Caswell Franklyn

Unity Workers Union Request to Governor General Elliot Belgrave to Arbitrate IGNORED

An interesting revelation by General Secretary Caswell Franklyn of Unity Workers Union is: Trade Disputes (Arbitration and Enquiry) Act Section 3. (1) permits trade unions to refer disputes to the Governor General of Barbados for binding arbitration. Unity Workers Union made a request to intercede for a member on April 2, 2013 and to date the Governor General has not responded.

BU regards the matter as very serious and those in high office should be guided to remedy the situation.

See communication sent to the Governor General by Unity Workers Union:

Unity_Trade_Union_Matter_Caswell_Franklyn

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25 Comments on “Unity Workers Union Request to Governor General Elliot Belgrave to Arbitrate IGNORED”

  1. Caswell Franklyn July 8, 2015 at 9:48 PM #

    David

    When Sir Clifford was Governor-Governor I referred a similar, against the National Conservation Commission, to him. He responded in two days.

    Like

  2. David July 8, 2015 at 9:51 PM #

    @Caswell

    Are we able to hazard a guess why Sir Elliott has been tardy to respond? The Act gives him some latitude to select qualified persons to intervene.

    Thanks Are-we-there-yet!

    Like

  3. Caswell Franklyn July 8, 2015 at 9:58 PM #

    David

    I am sorry, If I hazard a guess his lawyers would write me.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

  4. Prodigal Son July 8, 2015 at 10:37 PM #

    Caswell,

    Did you not notice how busy the man has been………….. visiting primary schools in DLP constituencies! LOL!

    Like

  5. Caswell Franklyn July 8, 2015 at 10:48 PM #

    Prodigal

    Please forgive my arrogance. I did not realize that my matter did not take priority over such pressing matters of state.

    >

    Like

  6. BAFBFP July 9, 2015 at 4:49 AM #

    Was looking forward to a Caribbean Head of State to replace the Queen but with that how will he be able to arbitrate Trade Union disputes …?

    Like

  7. David July 9, 2015 at 4:52 AM #

    To BU family members living in the UK please print this blog and forward to our Queen.

    You can write to Her Majesty at the following address:
    Her Majesty The Queen
    Buckingham Palace
    London SW1A 1AA

    Like

  8. David July 9, 2015 at 12:14 PM #

    Note Unity Workers Union appears to be kicking dust at the Psychiatric Hospital as well.

    Like

  9. Walter Blackman July 10, 2015 at 11:01 AM #

    Based on the legal information provided, I agree with Jeff’s conclusion.

    I believe that some confusion has seeped into readers’ minds because employment rights have become mixed up with pension rights. To provide a clear picture, and get everyone on the same page, let us separate the two.

    We have to start with employment rights. Some companies allow employees to work beyond their normal retirement age, with the consent of management. Based on the facts presented on BU, no employee of the BIDC is allowed to work beyond their NIS normal retirement age.

    Therefore, any able, living employee at the BIDC whose employment comes to an end before their NIS normal retirement age, as a result of a directive from management, has been fired.

    Every Barbadian knows that the government is trying to fix a half-destroyed economy by using an IMF homegrown “solution”. Cutting costs at the BIDC is a small part of that solution.

    Now that the stage has been reached where workers have to be sent home, a competent BIDC management would start with the low-hanging fruit – those employees whose performance, attendance or work attitude has been below par and who have been officially warned or censured as a result. This is Bushie’s point which has already been well made. No argument or opposition could come from the unions on that one.

    If, after getting rid of the relatively unproductive and recalcitrant workers, the BIDC management realizes that the cost- cutting target has not been reached, then creative solutions must be found. One creative measure, commonly used in the private sector, is the use of an “early retirement window”.

    This is how an early retirement window typically works:
    Let us assume that the rules of the BIDC pension plan allow a participant to retire as early as age 60. For simplicity, let us also assume the following:
    Participant’s current age = Age 60
    Participant’s NIS retirement age = Age 66
    Participant’s BIDC monthly benefit accrued so far (payable at age 66) = $5,000 per month
    Participant’s BIDC actuarially reduced monthly pension (payable at age 60) = $3,500 per month

    To motivate or induce employees who have reached their early retirement age under the pension plan to VOLUNTARILY retire early, management would offer a sweetener through the use of a policy directive.

    For example, a special policy might be worded like this:
    “All employees who have reached age 60, and who opt to retire early between July 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015, shall be able to commence receiving their monthly pension immediately. Their monthly pension shall be unreduced.”

    In our example above, if the participant opts for the early retirement package, he will start receiving $5,000 per month, instead of $3,500. Without considering the effect of interest rates, the value of that package to the participant is $108,000. Usually, such a policy is sufficient for the company to reach its objectives.

    Out of courtesy, the unions would be informed of this policy. Since the onus is on the worker to choose or reject the offer, there is little or no possibility of strike action. However, a forward thinking and progressive union can retain the services of a pension actuary (I never studied marketing) to help educate its members about the advantages and disadvantages of opting for the package, and also to help each member to select the best pension option that fits their individual and familial circumstances.

    If the approaches I outlined above are not followed, the consequences of mismanaging the process can be catastrophic and extremely costly, both to the country and the company.
    For example, if an incompetent and ignorant management team decides to dismiss employees because they are black or white, or because they are Barbadian or Jamaican, or because they are at least age 60, or because they are Christian or Muslim, it is simply begging for legal trouble. This is Jeff’s point which has been well made.

    A la Bushie, such an approach is a manifestation of first class brass bowlery.

    Is this what the BIDC did? If they did, how could such an approach get past the Minister responsible for the BIDC, the Minister responsible for Labour, and the Prime Minister?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Prodigal Son July 10, 2015 at 11:11 AM #

    Give this government an inch and they are taking us to hell.

    They started with the BTA as it then was and we said nothing. They paid a UK firm thousands of pounds to break up a company into two……………..why I could have told them that that did not make sense for free.

    The minister sat on this report for months and months because it meant job losses and this wicked government was not going to implement this plan before……… as an election was brewing and they were going into this election with a LIED plan……………..”not one public servant would be sent home but if you elect the BLP, 10,000 of you will go home.”

    These morons waited until after the election and then acted……….all those nearly 60 and over were sent home and the unions talk and talk to the BTA and nothing happened except that they gave the affected workers another month’s pay………..and they would then have to wait for whatever they were due.

    Let the people keep silent………….they are going after all over 60’s but not one of them……….the governor of the Central Bank is not over 60 but over 70 and his contract was already been renewed for 5 years. The PM is over 60……….but wait they maligned OSA and told him he was old in 2013……..dems are a special breed!

    Like

  11. Prodigal Son July 10, 2015 at 11:17 AM #

    Is there any truth in what was said by a caller on Brasstacks today that the BIDC brought in and appointed some persons who are over 60 before they gave the workers their walking papers?

    Like

  12. Union Jack July 10, 2015 at 11:29 AM #

    @ Prodigal

    Re; above. Why am I not surprised.

    GOCB is 70+ and got his contract renewed for another 5 years so he can repeat like the robot he is STABLE STABLE ……Jackasses will breed fellow asses and this Govt is no different.

    Like

  13. Nostradamus July 10, 2015 at 11:53 AM #

    Walter Blackman July 10, 2015 at 11:01 AM #
    Now that the stage has been reached where workers have to be sent home, a competent BIDC management would start with the low-hanging fruit – those employees whose performance, attendance or work attitude has been below par and who have been officially warned or censured as a result. This is Bushie’s point which has already been well made. No argument or opposition could come from the unions on that one.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Maybe they didn’t start with these “low-hanging fruit” because they are DLP fruit!

    Like

  14. Simple Simon July 10, 2015 at 1:53 PM #

    @Walter Blackman July 10, 2015 at 11:01 AM “For example, if an incompetent and ignorant management team decides to dismiss employees because they are black or white, or because they are Barbadian or Jamaican, or because they are at least age 60, or because they are Christian or Muslim, it is simply begging for legal trouble. This is Jeff’s point which has been well made. A la Bushie, such an approach is a manifestation of first class brass bowlery. Is this what the BIDC did? If they did, how could such an approach get past the Minister responsible for the BIDC, the Minister responsible for Labour, and the Prime Minister?”

    Because they are all SLEEPING, and they all think of themselves as giants.

    But of course none of them are giants.

    Like

  15. Simple Simon July 10, 2015 at 2:01 PM #

    Dear Caswell:

    27 months and no answer.

    I know that the GG has to visit a few centenarians each month, but that is a few half day’s work at best. As a senior official we pay him very well. We provide him with a large and competent support staff. How therefore can it take 27 months to answer one letter?

    Like

  16. Simple Simon July 10, 2015 at 2:08 PM #

    But I have heard that a one of his own support staff felt pushed out of the job because of being “too old”. That is older than 60 but younger than the retirement age which this year is 66 1/2. The GG will be 85 on April 16, 2016. And nobody is complaining that he is too old.

    So I am not at all surprised to hear that you are getting a deaf ear.

    Like

  17. Simple Simon July 10, 2015 at 2:23 PM #

    Governor General Elliott Belgrave, born March 16, 1931 (age 81)

    Prime Minister Freudel Stuart, born April 27, 1951 (age 64)

    Chief Justice Marston Gibson, born March 3, 1954 (61)

    These geriatric receive very fat salaries and perks from the pockets of Bajan taxpayers/voters.

    If we cut these 3 salaries and perks in half none of these guys would feel any pain, and we could rehire all of the BIDC people.

    But I suppose that the GG, the PM and the CJ gave urgent bills that they must pay, and they can’t afford even a 10% pat cut.

    And yet BIDC want to forcibly retire maids and security guards at 60.

    Why?

    Like

  18. balance July 11, 2015 at 5:52 AM #

    “The pertinent question is not about compulsory retirement age, but about the Board’s RIGHT to enforce earlier retirement….two different things.”

    Bushie you do have a point but although the Board may have the right to require an officer to retire at age 60 does not mean that the Board can wake up hot and sweaty and force retirement on workers without sitting down with the workers and their representatives and discussing the matter holistically. We might have taken on banana like republic governance in recent years but we must allow justice and fairness to prevail. In this part of the world and Barbados is no exception , the Government is usually the predominant employer. As such, it has a duty to lead by example. Principles of fairness and good administration imbued as they are in the Constitution, require this. To give me the option of working until 67 and then use another law to retire me at 60 in an attempt to mask incompetent management should not be tolerated. Section 23 of the Constitution states that

    -no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either in itself or in its effect ;and

    no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority

    Why can’t the BIDC reinstate the workers and sit down with them and their representatives to hammer out a way forward?

    Why accuse the leadership of the NUPW only of intransigence?

    Why must the workers always capitulate?

    Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s labelling the social partnership as a ‘philosopfical absurdity’ and his remarks on the disadvantages of labour visavis capital when he sat outside the corridors of Parliament are apt. I refer him to them.

    Like

  19. St George's Dragon July 11, 2015 at 7:38 AM #

    “Out of courtesy, the unions would be informed of this [voluntary early retirement] ppolicy. Since the onus is on the worker to choose or reject the offer, there is little or no possibility of strike action.”
    Logical, but incorrect. Didn’t Light & Power offer voluntary separation packages to their staff, admittedly not early retirement ones, but the principle is the same. The Unions didn’t seem too happy with that.

    Like

  20. Bush Tea July 11, 2015 at 7:44 AM #

    @ Balance
    You are saying EXACTLY what Bushie tried to say…..only MUCH better and clearer..🙂

    Like

  21. Walter Blackman July 11, 2015 at 12:14 PM #

    Walter Blackman July 10, 2015 at 11:01 AM #St George’s Dragon July 11, 2015 at 7:38 AM
    “Out of courtesy, the unions would be informed of this [voluntary early retirement] ppolicy. Since the onus is on the worker to choose or reject the offer, there is little or no possibility of strike action.”

    St George’s Dragon July 11, 2015 at 7:38 AM
    “Logical, but incorrect. Didn’t Light & Power offer voluntary separation packages to their staff, admittedly not early retirement ones, but the principle is the same. The Unions didn’t seem too happy with that.”

    St George’s Dragon,
    The BIDC recognized that it had to cut staff.

    For simplicity, let us assume that the management of the BIDC decided to observe Protocol VI of the Social Partnership, and the Employment Rights Act by sending correspondence to the unions informing them that the BIDC intended to cut staff. Remember, this is just a simplistic assumption.
    Assume also, that after sending the correspondence to the unions, the management of the BIDC then proceeded to send home workers in an underhanded, biased and discriminatory manner. The unions, in retaliation, then called for strike action against the BIDC for the METHOD THAT WAS USED TO DISMISS WORKERS.

    The Barbados Light & Power recognized that it had to cut staff.
    It disregarded Protocol VI of the Social Partnership, and the Employment Rights Act by “dissing” the unions and sending correspondence to the workers themselves. The unions threaten strike action because they WERE NOT OFFICIALLY INFORMED THAT WORKERS WERE BEING DISMISSED.

    Is it logical or correct to conclude that the underlying principle for strike action in those two situations is the same?

    Like

  22. Bajan in NY July 12, 2015 at 11:36 PM #

    @ Caswell Franklyn,

    I heard the figure the IMF recommended the government cut from the work force is 10,000.

    Like

  23. w July 15, 2015 at 3:54 PM #

    Despite all the interesting and informative points made here, I think that workers 60 and older, from GG back down can go home, one way or the other. Their mortgages already paid, their children have already received their free education. What about the other workers who were sent home before them, inclusive of the mothers on tv crying that they have children to feed? Union or no union. Where was the solidarity then? Why are we fussing now??? Seems hypocritical to me!! SSA workers shame on you!

    Like

  24. David July 15, 2015 at 3:55 PM #

    There is something called age discrimination.

    Like

  25. Caswell Franklyn July 15, 2015 at 5:08 PM #

    W

    The answer to your query is quite simple. There was no protest when the 6,000 other workers were sent home because the unions were under the control of the persons who the Prime Minister held up as role models.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

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