Every few months we hear the Minister of this or Minister of that talking about productivity and how lately Bajans have been losing ground compared with many other countries. This stuff matters because when outside investors look for new locations to establish businesses and even to invest in the tourism industry, one of the first things they look at is the quality of the workforce and the recent history of labour relations.
What do outsiders notice about our history of labour relations?
The government always pays workers who go on illegal strike, that’s what.
Consequently government workers tend to walk out whenever they please and often over the smallest incidents. Who can blame them? They have been taught well that they will get paid no matter what. Just ask the teachers at Alexandra School who walked out for almost four weeks and were paid for it. They used school supplies to make their strike signs and no one said boo about that either.
The Alexandra School teachers who didn’t strike must feel like right fools. Next time they’ll walk though. Why shouldn’t they?
Look at labour disputes whether under DLP or BLP governments and you’ll find a curious fact about Barbados: government employees can do what they want with no worries – because the government always pays their wages even while they are on illegal strike. This is done because governments don’t want to set the workers off, and because the governments fear the unions and especially so when we are only months from the next election – as we are now.
Will 100 striking National Assistance Board workers be docked pay? Not a bloody chance…
Over 100 National Assistance Board (NAB) workers stayed off the job this morning protesting what they term “the over-looking” of one of the longstanding employees for the senior position of team leader.
The workers have pledged to continue protest action until the matter is resolved for Maynard to get the job.
Read the full story at The Nation: NAB workers off the job
Cartoon by Shona
Customer: “Now that’s what I call a dead
parrot airline. It has ceased to be, it has expired and gone to meet its maker. This is an ex-parrot ex-airline…”
Pet shop clerk: “No it’s not. It’s just resting.”
It is now 68 days since REDjet ceased operations.
Ninety percent plus of the staff has moved on. The majority of the signage at Grantley Adams is gone and what remains looks like nothing more than an oversight. Barbados and Trinidad pulled the licenses. They still spool-up the jets once every two weeks, but no serious maintenance is happening. Soon the jets will sit in the Bajan sun deteriorating in the salt air and suffering from that most deadly threat to an aircraft’s health: not flying. REDjet hasn’t updated their website or put out a press release since March. Our accidental Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, was talking nonsense at the beginning of May saying the Barbados government had not abandoned REDjet: but then we learned the the government hadn’t even requested the airline’s financial statements to that date. Stuart was only shining people on with his comments.
On the weekend a CADRES poll revealed that Barbadians do not want public money funding REDjet. The DLP needed a poll to tell them that? Nobody else did.
We are within six months or less of an election and the ruling DLP is not going to touch the REDjet landmine in this economic climate. Besides, after the results of CADRES’ leadership poll Prime Minister Stuart has a lot more on his mind than trying to bail out Bizzy Williams and his friends over their hobby airline.
REDjet is dead, dead, dead – and those who disagree are more and more sounding like the pet shop clerk in Monty Python’s famous Dead Parrot sketch. How Dad used to roar over that one! He’d probably get just as much of a laugh over Prime Minister Stuart trying to explain to the voters why his government would put our good tax money into REDjet just to nail it back onto the perch.
REDjet is expired. It is an ex-airline. It has ceased to be.
Can we please move on to the coming election and how the DLP lied about Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation – and how Owen Arthur and the Bees are no better?