Government pays workers for illegal labour actions, so why wouldn’t they strike?

Contributed anonymously

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



Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Economy

6 responses to “Government pays workers for illegal labour actions, so why wouldn’t they strike?

  1. 189

    Soon they will VOTE , and the country already mad , so why make them more mad .Maybe the teachers read the fine print and the PM did not. All those waiting for house will get them soon also anther way to buy the VOTE.
    In SVG the PM did it with eye care to CUBA and HOUSES, held back for years until it was time to VOTE. . the teacher support was needed..B

  2. 32535834/24346-C66

    Barbados needs to have a bloody good Temper Tantrum
    to appreciate what we have -and what we don’t have.

    We need to close down the country for real (if we can: lol)
    or have a mini-Revo,looting,etc. where 5 or 6 people get shot by BDF
    so we can get this foolishness out of our system
    come to grips with the reality of our tenuous global situation
    and get on with the business of running this tiny country properly!

    Trinidad’s “Black Power” Revo in 1970(?) did that nation no end of good, because they got the crapola out of their system
    and they could then proceed with nation-building!
    Barbados needs to do the same,
    instead of all this storm-in-a-teacup bullshit
    every freakin week of life!!

  3. Sunshine Sunny Shine

    Barbados is such a place of double standards that sometimes you have to wonder if this practice is not written in law. I remember sometime ago there was a strike by workers in the Ministry of Agriculture and everyone of them were not paid for the days they went on strike. The reason for the strike action was supersession and poor management by some manager (I think). If what I allude too is correct can someone tell me what makes that group any different to the teachers who in spite of the effect the strike action had on the children of that school was still paid ? The only thing I can come up with is that the BLP presided over that where rumour has it that Owen was pissed and threatened the former NUPW puppet boss ( Goddard) with withholding funding if he did not end the strike immediately. Whilst the DLP, through Fruendel, who stated that if you do not stand for something you will fall for anything, intervene in this one.

    I therefore will ask: What type of strike action is necessary for one set of workers to be paid whilst on strike and another group not paid for striking.

  4. Bajan 101

    I would fire the whole bunch of them. The Public Service Act does not focus on years of service as the only factor when considering promotion. We have some bright, energetic folks who are younger and more productive.

    The NUPW is wrong here. go back to work or go home!

  5. Virago

    This kind of anti-worker commentary shocks me. The workers at NAB should not have to strike for occupational justice. Their cause was valid. The kind of views given in this forum is reflecting the same kind of anti-worker/ anti-working class bias coming from the Republican party in the USA. I commend the teachers at Alexandra for standing up to an incompetent, megalomaniac for a principal. A pity more teachers and workers in Barbados don’t have the nerve to stand up and say enough of this bad management.


    Who is more
    Government pays workers for illegal none labour.. Government is more Illegal and they paid each other each month , So its in good keeping.
    when the voters make work to remove them , then their pay will stop also.