The talks are on for today, Friday, between Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (above in a past life) and the BWU Barbados Workers Union – but that’s not stopping a few memos from circulating in the business community. Somebody sent them to BFP…
Here they are:
BRIEFING NOTE: SUPPORTED PROCEDURE IN THE EVENT OF A NATIONAL STRIKE
Given the current state of Industrial unrest, the following recommendations are being made to all employers.
- Communicate to your employees the following, in times such as these, having open, frank communication is critical to ensure that matters do not escalate unnecessarily. Be sure that you impress on staff the damage which such action can have on the sustainability of not only the company, but the economy of Barbados. Ensure that your staff understands that:
- You are not part of any dispute with the BWU
- You fully intend to be compliant with the legislation and will not penalize them for being part of industrial action once they are a member of a recognized division,
- Your organization is under no obligation to compensate them for time away from work, unless that time is legitimately covered under another policy within the organization.
- Develop a contingency plan for the organization to minimize the impact of your employee’s joining the proposed industrial action, ensure that the plan looks not only at staffing and ensuring the business is able to be adequately covered, but also bearing in mind the potential impact on critical areas, e.g. Transport Board, Barbados Port Inc. as it relates to inadequate coverage.
- Seek to discipline any employee, who as a member of a Registered Trade Union, participates in any Industrial Action called and sanctioned by that Union. Sections 8, 8A, and 40A of the Trade Unions Act Cap 361 clearly outlines that any employer who seeks to take action against employees for taking part in a strike is guilty of an offence and may be prosecuted and if found guilty, may be fined up to $1,000.00, imprisoned for up to 6 months or both.
- Agree to pay employees for periods away from work due to participation in industrial action
The BEC and the Barbados Private Sector Association continue to do all within their capacity to keep you informed and provide guidance during this uncertain period.
The Small Business Association wishes to advise members to adequately prepare to mitigate any impediments to normal business operations as the threat of a national general strike by the member- ship of the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) looms.
The Small Business Association (SBA), recognising the adverse effect that such action could have for its members in the critical areas of telecommunications, transportation, security and customer service, has identified within our membership and among our industry partners support services which members can avail themselves to ensure uninterrupted business operations.
Help Desk Service
In addition the SBA’s hotline and email service will be open to receive your queries and provide members with any additional information required. You may contact our hotline at 430-6930 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The SBA encourages you to, where needed, to avail yourself of the above services being offered in the event that strike action is taken.