have been in the short-term.

    I am not on the island and although I have contacts within the senior ranks of the BWU, dislike asking them to discuss the BOSS or internal operations.

    Based on what has been discussed here, it looks like a very sad situation. We will just have to wait and see.

  60. Centipede

    “I am pretty sure in the Sandly Lane press release during the week it stated that the money was recovered, but I stand to be corrected.”

    Thank you for that.

    If that is the factual case, one would think SL would have mentioned it in their ‘statement’ in today’s Nation.

  61. Hants

    The sad thing about the situation is that the root cause of labour problems in Barbados stems from the fact that workers feel powerless in an Island where it is difficult to change jobs.

    Some employers in Barbados are excellent but some are disgusting.

    For the record,I have seen the famous docunentary on Real Estate in Barbados with the maids singing a welcome home song to the mistress.

    I was in a group of about 40 “oversesas” Bajans in Toronto and we were all disgusted by what we saw.

    I hope there is no General strike but if workers have been treated unfairly then someone has to defend them.

  62. NOT-A-CRAT

    I have just read all of the otherwise “unknown” and previously publicly “unstated” information on this site.

    WHY is it that this information is HIDDEN on this site and not published in the Nation or Advocate. What are you people afraid of – being found out??

    John Public in Barbados is believing that your crazy man Roy Trotman is right by his actions but John Public is just not seeing the repercussions of his decision to have this strike on Wednesday.

    I am on one of those cruisliners that is due in Barbados on Wednesday. If the port is on strike we cannot come!! That’s an awful lot of money for a small country (that depends on it) to lose.

    Barbados is a part of the Global Village that DEPENDS upon others for its survival – this includes putting food in the mouths of those who will strike on Wednesday and yet expect to be paid for their actions – by their employers who will be financially hurt by Roy Trotmans actions.

    His decision is going to be catastrophic for this country. Somebody needs to stop this madman – he is ruining my hard earned vacation!

    Need a hit man>>>??

  63. Hants

    Not-a-crat says….”WHY is it that this information is HIDDEN on this site and not published in the Nation or Advocate.”

    I guess you are new to BFP.

    The reason I frequent this site is that issues that should have been reported in the Mainstream media in Barbados were not reported or in some cases weeks after the issue was raised on BFP.

    The truth about this Sandy lane event will emerge on this blog.

  64. bajanbat

    Sir Roy (or Surly Roy as he is familiarly known) has reached a bridge too far on this one!
    The situation in Barbados now is that no employer can discipline, far less dismiss, a worker for ANY cause. The S/L workers were fired because their action, as confirmed by the Union, was totally UNJUSTIFIED and WITHOUT UNION CONSENT!
    The same is evidently true of the Royal Shop whose property has also been subjected to acts of vandalism and their staff to victimisation “by person or persons unknown”, yeah, right!
    For years there have been these “wildcat strikes” by workers, the Union bosses arrive on the scene in their expensive vehicles (once the press has been summoned and are on hand to film the “action”) and in the face of incredible harassment the employers capitulate and take back the workers AND PAY THEM FOR THE DAYS ON STRIKE. Utter Madness!!!
    Unless this practice is brought to a screeching halt the island’s labour situation cannot move forward. It will take independent and determined employers to stand firm on this matter and encourage the Union to recognise that they have totally lost sight of their proper role is society – which is the protection of the workers, not the exploitation of the employers!
    Using their hackneyed expressions such as “slavery”, “Workers rights” etc will not cut it in the modern world.
    The Hon Prime Minister has a tiger by the tail with this one. How he handles this crisis will be a guide to what employers may expect from his administration in the future in respect of the Union and employers.
    Barbados cannot afford the disaster that the union intends to wreak upon us on Wednesday. The choice of the day for their planned action cannot be surprising to anyone; it is a clear indication and expression of the totally callous and indifferent attitude the union displays through its lack of appreciation of what is or is not good for the island. What “bigs up” its leaders is far more important.
    Good luck and God speed to the employers in their struggle for equal rights in this and all similar matters that may arise in the future!

  65. Negrocrat

    Pat, are you trying to defend the indefensible? The workers who are now out on the sidewalk would have gone back in if Trotman had told them to do so. He condones the illegal and unjustified action. He has always done this and that is why he finds himself jammed in this corner now. He does not provide the leadership to the workers that he should. He loves to create confusion and has thrived on this in the past.
    If workers heed his call for a national strike on Wednesday, and the employers deduct a day’s pay what will he do or will Trotman advise them to go and get a doctor’s certificate to cover the day?
    I hope that the doctors in Bdos are more careful this time around in issuing sick certificates.
    He may even advise them that they could take an ‘uncertified sick day’ in accordance with the collective agreement that covers some of them but that would be dishonest as it was not the intention of the ‘uncertified sick leave’ clause to encourage malingering.and that advice would be encouraging malingering.
    The workers/members of the BWU should use their heads and not allow themselves to be used as sheep by Trotman for his own ends.
    Yes Walcott would cuss his staff when they did stupidness but Trotman is worse. He humiliates them and treats them with scant respect.
    He twiddles the Executive Council on his thumbs.As I said in a previous note, as soon as anyone of the members stand up to him, that member will find himself off the Council. Pat, you just do not understand how this thing works.
    But believe me, Trotman days are coming to an end as people’s eyes are opening.
    He no longer has Arthur to protect him.
    I repeat – Mr. Thompson,let Trotman stew in his own juice! Let us see what support he has. Let us see what ruse he will attempt when employers deduct a day’s pay for the strike day.

  66. Merc

    So Trotman admit the S/L workers were wrong. How then can he justify asking for, & further more DEMANDING that they be rehired?

    He is piggy-backing the S/L case on the Royal Shop one the way he piggy-backed a lot of weak positions on his popular friend Owen’s image in times past. Even in the Royal Shop case the Union must not be allowed to “authorize” strike action AFTER it has taken place.

    That is not what the system is supposed to be about. Not even Parliament does that. Is Trotman saying the Union more powerful than parliament?

    And in all this, this is 3 weeks now there is not one officer at the Union to deal with the problems of the other 12000 members who paying dues everyweek to put gas in that new 5-Series BMW of his, & the twice monthly trips to Europe.

  67. Tell me Why

    You should have said A Guest ALLEGED that he missed $17,000 Euros.

    Rich people can also tell lies
    I was going to make that observation but I try to refrain, anyway, we can look at this so-called or alleged missing money as red herring, suppose this individual is pretending that he loose the money when he never had that amount. Can you remember a guest cried fouled of loosing money when it came time for him to pay and it was a scam. He was subsequently charge.

    If this guest cannot show documentation of approval for him to be with that amount of money, the case should dismissed and the workers re-hired with a warning.

  68. TMS

    “If this guest cannot show documentation of approval for him to be with that amount of money, the case should dismissed and the workers re-hired with a warning.”


    The firing of the workers had nothing to do with the stolen money.

    It is irrelevant whether the money was stolen or not.

    They were fired for a wildcat strike, the second such incident in 4 months. The wildcat strike was in violation of union and company rules

  69. TMS

    The only worker accused of stealing money still has a job !

  70. TMS

    The workers were either badly advised in their actions or they declined to listen to good advice.

    Sad really.

  71. Negrocrat

    Trotman is no Frank Walcott!He is lilliputian and a dictator.
    I am very disturbed that Trotman could so mislead the BWU members and the public that he feels that he could do as he likes.
    Trotman has to respond to the clear statements from Royal Shop and Sandy lane on the incidents. These statements make Trotman and the BWU look very very bad and irresponsible.
    By the way, do we still have a Barbados Employers’ Confederation and if so why haven’t they commented on the situation?
    Are they so afraid of Trotman that they prefer to keep silent? Or are they in bed with him?
    Come on, guys, speak up.

  72. Negrocrat

    Guys, the issue is not about the stolen or alledgedly stolen money.
    The issue is about workers walking off their jobs and Trotman condoning this behaviour. This nonsense must stop and it is not about rich and poor, it is not about black and white.
    It is about honesty, it is about principle and it is about discipline.
    Trotman and the BWU should be training their members on how to behave correctly in a workplace.
    The workers have rights and so do the employers.
    If this approach to trade union behaviour is not checked now , we will be in for chaos.
    I hope that the P.M ignores Trotman who is looking for attention.
    There is a Minister of Labour who has competence and lots of experience in the field of Industrial Relations. But I suppose that it wont be long before Trotman cusses him and wipe the floor with him as he has done to all other Ministers of Labour.
    So P. M tell Trotman to go ahead and call the national strike. There will be confusion in his Union after this as workers will want to be paid for the days off.

  73. Bajanboy

    The next few days should be interesting. Good night to all.

  74. Tell me Why

    I have just read all of the otherwise “unknown” and previously publicly “unstated” information on this site.

    WHY is it that this information is HIDDEN on this site and not published in the Nation or Advocate. What are you people afraid of – being found out??
    NOT-A-CRAT, you said the above on February 18, 2008 at 12:40 am. I have a problem with your full knowledge of this issue and you are only a visitor expected in the island on Wednesday. You are only focussing on the Sandy Lane issue. I can see right thru your statement that you are a fraud and possibly linked to the PR with this issue. Wheel and come again.

  75. Tell me Why

    The firing of the workers had nothing to do with the stolen money.

    It is irrelevant whether the money was stolen or not.

    They were fired for a wildcat strike, the second such incident in 4 months. The wildcat strike was in violation of union and company rules
    You are missing the point. The wild-cat strike was based on assumption of money disappearing and the arrest of an individual.

  76. TMS

    “You are missing the point. The wild-cat strike was based on assumption of money disappearing and the arrest of an individual.”


    Yes we all know why they did the wild cat strike.

    It does not matter why they did it. It is a violation of the rules. You dont get to break rules just because the guy was innocent.

    Wild cat strikes are not conditionally valid. They are never valid.

  77. Tell me Why

    If something is wrong, it cannot be business as usual. Only a body of people can sensitise the public, thus the wild-cat strike.

  78. (6 for a 9)

    Trotman threatening to shut down an entire country.
    Is that, with all his experience, the solution. We as a nation could take a long time to recover from such drastic action, then after the general strike all parties involved still have to negotiate. Mr. Morris do not sit idly by and allow our country to take a tail spin because someone does not want to swallow their pride and say “i was wrong”.

  79. TMS

    Again, you need to understand the company and union together agreed that wild cat strikes would not be acceptable.

    It does not matter how justified you feel the wild cat strike may have been.

    SL was not obliged to fire them (and many of us would not necessarily have chosen that action) but they did have the right. Moreover, they had already agreed to forgive one earlier strike.

    It may not have been business as usual as you say but they are protocols to be followed, the very protocols the union and the company agreed to.

    As I said, it is sad because the union should have urgently reminded the workers the strike was illegal and told them return to work and the matter could then be dealt with in the agreed manner.

    I believe the workers are victims of poor advice.

  80. TMS

    “Only a body of people can sensitise the public…………..”


    Why does the public need to be sensitised ?? at that stage ? The matter then is between the staff, their representative (the union) and the mangement of SL

  81. Tell me Why

    Think about it TMS. Suppose your employer blamed you for the thief of money. You know that you didn’t steal that money but was blamed. I bet you would appreciate others rallying towards your caused. Would you say that it will be restless in them.

  82. TMS

    “I bet you would appreciate others rallying towards your caused(sic) ”

    I am sure I would appreciate it.

    How does my appreciation make them immune to being fired like if they did something stupid like walk off the job without authorisation from the union and refuse to come back to work when the management warned them to come back.

    Sorry I cant help them.

  83. TMS

    If you go on an unauthorised wild cat strike you do so at your own risk.

    Pity no one could convince them of that.

  84. Pat


    From what you say, I gather that you are an insider or have ties to someone near the top. I dont dispute what you are saying. I am just surprised that it is known and nothing has been done.

    Leroy has a complex personality. I, myself, find it difficult to deal with him and have told him off. In fact, we are barely on speaking terms, but that is a personal matter. Some of his siblings think he is the son, moon and stars. One of his sisters-in-law and I, know differently. I know some of his senior staff refer to him in conversations as “His Lordship”. I think what you have said explains it all. I did not realize things had deteriorated to that level with the board (council) and staffers.

    There is no excuse for humiliating ones staff, who makes one looks good. If he is the one who told the workers not to go back to work, then it is his bailiwick. Workers on strike are not entitled to salaries. Leroy will have to give them strike pay. The employer is under no obligation to accept medical certificates during a strike. If they have vacation, they may opt to take a days leave. This will have to be certified before the event, not after. Employers will okay vacation only if it does not hinder the effective running of the business. So, in this case, the workers will be out of pocket. This is what I remember from my trade union training years ago.

    With regard to the BMW, the members are not only paying for the gas, but for the car as well. It is bought by the union for the GS. Gas, insurance, repairs and maintenance are paid by the union. The members should be glad he did not also hire a chauffeur.

    His trips to Europe, should be covered by a gratuity unless the work is directly related to the BWU. Personally, he should have taken the high level job which he was offered at the ILO, but he preferred to be a big fish in a small pond, than vice-versa. (His words, not mine.) His goal is not to get rich, but to leave his footprints in the sands of time. His words again. So, I guess he is well on his way. He is approaching 65, maybe he will decide to retire. With his parliamentary, senate and union pensions, he will be well set. Besides, he can get consultancies with the ILO, the International Federation of Free Trade Unions or any such body that the worked with.

    The only thing Thompson can do, is legislate the workers not to strike/back to work and impose a penalty on the union if it is not obeyed. He cannot order the Union to do anything. However, it is doubtful if he will do anything. He just re-appointed Leroy to the Senate as an independent senator. He was also instrumental in granting these new owners of SL lots of concessions for the renovations when he was last in government (as minister of finance I think). He is between a rock and a hard place.

    On the other hand, you would hardly expect a union to have any impact if they called out their workers on a Sunday. They tend to use whatever tool is at hand and plan their work stoppages to have maximum effect. Overall, it seems rather drastic for a few members who, it would appear, are in the wrong.

    I will watch developents from afar. One thing I could never understand is the way he switches allegiance. He was head of the students union at Cave Hill and fought against the Barrow government of the day, next thing you know he is a member of the DLP, and in bed with the enemy. (If you cant beat them, then join them, he said.) He was in the DLP, then decided to vote against his own party, step down from being an MP, next thing you know, Owen has him in the Senate and they are busom buddies and gets an exhibition for his daughter in her second year of university.

    My contacts told me Walcott was grooming Bobby Morris to follow him after he quit the union. However, when he got sick, Leroy moved fast to curry favour by visiting regularly, bearing gifts, and moving a motion to have the Council vote to pay Walcott full salary as pension. As there were no provisions to pay pension in the union at that time, and Walcott with wife and mistress had little or no savings. I suppose now the precedent has been set, he will get the same. Good if you can get it.

  85. samizdat

    Tell me Why says:

    “Suppose your employer blamed you for the thief of money. You know that you didn’t steal that money but was blamed. I bet you would appreciate others rallying towards your caused. Would you say that it will be restless in them.”

    Congratulations skipper: you win first prize for easily the most naive (not to mention illiterate) comment on this thread so far.

    I suggest you go back and read all of Negrocrat’s postings and try to get an understanding of the far greater issues at stake.

    You sound like a child…

  86. TMS

    samidat, that was rough. I was trying to be patient with him.

  87. samizdat

    Yeah TMS, I know you were being patient, and I respect you for it, but I suddenly got impatient with this fellow’s simple-minded approach (not just in the comment I slammed him for) to this extremely serious matter.

    Having said that, maybe I was too harsh, so if you read this Tell me Why: I apologise.

    But I still recommend you read Negrocrat’s comments carefully…

  88. Tell me Why

    By the writing of Negrocrat and even Samizdat we can come to the conclusions that these are all employers who probably dislike Trade Unionism. Not only are you overlooking the the rights of people who realised that a co-worker might have been victimised due to allegations by an alleged guest, but you are going down with a personal vendetta against Sir Roy. I can remember many instances with both unions whose workers walk off the job in the same circumstances and the person in the limelight were subsequently re-hired. Yes, I might say a wild cat strike might not be the appropriate thing to do, but whatever action you might pursue can be risky. The main thing is to have your grievances aired so that your action would not be interpreted as reckless

  89. samizdat

    Hants says:

    “Some employers [in Barbados] are excellent but some are disgusting.”

    A truism anywhere in the world, no?

    “For the record,I have seen the famous docunentary on Real Estate in Barbados with the maids singing a welcome home song to the mistress.”

    What documentary is this?


    BFP says… see “Do your Barbados servants sing to welcome you home?

  90. samizdat

    Tell me Why says:

    “By the writing of Negrocrat and even Samizdat we can come to the conclusions that these are all employers who probably dislike Trade Unionism”

    Wrong on both counts, at least in my case. I’m both an employee and a member of a very good union.

    I admit that I can’t stand Trotman – personally or professionally. As I said earlier, Bobby Morris is far and away the better man for the job.

  91. Negrocrat

    Dear All,
    Please do not lose sight of the key issue in this matter – the unauthorized strike action and the refusal of workers to go back to work when requested to do so by management and the support which they got from the BWU for this illegal action.
    I am no employer nor am I a hater of the Union.I do not like unfairness and I am extremely disappointed at the present leadership of a once great organization.
    I can see it crashing on the rocks and no one is trying to change its course. All of them just following Trotman blindly.
    Trotman just wants noticeing and if Thompson minds him he will be foolish. Let him stew!

  92. Rumplestilskin

    Hants notes ”The sad thing about the situation is that the root cause of labour problems in Barbados stems from the fact that workers feel powerless in an Island where it is difficult to change jobs”

    In assessing the context of the labour market in Barbados, this is an excellent point Hants!

    And you are getting the ‘whole picture’ here rather than focusing on specific aspects.

    I maintain that ALL of the parties need to sit back and think again before acting further. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.

    One battle does not make ‘victory’.

  93. Inkwell

    I will not attribute motivation to Mr Trotman, but having perused the facts of the Sandy Lane case, I have to conclude that he is holding a losing hand. He has admitted that the employees are wrong and the employer right, but is showing the world that he can be wrong and strong. He has chosen the wrong man to mess with.

    He Leroy Trotman is prepared to defend the indefensible and send the message to workers that they can do whatever they like with impunity, that employers have no rights in the face of the might of the Union.

    That he is prepared to do substantial damage to the image of trade unionism and to the economy of Barbados with this flagrant assault on common sense tells us all we need to know about the man.

    Is no one in the BWU prepared to stand up against this madness? Will none of the other labour unions come out and condemn it publicly?

    Here is what will happen, folks.

    I, Prime Minister Inkwell, will pass a law on Tuesday that will make it illegal to hold the country to ransom by acts of economic terrorism.

    Mr Trotman, being above the law, will continue with the strike action.

    I, Commisioner of Police Inkwell, will arrest the said miscreant at noon on Wednesday and throw him into a comfortable cell at HMP Dodds and charge him under the above mentioned law.

    Problem solved.

  94. marvinbareback

    having read the posts, it appears that almost all writers on this blog are against the union…..hmmmnn, looks like the “average joe” that reads this is an educated sort that know how to assess the situation, analyze it and come up with a balanced viewpoint. Unfortunately, it is likely the vast majority of readers of BFP are not representative of the majority of the population. Too many workers in Barbados believe they have a right to have a job and don’t appreciate the fact that someone has chosen to “give” them a job. Where is their loyalty to an employer? Why aren’t they more concerned about the health of the business they are working for?

    Someone wrote that these employers could easily just shut their doors and forget about contributing to the economy. Sandy Lane could be torn down and sold for condo developers. Then all their efforts at training staff to “world class” levels will go missing. Don’t think for a second that couldn’t happen because these fellows surely don’t need the money or aggravation.

    Workers in this country should be so thankful that wealthy entrepreneurs such as those who own SL and the Royal Shop set up here and give a lift to the country as a whole. Everyone talks about all the condos going up on the west coast and only rich people can afford to buy them, therefore squeezing out the locals. Don’t forget who is receiving the money in the first place. The same locals all up and down the coast lines are making huge (untaxed) profits on real estate because of the massive upgrading of property. Room maids and gardening staff all make decent wages here compared to most other Caribbean destinations.

    In fact, the main reason why Sandals never chose to develop their property at Paradise Beach was because of the “relatively” high level of wages in Barbados vs. Jamaica and St. Lucia. Paying the kind of wages here would have distorted the entire payroll levels of their organization and sowed seeds of discontent in their other locations. All of these unionized workers can save up real dollars and go on holidays in London, New York and Toronto…….try and do that if you get paid in Jamaica dollars.

    Face it Barbados, things are good here and if you work hard, you’ll get ahead and enjoy a decent living. If you grouse and grumble and listen to the time worn dogma spouted by the unions, you’ll stay stuck in your “job-description” rut and never find any satisfaction in doing a good job. It will be just a continuation of the adversarial relationship between companies and unions.

    Unions only thrive on conflict, they don’t function well (and risk becoming irrelevant) when everyone is content, so they must be figuring it’s high time to create a little conflict. I certainly hope the owners of both SL and the RS stick to their guns and don’t rehire the recalcitrant and vengeful staff they have fired. It’s a pity that more Bajans don’t come up and browbeat the picketers off of Broad Street. Shame on them for resorting to vandalism and foolishness. The picketers or the union should be sued for damages to the RS and the union should be decertified if it goes ahead with a national strike in support of illegal wildcat strikes. Sir LeRoy should be ashamed to do anything other than admit that those individuals subjected themselves to due process when the walked off the job and failed to return. His message to all his members should be that the union will be there to back up the workers in legal ways only.

  95. Centipede

    “WE ARE READY to cool it, but ask the employers to cool it too. Ask them to take the people back!! ”

    Well, well, well.

  96. Bajanboy

    Sir Roy: “We are willing to compromise if you give us everything we are asking for.”


    Sandy Lane and Royal Shop, stand your ground.

  97. Independent Thinker


    Re: the documentary mentioned by Hants.

    It was televised on BBC’s international channel, BBC Prime, last month. It is a “must see” for every bajan.

    I can attest that there are maids singing beautiful barbados to their employer. The documentary features real estate sold by Sothebys International’s office in Barbados. For me the most depressing thing was to glean a deeper understanding about why real estate prices have soared out of the reach of the average bajan. You would be shocked (or then again, maybe not) to see the prices at which our beachfront property changes hands.

    I am trying to get the exact name of the documentary for you.

  98. Peltdown Man

    The new government has promised labour legislation as one of its first priorities. I believe that this legislation will make it harder to dismiss employees for any reason, thereby making our economy even more inefficient. We are about to ratify the new EPA with Europe, which has left our future based on an enhanced ability to compete. In these circumstances, any lack of flexibility afforded to employers will backfire. This is not to say that employees should not enjoy certain fundamental rights, for matters like dismissal without cause or compensation, but I fear the pendulum is swinging towards leaving the country in an uncompetitive situation. The BWU’s stand is baseless. It should not be for the employers to get the union out of the mess that they have made for themselves.

  99. Donald Duck, Esq


    Thompson did not appoint trotman an independent senator it was the Governor General

  100. Technician

    Negrocrat says……… ‘So P. M tell Trotman to go ahead and call the national strike. There will be confusion in his Union after this as workers will want to be paid for the days off.’
    You must be one of the few here with common sense.
    You are obviously well versed in the Union laws.I wish more people were.
    If there is a national strike, is the same Union going to pay all these employees for days lost?
    C&W employees are yet to receive a cent from their last action but you can bet it will be deducted from their salaries this month.
    Is the Union willing to pay their members?
    No employer will let a worker go on strike without docking their pay.
    This is something most members do not even know.

  101. Cat

    I cannot believe that Trotman is actually pulling the race card in this issue. Since the businesses in question are owned by Indian and White people and the business persons who’ve asked for cooler heads to prevail also happen to be non-Black persons, I guess that qualifies this issue to be a racial one. Let’s just forget about the illegal action that was taken by the workers, afterall it’s all about race right??? What an ignorant and desperate move on the part of this man. He better stop and think about the level at which he’s taking this matter because it can escalate into an economic nightmare for Barbados that you cannot begin to imagine.

  102. no name


    Picketing is one thing but resorting to violence, intimidation and the destruction of property is unacceptable. Will the union continue to condone this behaviour?

    By now arrests should have been made and the union should be reprimanding the persons who carried out these acts. Is this happening?

    This is where the union should be putting down its foot and letting the workers know that this behaviour is unacceptable. Instead we hear of a possible island-wide strike. Madness!

    There have to be consequences to the actions of these workers and the union, the countru and the employers are definitely feeling the consequences and the workers must feel them too. I am all for speaking out when there are problems but there are sensible, reasonable ways of dealing with problems and, in this instance, the union and workers have been irresponsible.

    Enough irreparable damage has already been done. The country’s reputation is on the line.

    What message is the union sending to the workers, “craftsmen of our fate”?

  103. John

    Tell me Why
    February 18, 2008 at 3:56 am
    Think about it TMS. Suppose your employer blamed you for the thief of money. You know that you didn’t steal that money but was blamed. I bet you would appreciate others rallying towards your caused. Would you say that it will be restless in them.
    Nobody has been blamed for stealing the money as far as I can see.

    The RBPF has interviewed atleast one employee.

    I have seen nowhere in the press the usual statement from Police that someone is “assisting” them with their enquiries.

    Sandy Lane has not named the employee.

    The only allegation which seems to have a bearing on the issue of the money is that an unnamed guest at Sandy Lane has filed a complaint with the RBPF and the RBPF is investigating the report.

    This even was a revelation but perfectly logical. It is the unnamed guest, not Sandy Lane that has lost the money. The complaint thus has to be from the guest, not the hotel.

    The RBPF doesn’t blame anybody willy nilly, it arrests and charges based on evidence.

    No arrest has been made so there can’t be any evidence to support an arrest.

    The only way the public knows of the identity of the employee interviewed by the Police is from the employee who chose to give this information to the Nation.

    The whole affair seems unreal. Something is missing.

  104. no name

    John read what Sir Roy is saying in today’s Nation. Seems it began before 1834.

  105. Anonymous X

    Employees are entitled to be paid by the BWU after two consecutive days of strike action. This is why they will in the first instance the Union will engage inn a series of one day strikes.

    Sir Roy seems determined to have the strike. With will be his way of showind the new P.M that is is the most powerful man on the island.

    The solution to this situation will be to enact the employments rights bill and similar lablur legislation. This will lead to the creation of greater flexibility for employers while simultaneously increasing the rights of employees.

    We need to strike a balance in the current employer/employee relationship. If employees fail to follow the agreed procedure or custom and practice they should follow the consequences. Sir Roy has to tell the employees that they are wrong in this instance.

    By the way section 6.12 of the current social partnership says: The Social Partners will dissociate themselves from those parties who do not scrupulously observe the disciplinary and grievance procedures as outlined in collective agreements or company rules and procedures.

  106. Kathy

    I have heard of agreements whereby workers from participating Caribbean nations would be able to work freely in other participating Caribbean nations. Any Barbadians who feel that they can break whatever rules they like and still keep their jobs may be making way for less prosperous foreign workers who are more anxious to get (and keep) a job. Employers might be more willing to hire a legal foreign employee who will observe union and shop rules, and will not dispute valid discipline for infringement.

    I am all for the employee (I am one myself), but it is give and take – “one hand washes the other”. For instance, if a big employer is pressured into shutting down, everybody loses, including Barbados as a whole. The employees may lose a lot more than the employer, who may be able to sell out and start up elsewhere.

  107. marvin bareback

    For Samizdat: The program that is being referred to is called the “Super Homes of Barbados” and was created for a BBC series. It was done in early 2004 and traces the day to day workings of the (then) Sotheby’s realtor in Barbados. Storyline is really about how the realtor sells the rich and famous some fabulous properties and then also manages the properties for the owners by renting it out and keeping all the repairs up to date, etc. The show does a fairly good job of contrasting the fact that the wealthy live right beside the (relatively) poor. The mansions are put up right beside the chattel houses, and no matter how much is offered to some locals, they aren’t interested in selling.

    But the point that some Bajans are missing is that a lot of the property will always remain in the hands of local families and other Bajans couldn’t get it cheap anyway. Beachfront land is worth a lot and if the owner prefers to keep a simple chattel house on it with his “waste water going down to the beach” as one is quoted on the show, then that is his right. But don’t for a second think that he doesn’t know what his property is worth! He gets offers on it daily. So there have been many who have decided to sell and got a fantastic price and hopefully they upgraded their living quarters into something nicer and more modern and helped out their kids too.

    On the matter of the maids singing Beautiful Barbados to the owner of the house, one gets the impression that this is done “for” her enjoyment and to her surprise. It comes across as a nice environment in which they are all working and that they “treasure” their jobs and are happy to sing to the owner…..not that they are forced to do it against their wills. The fact is that later in the programme, it is shown how much the staff is relied on when they are asked about the goings on with a few guests who have decided to bring some “high-class call girls” to the house during a particular rental. The house manager, cooks and laundress are all asked about what’s going on and they are all OK with it but would advise the property manager if anything is going on that would suffer them an indignity.

    All in all it is a pretty good show and I think the main point is that it is illustrative of how unique Barbados is in that it attracts huge investment from wealthy billionaires and that they can live very peaceably side by side. As one buyer (manager of a famous rock band) puts it, that it is the essence of Barbados, you can have your 15-20 million dollar house on the beach and right next door is a chattel house…..but they both have the same thing…the beaches, fresh air, beautiful plants and palm trees.It is up to the owner to decide what is more important, the riches that are obvious to all, or the richness of ;enjoying the environment of this beautiful little rock.

  108. Yardbroom

    With only a few exceptions, commenters here have clearly marked out their positions on the industrial dispute at Sandy Lane and the Royal Shop.

    One or two have taken the union representative -Sir Roy Trotman – to task for his utterances in the media, some in doing so have failed to understand the function of a union representative. His duty is to his members, who pay their fees in the expectation that in an industrial dispute the union will represent their interest. There is a wider issue of public good and social responsibility etc but that is not what the union members pay their fees for.

    Like an Attorney representing an “alleged” murderer in a court of law who has pleaded not guilty. The attorney’s duty is to represent his client, despite calls that “everyone can see he is guilty”.

    The second issue is the apportion of blame, it is very difficult in these issues to get at the truth as the parties who know the facts are reluctant to express anything which shows them in a bad light.

    One of the most important issues in industrial disputes, is not always the events themselves, but the time sequence in which they ocurred.

    Outsiders often try to separate incidents but they are often linked by a causation effect, in as much as if A did not happen B would not have happened, it is often difficult to separate B as if A never ocurred.

    I have studiously refrained from taking sides and at this juncture if I were Prime Minister Mr. David Thompson – which obviously I am not – I would “not” get involved.

    Protagonists are often more willing to negotiate when they are bruised and weary after the first encounters of battle and not when they are fresh and think they can win. In addition it would set a bad precedent for future encounters, and possibly ensure that the call to go into the trenches by employers and employees is not easily taken.

    Finally, most industrial disputes have at their “core” an underlying feeling of dissatisfaction which is often separate to the issue which has caused the strike. It is often trying to find that “thorn” of contention, often a particular employee or manager/owner which ensures the long term stability of the organization.

  109. Pat

    Donald Duck, Esq.

    In the system that operates in Barbados, the senators are appointed by the GG on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. Until there is an elected senate, that will be the process. Dont for one minute try to tell me that the Queen recommends who should sit in the Bajan senate. The GG is her figure head and NOT involved in the politricks.


    Most powerful man on the island? Well, if you think so. I will wait and see who blinks first. When he calls out his members, you are looking at the first line workers, the lower paid. How many days can they go without pay, if the Union is only authorized to pay after two consectuive days of strike? That means they will be forfeiting pay for Wednesday. Maybe only a few will walk.

    I have a sister who refused to strike and crossed the picket lines. She was blacklisted for 5 years, with no representation but still had to pay her dues which were substantial. I was an employee but belonged to a union of professionals who were not allowed to strike. We were covered by binding arbitration. It would appear, according to the social partnership clause quoted above, Thompy will keep out of it.

  110. Bussa Goddard

    Kudos to Alvin Jemmott and the BHTA for staking out their position re Sandy Lane. Shame on BEC and the Chamber for apparently not being courageous enough to do the same re Royal Shop. I am not concerned about Sandy Lane’s ability to hold firm or to compromise on this issue. My sympathy is with the owners of Royal Shop. Even if they wanted to cave in (and I pray that they don’t), it would be intolerable in a small owner managed environment for the Thanis to have to work with staff who had not long before demonstrated such hostility to their employers.

    We, the public, need to do some demonstrating of our own – demonstration of our support for Royal Shop and disdain for the dangerous antics (including race-baiting) of that megalomaniac, Trotman.

  111. Anonymous X

    During the last major hotel strike in the 1990s, hotels hired local staff on a temporary basis just for the strike. Sandy lane will most likely do the same. Striking employees cannot bar anyone from entering or leaving the hotel or royal shop. The police should ensure that that picket without interfaring. In fact they should ensure there is police presence during the picketing.

    I think Alvin and his group should also be congratulated for their clear position. I am wondering why BEC has not made a statement as yet? It is possible that both companies are using private IR Consultants and if this is the case BEC would not be involved in the discussions unless the said companied invite them to attend meetings. The other reason is perhaps because they are now part of the new private sector organisation of which Mr.Stoute is the President. Whatever the reason BEC has been very silent.
    Sir Roy much prefers to deal with persons at the level of the Prime Minister and I do not see him settling something as big as this with the CLO. If the PM ignores him he will definately go on with the strike.

    For the last 13 years when the BLP was in powere employers in both the public and private sector has been bailing Sir Roy out even when he was dead wrong. One just has to remember the CBC Strike and other strikes in the Public Sector especially when employees strike first and then call the union. Of course in all cases the BWU is quick to say that they sanction the strikes and hence they were not wild cat strikes.

    The PM’s strategy might be deliberate…..let thew CLO deal with it. I have spoken to both employees and employers and the many employees are not supportive of the strike. It will therefore be interesting to see how much support he receives. Notice that Sir Roy has not respnded to the charges made by the respective companies but has shifted the focus to other concerns in relation to how the said companies have treated with the BWU in the past.

  112. Donald Duck, Esq


    Noted below is the relevant section of the constituion that deals with how the independent senators are appointed

    36 (4) Seven Senators shall be appointed by the Governor- General, acting in his discretion, by instrument under the Public Seal, to represent religious, economic or social interests or such other interests as the Governor-General considers ought to be represented:
    Provided that before appointing any person under this subsection the Governor-General shall consult such persons as, in his discretion, he considers can speak for those interests and ought to be consulted.

  113. Technician

    Pat……it was AnonomousX who actually said..”Sir Roy seems determined to have the strike. With will be his way of showind the new P.M that is is the most powerful man on the island”……..Not me.
    I have been on the losing end of Mr.Trotman and the BWU’s logic too many times to consider him such.

  114. Evergreen

    Mr. Jemmott has no alternative but to support the Sandy Lane Hotel. Do you think that as President of the BHTA he could do otherwise, afterall Sandy Lane is a member hotel. From the time Sandy Lane was opened there was quite a bit of negative feedback from the employees there with respect to attitudes of management and the way staff are treated. These incidences of mal-treatment hardly ever reaches the press and if it does, I am sure would not be carried because of the mighty tourist dollar. I have worked in the tourist industry myself and was forced to join the BWU after certain unsavoury happenings by management began playing out at the hotel. I attended my first ever BWU meeting like all the other staffers to hear what was happening and it was pointed out to the GM by the union representative that something was wrong that I had to make my presence felt. All I did was to question the reason/s why certain things were happening that I will not reveal on this blog. You know what there was no clear answer.

    Because of my role, I processed the papers for the NIS, did the redundancy letters and saw close to 200 employees sent home. I had the gut feeling that my turn was coming so the day that I was called to the GM’s office I knew it was time to go. I had already prepared myself. But you know what, not a word of what went on that hotel was carried in the press. The hotel is now being renovated into condos. My job was made redundant and six months after the position that I held was advertised under a new name. I believe that my job was made redundant because I sat in the BWU meeting amongst other things. Could you all imagine that persons who gave exceptional service so that there was a high number of repeat guests for years at that hotel, were escorted off the premises of that hotel like common criminals by the HR and security. My take on the Sandy Lane/Royal Shop issues is let the Union do their job and let the chips fall where they may. The union might be privy to certain other information, of which, we are not privy.

  115. Negrocrat

    For the first time i am beginning to see intelligent comment on a serious national issue and this augurs well for your blog. Maybe soon the mainstream media will have to download comments and stories from your blog.
    Trotman in typical keeps moving the goal posts. As soon as he feels that he is being pinned down he slips over to another corner.
    I was very sad this morning to read now that he has introduced race into the stew. This is the action of a drowning man!
    He knows that there is no other subject that can get Bajans riled up than race. This is his last desperate act.
    I am not holding a brief for Indians or the Whites for God knows that some of them are very bad and difficult employers. And in some instances deserve the attacks that they get but Trotman this is not the case in these two instances.
    Why don’t you take out a full page Ad and answer the two very lucid and reasonable positions that were placed in the Daily Press by Royal Shop and Sandy Lane? This should not cost you or your organization much. You owe it to the public. Maybe, you do not need the public now because you know that there is a more diserning public in Bdos now who also have the scales removed from their eyes.
    Trotman is hoping the P.M Thompson will come in and save the economy by saving him from an embarrassing position. He is playing brinksmanship but he will lose this one as even the workers have seen through him.

  116. Negrocrat

    If Trotman has information to which we the public are not privy, then he owes it to us to reveal it. After all the union’s success thrives on its public image.In this round Trotman’s public image and that of the BWU that he leads is in the gutter and in tatters.

  117. Anonymous X

    Just as I thought, Sir Roy will not settle anything with the CLO as long as there is an opportunity to meet with the PM. He does not deal with anyone beneath the PM especially if he thinks he should be noticed.

    He probably wants to tell the P.M that he ignored him during the threaten strike action. A meeting is scheduled with the social partners tomorrow afternoon so I guest by the end of the day we will know whether Sir Roy will go through with the strike.

    I wonder what the other members of the social partnership, besides the BHTA will say to the BWU.

  118. John


    Your logic is sound but for one flaw.

    The Union has chosen the path of a General Strike which will affect each and every one of us.

    Like it or not, it has involved every person in Barbados.

    What is worse, there are incomplete facts/allegations available in the press to convince anyone on the correctness of the path chosen.

    If the Union has other information it should share it and not expect the General Public to accept the General Strike lying down because it has decided to call it.

    Schools will shut down, buses will shut down, the Sea Port will shut down.

    Will electricity shut down too, and telephone, and what about the airport … and what about water?

    These affect us all so don’t be surprised when some get agitated for the Union to better convince them of the rightness of its action!!

    Most people recognise the importance of Unions and will support them if their cause is clear.

    In this case, escalation to a General Strike is too extreme and too fast for people not to want to have their say.

    What happens if Sandy Lane and Royal Shop stick to their guns?

  119. Rock

    I must say, this is one of the most interetsing discussions I have have ever read. Obviously, we have to look at this situation and realize that strong emotions being exhibited by all parties.

    However, the guiding light here should be that it is the principle of the matter that is most important. The employees broke the rules and regardless of what some may feel, the decision to rehire is at the employers discretion.

    Regarding Alvin Jemmott, I have known him for years and do not see him speaking out in favour of SL unless he had enough facts to make a fair informed decision.

    I think most of us hope that RS and SL stand their ground on these matters. I also hope that anyone reading this entry who is a member of the union and planning to strike just because Trots say so, exmaine themselves, examine the situation and have a prick of conscience. For Bim’s sake do what is right and not what the herd leader has demanded.

    Maybe now Barbadians will learn to accept that one is not entitled to a job just because and think they can do as they like without paying the piper.

    If my employer asks me to do something which is within the scope of my job description I will certainly do it.It is not for fear that I do it but because I take pride in my job and try always to perfrom to the best of my ability….something that I fear is close to becoming extinct because of Unionitis.

  120. The level of hipocrasy in Barbadis is sickening…there was silence when BWU(i.e.Trotman) spouted race and threatened to have unionised port workers not handle any Pepsi imports, Pepsi then shut down and transferred bottling to Trinidad and all the workers were out of work…there was silence when Trotman spouted race and threatened to have unionised port workers not handle any Crane Hotel imports because Crane had hired Guyanese workers purpotedly over Bajans…yet the same Trotman wanted to unionise Guyanese workers after recently stating that the construction at the former Paradise Hotel should hire Bajans and Guyanese….there was condemnation of Brown Sugar restaurant for advertising for non-unioised workers after Trotman threatened fire and brimstome and he further declared that all workers in Barbados have a right to join a union of their choice…not one single member of the so-called social partnership asked Trotman if EMPLOYEES of the trade unions were free to join a union of their choice and would the BWU hire workers who had the NUPW as their bargaining agent….Trotman suggested legislation to imprison employers who would stop workers from joining a union of their choice but no member of the so-called social partnership asked Trotman if he and the leaders of the trade unions were prepared to go to jail for not having union employees join a trade union of their choice..the man is simply a bold faced liar…he first made the case that Royal Shop fired the workers because they had joined the Union..but when Royal Shop stated that it had recognised the Union since November 2007, Trotman lost his voice and we then heard Bobby Morris singing the tune that the workers should be given a chance…now Trotman is back talking race….THE HIPOCRASY IS DEAFENING……

  121. samizdat

    independent thinker, marvin bareback

    re: the BBC documentary

    thanks, sounds v. interesting…

  122. Rumplestilskin


    Valuable comment and point taken. Some seem to know all the answers, but do not seem to appreciate that there is a ‘background story’ in many cases.


  123. Remember recently when a port security worker was fired and Trotman threatened to shut down the Barbados port and all ports in the region if the man was not re-instated?….we had the same ensuing panic about damage to the country…the man is still fired…..and trotman had not a word to say…..the Cable & Wireless workers were recently called out on strike by Trotman and blatantly used to make Owen Arthur look good (which did not help him anyway), they went back to work and still did not get what Trotman wanted…it will soon become clear to the Royal Shop workers that they are being used by Trotman badly…it is only about Trotman’s ego and union dues…..

  124. Pingback: Sir Roy Trotman, Grand Ole Duke of York Up To His Old Tricks~National Strike Looms In Barbados «

  125. Pat

    Donald Duck, Esq.

    I stand corrected. Tell me, where can I find a copy of the Constitution on-line?


    I apologize. Sorry about mixing you up with AX.

    Will someone tell me what DEC stands for. I think CLO = Chief Labour Officer.

    Dont you on the island have several cases where employees were called out on strike and had to go back in for the same wage and no improved benefits? Are the members sheep? How come they still vote back in Leroy all the time?

    Why are employers allowed to hire ‘scab’ labour during work disruptions in Barbados. Is this legal?

  126. Donald Duck, Esq


    The site for the laws of barbados is through the Caricom legal drafting facility. I wish they would put more of the caricom laws on line

    Click to access Constitution%20of%20Barbados.pdf

  127. I should own a business and have this situation on my hands, one world- scabs. I would have “temporary” staff come in to fill those vacated posts whilst the people strike for the mere fact that in Barbados, the land of over-schooling it is not that we have a situation where they’re 100 jobs and only 1 person qualified to fill it, au contraire, we have 100 people all vying for the SAME job. It is not to say there was ‘unfairing’ going on, whether the hotel or the guest called the police is almost irrelevant because the man was never arrested as he himself stated in last Saturday’s nation.

  128. Thewhiterabbit

    Oh My God! A general strike! We will soon look like France, what a horrible thought!

  129. Bajanboy

    I’m curious to see the turnout tomorrow. Does anyone know whether other unions going to join the strike tomorrow?

    Sir Roy is nothing more than an economic terrorist. His actions will cost the country millions.

  130. Merc

    I dont agree that the Union’s action will adversely affect the country. I think that it is in Bdos best interest actually.

    When Bdos sees the havoc that one little egotistical man can do singlehandedly, the country will BEG for fair restraints of all parties-Labour,Employers,Government.

    And remember, this is the 2nd time that Trotman has done this to Barbados. Unlike the 1st time, this issue is not as big. It is unjustifiable!

    I marched with him last time but not again! Not using me again. Fool me once, shame on U, Fool me twice, Shame on ME!

  131. John


    There are three different versions of the Constitution on line, one at the official GOB GIS site and two others, one at caricomlaw and the other at

  132. Donald Duck, Esq

    As royal shop has offered to pay severance to all the workers, the bwu should accept that. The employers would never be able to discipline these workers if they have them back

  133. Pat

    Mr. DD, Esq.

    Thanks, downloaded and saved to read at my leisure.


    Where I live, we cannot hire “temp workers” (scab labour) during a strike or any other labour disruptions called by a union, like work to rule (no overtime, contracting out, etc.). Management and union exempt staff usually fill in as best they can.

    I gather from the posts on this board that quite a few of the commentators are/or were involved with this union. In that respect, I take my hat off to you. Nuff respect.

  134. Debbie

    Who the kucf Trotman think he is? He feels he can do anything and get away with it. Sandy Lane has done nothing wrong. It means that workers can do as they like and employers have to accept it all the time, there are lots of people who would love to have those jobs that they walk out on.

  135. Sam Gamgee

    Seems the strike is off/postponed/whatever. Apparently “the gov is new{” so Trotman is condescending to continue negotiations. What fun!

  136. Pat

    Well, well, I guess the public has spoken and Leroy has come to his senses. I am waiting to hear the excuse he gives for calling off the strike. I will bet $ to doughnuts that he willnot say it is because the strike “was not popular with Bajans”, from all walks of life.

  137. Donald Duck, Esq

    The damage has already been done. Is Trotman going to compensate the country for the damage!!!

    Could we have a few provisions in the draft employment rights bill that is in circulation making provision for the union to compensate employers for the actions of the union????

  138. eureka

    I personally am not in favour of any island-wide strike in support of any worker’s perceived precarious position; but I cannot ignore the rights of the worker.

    I fail to understand why a hotel, the size and ratings of Sandy Lane apparently does not have a policy dealing with money and valuable possessions etc. Such items ought to have been declared and stashed appropriately.

    This matter of a worker being questioned by police for the alleged theft of missing money when the worker knows damn well he/she is innocent and to have their home and personal possessions ransacked by police and who knows, a beating as well, is totally unacceptable.

    I don’t know if this is true but I heard the worker was beaten by the police during the interrogation and that is the reason he was on sick leave.

  139. Annoymous X

    Trotman will accept an enhanced severance payment package or compensation for those not entitled to severance and will say that he was convinced by the Prime Minister to forego the strike in the national interest. He will then go on the say that he has been assured by the P.M that the legislation which prevents employers from firing employees because they join the union will be enacted ASAP

  140. Anonnoyed

    I agree with you, I was told today that anybody entering any of the rooms at Sandy Lane would be electronically recorded as they have a card entry system, it was the guest that called the police not the Hotel. Also the suspect, uncharged and released by the police was ‘ill’ during a meeting with hotel management and was told to seek medical advice and subsequently was on two weeks sick leave, whether the ‘illness’ was as result of the police or not, who knows, I really hope not.
    He wasn’t sacked, so why the strike? because a guest called the police, when he thought he’d been robbed, and staff who entered the guests room when they shouldn’t have were questioned? Please! this is all so unnecessary, and Trotman expect other members of the union, who have nothing whatever to do with either Sandy Lane or The Royal Shop (my husband included) to lose a days pay because of his misguided ego. Well the large construction company my other half works for had already decided not to strike! so think on that Trotman, they might belong to the Union but they’re not all behind you!

  141. Andrew

    CBC just reported:

    PM Thompson intervenes and Strike off – for time being

  142. Donald Duck, Esq

    Just listening to trotman on the cbc news makes me cringe. Did he not realise the implications of his actions. He should do the honourable thing and resign!!

  143. Annoymous X

    Seems to me the Prime Minister Thompson has given Sir Roy a way out. He appears to have agreed to a cooling period of days/weeks. This situation will kill the momentum and will not have the same effect as if the strike was allowed to materialise.

    Sir Roy really has a big ego. He admitted on the call in program that apologies had been tendered by the employees and himself in relation to Sandy Lane. This is an obvious admission that they were wrong.

  144. White boy

    A trade Union needs to be respected by employers, Government leaders and the general public at large. With the kind of leadership coming out of the BWU they will lose any such respect and it will hinder any legitimate future negotiations.

    What compensation package is being offered the employers for the wrongful actions taken by the employees before they are rehired?

    If the employer makes a mistake he must compensate, does this not apply to the employees too?

  145. Diaspora-ite

    I have been a dues-paying union member for all but 3 years of my 42 year working life, and have served on various committees, as well as on the executive of a labour union, so I am not anti-union. I have always seen trade unions as a “necessary evil,” simply because employers can not be relied upon to always “do the right thing.” That said, however, the recent illegal wildcat strikes by employees at Royal Shop and Sandy Lane provide ample evidence of the fallacy of “solidarity at all costs.”

    Let’s not mince words: the job actions at SL & RS were illegal strikes. By prancing and strutting around with illegal strikers on Broad Street, instead of telling them to get their collective a$$es back to work, the executive of the BWU have left themselves wide open to severe financial consequences. In North America, if a group of unionized employees engage in wildcat job actions such as a sick-out, like some employees of LIAT did recently, thereby holding the travelling public to ransom, it is considered an illegal strike, in contravention of the Labour Code, and the employer can sue the union for punitive damages, in addition to lost income. This is what happened a few years back at American Airlines when the pilots staged an illegal sick-out and their union, the Allied Pilots’ Association, was fined $US38M in damages. Were I the management of Sandy Lane or Royal Shop, I would be initiating a lawsuit against the BWU, Sir Roy Trotman and Bobby Morris for significant punitive damages and loss of income resulting from these illegal strikes, providing that this is not contrary to the laws of Barbados. It is unconscionable that these union leaders should be able to flaunt the laws of Barbados with such impunity. They should be held personally liable, and made to realize that there are consequences to every action.

    Right now, the management of Royal Shop or Sandy Lane are obviously working with the BWU to find a solution to the impasse, but under no circumstances should either of these companies consider re-hiring any of the fired workers, unless there is clearly-evident mitigating circumstances, which does not appear to be the case. It appears that these were simply bloody-minded, “down tools and walk” illegal strikes. As a matter of principle, these workers ought not to be re-hired. On the other hand, however, if it has been proven that the accused Sandy Lane worker was innocent of the crime of which he had been suspected – this is obviously the case with the discovery of the money – then I would like to see that worker bring a defamation lawsuit against the guest who made the accusation. Furthermore, unless this guest had clearly and completely declared the funds on his customs declaration on arrival, I would be inviting the Department of Customs and Excise to have a serious chat with the miscreant concerning international money laundering.

    We are all free to choose our actions. We are not, however, free to choose the consequences of our actions. This is a lesson that some unionized workers in Barbados, and their union executive, have obviously yet to learn. They had better learn it soon.

  146. Technician

    I have a friend who was supposed to leave here tomorrow on AA. I was told that the flights were canceled be cause of the impending strike.
    Can anyone shed some light on this ?

  147. Lizard

    Negrocrat! Negrocrat! Negrocrat!

    Again I must admit to your sheer Genius. I noticed that there was that quest of Trotman’s that motivates his every move. I did not know of the Presidency of the Senate by Sir Frank. That has to be the only thing left. And he will NEVER get that.Not now.

    Watch & see now that Trotman will give the impression that the PM begged him. Watch & see how he will act like if he felt sorry for what would happen to Bdos. He will never admit that he was caught bluffing, He bit off way too much & was choking. Thompson merely, through Minister Walters allowed him to save face.

    Only thing tho, is that he will now go angrily back to Solidarity House & take out his pent up frustration on his staff.

    People who do not know may think that this is a personal attack on Leroy but it is not. The fact is, his domineering personality is what we see at work all the time; not the best that BWU has to offer.

    I happen to know their is a well kept secret there too radical for Trottie to control. But his days are numbered, relief will break through soon.

    Barbados rejected the kind of leadership that Trotman represents, on January 15.

    Watch it Trots!

  148. Annoymous X

    What do you mean “But his days are numbered, relief will break through soon.”???
    Are you speaking about an internal revolt? If this is what you are suggesting who at the BWU would have the balls to challenge Sir Roy?

    I know he has not been able to dominate the Executive Council in some cases …e.g. when he tried to fire poor Bobby Morris the Council told him if Bobby goes he will also have to go. The result was that they hugged for the press and then proceeded not the speak to each other unless it is absolutely neccessary.

  149. John

    Give the Union a chance to get all its facts and find its way through this.

    They have a tough job in situations like these because when they get called in it is usually after the fact.

    There isn’t much the BWU can do but react and search for a solution, without looking weak, irrespective of what the employee or employer has done.

    There is time now for all concerned to work this out for everybody’s benefit without being confrontational.

    It will be tough for the employees without jobs but they too have a very important part to play in getting to the truth.

    Eventually the whole story will emerge as these two incidents are investigated more thoroughly and the way forward will appear.

    Keep our expectations high of a fair and just solution and the parties will deliver it.

    Sir Roy really needs to step back from the limelight and let the identity of the BWU emerge in his stead.

    Everybody knows the BWU has strength and power.

    There is no need to fear it will suddenly disappear if it doesn’t immediately pick up its cudgel and come out swinging.

    Doing the right thing takes alot of thought and wisdom and more often than not is a source of great power.

  150. Pat

    Negrocrat, Negrocrat! What took you so long to figure that out? I knew that he planned to walk in Walcott’s footsteps, but I did not know that Walcott headed the Senate. However, I think Leroy’s international commitments are too many to take up that post as well. Now, Negrocrat, if he wants everything that Walcott had, who is the ‘mistress’ in the Office? I have a suspect, but is it for real?
    One thing you all have to know is that Leroy holds on to grudges for ever. He forgets not even the smallest slight.

  151. Snoopy

    If Barbadians are suppose to be 90% literate .. why de hell are they letting that “Troting Horse” get away with madness ..or we just scared of our own skin !!! What is happening now with talks with Minister should of happen first before any talk about a national strike…A bold foolish move…

  152. Lizard


    I mean just like many Bdians just quietly knew that relief was on the way in the period between the annoiuncement of Elections & Jan 15. that I can somehow sense the sensible members of teh Union will demand some change in how their Collective (& indeed themselves) is portrayed.

    I doubt that anyone in there would try to rise up against Trotman, to take over. Those kind of people who worth their salt,dont stick around the Union too long. I knew of people who over the years could not suppress themselves anymore & had to go.
    He creates an environment that positive,progressive people cant stand.- Pat can tell you that! 😀

  153. Merc

    Now Pat & Negrocrat are something else.But on to something.

    P & N, let’s see if u thinking what I thinking & hearing.

    In terms of SIMILARITIES, does this yung thing have similar hairstyle & lips to the Lady to whom u refer?

  154. Independent Thinker


    As promised, here is the info re the BBC documentary.

    It is called SUPERHOMES

    Series following the day-to-day business of the world’s leading real estate company, Sotheby’s International Realty, whose clients range from businessmen and celebrities to aristocrats and millionaires. In Barbados, estate agent to the rich Sam Mahon has a lucrative deal renting out houses he’s sold when the owners are away.

    Purchasing information:
    For more information on video / DVD availability, please speak to BBC Sales: / or call them on +44 (0)870 600 7080. For many of the series being shown there are books and videos released by the programme-makers. You may like to check with a reputable High Street or online retailer for local availability.

  155. Donald Duck, Esq

    Leroy trotman should resign for the way he handled this situation

  156. Diaspora-ite

    John said, “There isn’t much the BWU can do but react…”

    Therein lies much of the problem, John. Unions in general, and the BWU in particular, do far too much “reacting,” and far too little “responding.” While the 2 words may seem identical, there is an ocean of difference between them. Reactions are invariably negative – think of what we often call “knee-jerk reactions” – whereas “responses” are invariably well thought-out and considered; like the proverbial counting to ten. Maybe all the parties to this dispute should react less and respond more.

    If Sir Roy is indeed as portrayed by Lizard above, it would appear that this whole sordid episode is more about power and less about principle. If Sir Roy is merely exercising “control freakery,” then the only ones who will ultimately suffer are the workers, and that would be a tragedy, although it would not be the first time in history that workers have been led down the garden path and then abandoned, by capricious and self-serving leaders. Let us hope that the Royal Shop and Sandy Lane employees have not been sacrificed on the altar of Sir Roy’s ego.

    Where is a Sir Grantley Adams when we need him?

  157. debbie

    Hey trotman has to show the people he is trying to represent them, after all he uses the workers money to travel first class and gaining frequent flying miles.. he know that he dont have a case when it comes to sandy lane…. he admits the employees at SL were wrong.

  158. Tell me Why

    Let’s not mince words: the job actions at SL & RS were illegal strikes. By prancing and strutting around with illegal strikers on Broad Street, instead of telling them to get their collective a$$es back to work, the executive of the BWU have left themselves wide open to severe financial consequences.
    I disagree with you on this matter . The RS gave the strikers no more than 15 minutes to get back on the jobs, and with that the firing of the staff. Now tell me, how on earth can the BWU tell the workers to go back inside and work.

    I would be inviting the Department of Customs and Excise to have a serious chat with the miscreant concerning international money laundering.
    I agree with you on this matter. Have you realised that the SL strikers removed themselves from the inside and remained in one area without the use of placards or marching. So why the unwavering position of SL refusal to re-hire these people. Another area is the worker at the centre of the strike still being employed. Something fishy, hope our PM and Kelly find out with this fishin’ agreement.

  159. A true believer

    Sir Roy Trotman is a great and true friend of working class Bajans. We should be forever grateful for the work of Sir Roy . The management of Sandy Lane and Royal Shop are exploiters who care nothing for simple, hard working, black people.

    The PM better come down on the side of labour.

  160. John

    Tell me Why
    February 20, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Something fishy, hope our PM and Kelly find out with this fishin’ agreement.

    There is just isn’t enough concrete in the open for anyone to take sides but what is casts the employees and Union in a bad light.

    What is clear to me is that Sir Roy is doing himself and the Union a disservice by both being present at closed door negotiations and then broadcasting to the public when he gets outside.

    He needs to shut up and let the Union issue prepared press statements that are minus the emotions of a man as intimately involved as himself in the negotiations.

    Let the facts speak for themselves and remove emotion from the scene!!

    The Union is not creating a record of facts to which the public has access.

    The employers are!

    There is an allegation that the Royal Shop employee was organising for the BWU?

    Is this a fact or not?

    There is an allegation that the fired workers had joined the Union as a result of the organising of the fired employee.

    Is this a fact or not?

    The answers to these two simple questions throw a whole different light on the Royal Shop issue.

    Perhaps I missed the answers in all the rhetoric but Sir Roy doesn’t need to tell us, a press release can!!

    I prefer to read it from an official source.

    With regard to the missing money, Sandy Lane has said it is still missing in a press release.

    Nothing but rumour that it was returned, or might not have existed.

    A factual press release would help the Union in the eyes of the public.

    … and then there is the aborted General Strike ….. this is plain poor communication.

  161. White boy

    “A true believer”…are you are a blind sheep in the middle of the herd, or you are just down-right stupid. Did you even try to get anyone to read any of the above to you before you made your last post?

    The BWU is totally out of order and there is no race issue involved. Why try to go that route? No other avenues? Please feel free to use the race card when all other options have failed.

  162. Merc

    Something just hit me though.
    Are any of you employers out there going to hire any of those 12 from Royal Shop? Or the S/L former workers?

    Will anyone want them in their business place?

    Hasn’t this going down put a stain on those innocent people?

    What about them & their future?

  163. John


    You got it!!

    That is why the truth needs to come out plain and simple, not to save any of the powers that be embarrassment but to vindicate or indict the employees, ……. or employers.

    The dismissed employees have much at stake, as do the dismissing employers.

    My bet is there are faults on both sides.

    Having travelled to the brink of a General Strike, the General Public needs to know what those faults are as do all other employers and employees who may be contemplating bringing these faults to their workplaces.

    Please BWU, BEC, Mr. PM, etc. …. the truth and nothing but the truth.

    We need to know clearly what is acceptable, banish what is not and move on.

  164. samizdat

    Thanks for the info, Independent Thinker

    Anyone else agree that this has been one of the best threads on BFP for a long time?

    Some extremely astute, well-written and informative contributions about an important issue expressed with plenty of passion but hardly any rancour.

    It’s been really thought-provoking. Thank you all…

  165. White boy

    Question? What happen to dis topic. De people get pay out or Trottie get a reward for solving the issue? What happen? We want to know!!

  166. BajanCanadian

    I don’t know anything about the situation, but I would like to say a few words. I live in Toronto, and they recently had a City workers strike that lasted 5 weeks. The strike included garbage collectors, paramedics, day care workers, and many other essential services (interestingly enough, though parking enforcement officers are members of this union, they continued to work). The city was all but paralyzed. Everyone up here knows that city workers are better paid and have better benefits than anyone in the private sector, and therefore really have no business striking, this was just a power grab, extortion. Therefore I know that unions tend to flex their muscles for no particular reason.

    In this situation however, the Sandy Lane Hotel is hardly an essential service, infact it is pretty much as far on the opposite side of the scale as you can get. I don’t know what the average salary is at Sandy Lane, but I’m sure those workers are not rolling in dough. Several families of mine have maids and gardeners and such, and I have mixed feelings about that because while I know this is an employment opportunity for them, I know they deserve better.

    I don’t know much about Sandy Lane, but I know that exclusivity is the name of the game there, and I get the impression that it tries to distance itself from the wider Bajan Community, rather than integrating, a similar philosophy to establishments like Port St. Charles. A question I would like someone to answer for me, does Sandy Lane contribute anything meaningful to the community? To the furtherment of Bajan society? Maybe there would be less animosity towards the establishment if it played a part in the wider community.

    White boy, I don’t know where you come from, but race is very much still an issue here in Barbados. Coming down from Toronto where pretty much everybody gets along, I see in Barbados that black kids and white kids almost NEVER hang out together! When I hang out with my white cousins, I never see black people, when I hang out with my black cousins, I never see white people. It’s actually really sad. White boy, how could race NOT be an issue? You have poor black workers, serving rich white tourists that are blowing as much in an hour as some of them will be making that month! And I’m sure some of those tourists can be real pricks too! So don’t be daft! I love the white side of my extended family and they love me without question, and they treat my black father as if he was family (although it might not have been the same had he not be a priest – someone of status in Bajan society) I know that if any of their daughters were to bring home a black man there would probably be some displeasure, and while most of my black extended family is pretty open minded, there are a couple who can barely muster a thin-lipped polite smile when interacting with whites. I didn’t mean to digress into a race relations discussion but that was just for White Boy.

    I would just like to say, that I personally disagree with the whole concept of Sandy Lane. Total Excess at whatever cost, not only in a country where so many are poor, but also at a time where many struggle around the world!

  167. Mugaffy Allamby

    Sandy Lane is one of THE top hotels in the world. It is not a condo or some such concept.

    Neither is it discriminatory, anyone with the bucks can stay there.

    Would anyone and everyone be able to walk into the finest resorts in the US and Canada and walk about. I don’t think so.

    So what if someone wants to spend US 20,000 or US 30,000 (and upwards) at a hotel for two weeks holiday? That is their privilege.

    What Barbados needs is more chains, with casinos, bringing more money and more tourists WITH money.

    After all,


  168. bumbaclat

    Just leaving a note about the reality in Barbados.
    As i’ve been here for 5 years.
    I have to say that in this country, bajan are often worried about taking, and taking and taking….and when it comes to give ( work ), they come up with all the possible excuses. I personally know that in Europe a place like Sandy Lane it’s a dream place , for many many many qualified workers from the Tourism Industry,(and i want to make clear QUALIFIED ) so ….dear Barbadian, for once shut up and work. There are no miracle, if there is no tourism coming for the moment, try to find a solution rather than just COMPLAINING!!! ( As you are all very good at it!!!)

  169. John smith-jones

    Dear Sirs,

    A lot of negative comments appears on this page relating to Sandy Lane and the guest.
    Mr.Robert Logan, an excellent Generel Manager, in conjunction Mr.Eric Mapp, Residents Manager, recently proved that they have an excellent team of Barbadian employees. During Hurricanr Thomas, the staff were advised not to travel due to the severity of the Hurricane. Indeed Government warnings were correct as a number of trees and power lines were felled.
    Mr. Logan and his team were supported by the hotel workers who risked their lives and traveled to work. All of the guests appreciated the risk the Bajan workers took in traveling to work and despite long hours working in very difficult circumstances, managed to provide and outstanding service to their guests.
    May I pay tribute to the managment and staff and on behalf of all the guests, well done !!
    May we also pay our respects to the people f Barbados on the passing of their Prime Minister, which is an unmeasurable loss as he was a great leader and an example of a great man.