Jeff_column

The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Suspension, Extinction or What?

Jeff Cumberbatch - New Chairman of the FTC

Jeff Cumberbatch – New Chairman of the FTC

“People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all that they get…” Frederick Douglass

The Barbadian industrial relations culture is relatively unsophisticated. Here, there is no formalized process of the recognition of a workers’ organization as the certified agent of a bargaining unit, an issue that that has arisen on at least two occasions in recent times; there is no industrial tribunal or court to resolve rights disputes according to law; the collective agreement does not create a binding legal relation; and while there has been an attempt to preempt these and other issues by the establishment of a form of social partnership comprising representatives of labour, government and the private sector, there is at least some dispute as to whether this arrangement is as functional as it should be. At the same time, there is no essential services legislation.

Hence, industrial disputes are generally resolved by “force of industrial arms” and prime ministerial mediation rather than by judicial reasoning, even if the issue is one that cries out for a legal resolution. Of course, there may be nothing wrong with this method once all sides are on board with it, but my training compels me to see the legal recourse as the more effective option, especially where the issue is essentially one of legal principle.

Take, for instance, the on-going dispute between the local public sector union, the National Union of Public Workers and GAIA Inc., the concern that manages the island’s lone airport. From what I can gather, this dispute, which has already engendered one round of protest action, and some perfunctory “sabre rattling” from both sides of the divide, involves the deceptively simple issue of whether the workers are entitled to a further 3.5% as part of an overall 7.5% wage increase that had been agreed to between the parties in 2010. I say “deceptively simple” here, because, as I will argue later, the legal issues are indeed rather complex.

As is usual in these matters, those facts that are in the public domain are regrettably vague, but it seems that after this seven point five percent increase was agreed, and four percent of it had been paid to workers, there was an official directive that there should be no further increases in wages at that time owing to the existing economic climate. It is also reported that the NUPW initially objected to this but, at a meeting at the Prime Minister’s office in late December 2010, a “compromise” was reached between the parties. This understanding appears to have entailed that the outstanding 3.5% would be “taken off the table” (the quotation marks are not meant to indicate that these were the actual words used). It is alleged, in addition, that the workers at a meeting in early January 2011 endorsed this compromise. That endorsement was communicated to the relevant parties in writing.

NUPW_file_copyHowever, according to the NUPW, that same correspondence included a condition that “should the economy improve” between then and June of that same year, the union would want “to revisit the moratorium placed on year 2011 increases”. It appears to be a bone of contention whether this condition subsequent as to an improvement in the economy was ever fulfilled.

It is, for me, a pity that this dispute will not be resolved in a legal forum, mainly because it does present some intriguing legal issues. For one, would the initial promise by NUPW to forgo the 3.5% be contractually binding, given that the other side had supplied no consideration for this promise? Or should it be treated rather as a waiver extinctive of the rights of the workers?

For another, what is the effect of the subsequently notified condition that this concession was to be read subject to there being no improvement in the economy in the next six months? Did this effect a mere suspension of the workers’ rights or was it an unseasonable (too late) qualification of their original concession? Had it been stated from the outset of the compromise?

Finally, if the condition was applicable, was there indeed a measurable improvement in the economy during the stipulated period? Or is that stipulation too vague to be legally enforceable? Would it now be inequitable for the NUPW to assert its claim to the 3.5%?

While such issues would clearly be matters for urgent consideration in the industrial courts of Trinidad & Tobago or Antigua & Barbuda or in the Industrial Disputes Tribunal of Jamaica, they will have to be resolved here eventually on the uncertain basis of apparent moral legitimacy and perceived right. Unfortunately, in Barbados, that frequently translates at the populist level into the partisan political agenda with opinion evenly divided between the views of those in support of the apparent position of the governing administration and those opposed thereto. This is almost laughable, especially in a circumstance where the dispute is between two independent entities…but that is the way it is. As I have noted on more occasions than a few prior, we subsist in a theatre of the absurd.

As it is, the current dispute is situated in the heart of the main port of entry in the middle of the tourist season -the lifeblood of our economy. Ordinarily, this should concentrate the national mind to immediate action, but not here. It will work itself out in the end, I can hear. It always does.

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66 Comments on “The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Suspension, Extinction or What?”

  1. Well Well & Consequences February 7, 2016 at 6:38 AM #

    Lol……this is one for the ages, am sure the government hss been boasting, led by the central bank governor, that there has been improvement in the economy…..they are the ones been saying it.

    Like

  2. David February 7, 2016 at 6:55 AM #

    @Jeff

    Your piece seems to be focused on the curiosity your training provokes by GAIA type matters and neglects to consider the lengthy wait times to process matters in our Courts. Even the quasi court of the ERT and the farcical exchanges between Mitch Condrington and Hal Gollop.

    Like

  3. Caswell Franklyn February 7, 2016 at 6:59 AM #

    Jeff

    You missed a very important part of the scenario in your article. You are correct to the extent that there was an agreement between GAIA Inc and NUPW to increase the wages of workers by 4% in 2010 and a further increase of three and a half per cent in 2011.

    The 4% was paid but when the workers were looking forward to the second part of the increase, they were told that NUPW agreed, unknown to them, that they should not be paid the increase for 2011. At first that was denied until a letter surface which set out the betrayal.

    The letter, addressed to the CEO of GAIA Inc and signed by the then General Secretary, Dennis Clarke, clearly said that the union met with the workers and that they had agreed to zero percent in 2011. The airport relied on that letter and did not pay the increase that was agreed earlier.

    The problem here is that Dennis Clarke lied. There was no meeting of workers as he said in the letter. I assume his betrayal was payback because he had only recently received duty free concessions on an Audi.

    David

    I will send a copy of the thirty-pieces-of-silver letter under separate cover.

    Like

  4. David February 7, 2016 at 7:22 AM #

    See file copy of letter at the heart of the Government/GAIA NUPW dispute. Does this expose, yet again, the smoke filled back room dealings of the unions and government?

    Like

  5. Jeff Cumberbatch February 7, 2016 at 7:46 AM #

    @ David,

    Acknowledged, but we cannot continue to accept this sloth as a justification for not using the state- established courts and tribunals to resolve legal disputes.

    We come over then as primitive and unsophisticated, not at all like the highly developed modern society we claim to be.

    @ Caswell

    Thanks for the information. Of course, I would not have known or even heard of that. You would appreciate, however, that it would make no difference to the legal position. Mr Clarke would have had ostensible authority to bind the Union, so that GAIA Inc. would be entitled to treat the contents of the letter posted above by David as true. The issue of whether that letter served to merely suspend the workers’ rights to the 3.5%, as opposed to extinguishing them, would still be a “live” issue.

    Like

  6. David February 7, 2016 at 7:52 AM #

    @Jeff

    Agreed, however your argument is circular, the statement a non secutir even given the embedded and chronic sloth of the judicial system.

    Like

  7. Jeff Cumberbatch February 7, 2016 at 7:59 AM #

    David, I do not understand why you should say that. Are we now to abandon the expensively taxpayer-funded courts and resolve disputes by axiomancy or hand-to-hand combat? We claim to be an international business domicile after all. We want to be a centre for international arbitration. This would bring in staggering amounts of foreign exchange. Are we doing to allow the current inertia to continue?

    Like

  8. Jeff Cumberbatch February 7, 2016 at 8:00 AM #

    *going for “doing” in the last line.

    Like

  9. Caswell Franklyn February 7, 2016 at 8:03 AM #

    Jeff

    I am not trying to be piecemeal with the information but the recent protest at the airport has more to do with retaining and recapturing members. NUPW has lost 125 of its members at GAIA Inc to Unity Workers Union and they want them back, hence the appearance of doing something.

    So far some former members of NUPW (current UWU members) have taken preliminary steps to take NUPW to court for misrepresentation and deceit.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

  10. David February 7, 2016 at 8:11 AM #

    Of course not Jeff, persons like you must put forth the logic of your training. Just stating the obvious given the flawed judicial system. The mismanagement that has led to the problem of inefficient delivery of justice in Barbados is one of the drivers feeding the same ‘ethos’ behind a lot of wha we do.

    Like

  11. Jeff Cumberbatch February 7, 2016 at 8:31 AM #

    @ David, we are ad idem.

    @ Caswell, Interesting! This should be an eye-opener in local industrial relations. In the US the concept of suing one’s union under the doctrine of (un)fair representation is well known.

    Like

  12. David February 7, 2016 at 8:36 AM #

    Does this not bring us back to when Caswell accused the NUPW of a back room deal to and him several thousand public servants that as vehemently denied by the MoF and the man of the moment Dennis Clarke?

    Like

  13. Alvin Cummins February 7, 2016 at 8:54 AM #

    @Jefff, David, or Caswell;

    Could any of you please clarify a number of questions I find interesting: the additional 3.5% appears to be dependent on “…improvement in the economy”. Does this mean the Country’s economy?
    . Is the GAIA a quasi government department, Functioning entirely on its own?
    Is “improvement in the economy” referencing the improvement of the company’s economic improvement (Balance sheet}? Separate and distinct from the Country’s improvement?
    If so, why is the Union protesting based on the GAIA financial improvement?
    I think this clarification has to be made

    Like

  14. David February 7, 2016 at 8:56 AM #

    @Alvin

    Are you serious?

    >

    Like

  15. Jeff Cumberbatch February 7, 2016 at 9:18 AM #

    Alvin, This is partially what I meant when I wondered whether the condition might not be considered void for vagueness. While it may be argued that GAIA Inc. does not have an “economy” but rather a balance sheet, you should recall that the State appears to have become accepted as a party to the arrangement by both the union and GAIA. So I imagine that by a process of construction, the term means the national economy.

    Even so, what is “an improvement in the economy”? Any percentage increase? A whole number percentage? A declaration of an increase by the Government?

    Like

  16. David February 7, 2016 at 9:23 AM #

    @Jeff

    The letter makes mention of “revisiting” the agreement” should the economy improves. Implied is seeking resolution through face to face meetings. Surely a promise of an increase could not have been ‘legislated’.

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  17. racehrse February 7, 2016 at 9:41 AM #

    Help me here, the agreement was signed off by both parties. Secondly the time to revisit the issue should have occurred when the economic figures from Jan-Jun ‘2011 were released. How can you hold government responsible, when you failed to act within a reasonable time. If you looking for a wage increase, base it on the economy from ‘2011 to present indexed for inflation. The past is the past. Union your incompetence is to blame as I see it.

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  18. ac February 7, 2016 at 9:42 AM #

    Question

    Was there not a set time period/date / for revisiting the agreement ? which can now be considered as being expired

    Like

  19. Well Well & Consequences February 7, 2016 at 9:44 AM #

    The question I would want to ask, although it should not have to be asked, is if the taxpayer funded GAIA Inc is not a government entity in the truest and fullest sense of the word, then why is the government involved and denying, denying, that the money should be paid by government.

    Like

  20. ac February 7, 2016 at 9:48 AM #

    These kind of disputes exposes the maddening approach which this new and inexperienced leader of NUPW brings to industrial relation actions akin to a bull in a china shop

    Like

  21. David February 7, 2016 at 9:51 AM #

    @Danny Gill

    You comment on these kinds of issues only at election tome? We invite you to share your perspective.

    Like

  22. Bernard Codrington. February 7, 2016 at 10:08 AM #

    Strictly ,speaking as an economist and Financial analyst, The negotiations should be based on the economic performance of the GAIA.

    Like

  23. ac February 7, 2016 at 10:17 AM #

    @ Bernard Codrington

    This in an extract and response from Minister Sealu surrounding the letter in question

    http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2016/02/02/immoral-union/

    Like

  24. David February 7, 2016 at 10:20 AM #

    GAIA is an incorporated (private) company but owned by government.

    http://www.gaia.bb/content/about-gaia-inc

    Like

  25. David February 7, 2016 at 10:31 AM #

    GAIA’s Board of Directors:

    http://www.gaia.bb/board-of-directors

    Like

  26. David February 7, 2016 at 10:32 AM #

    Here is the Executive Team:

    http://www.gaia.bb/executive-management-team

    Like

  27. David February 7, 2016 at 10:33 AM #

    Here are the airport stats. Where is the Profit and Loss/Balance Sheet?

    http://www.gaia.bb/statistics

    Like

  28. Caswell Franklyn February 7, 2016 at 10:33 AM #

    You are all missing the point, there was no agreement. Dennis Clarke was just being his usual self and selling out the workers

    Like

  29. ac February 7, 2016 at 10:44 AM #

    Sir if there was no agreement . Then in legal terms what does the letter indicate ,

    Like

  30. ac February 7, 2016 at 10:52 AM #

    Sir most would have no problem with the Union leader opening new negotiations. However revisiting an expired agreement on old terms and conditions is ludicrous, Need ac reminds you what happens when a bull enters a china shop and everything looks red when in fact it is myopia

    Like

  31. David February 7, 2016 at 10:55 AM #

    Sir most would have no problem with the Union leader opening new negotiations. However revisiting an expired agreement on old terms and conditions is ludicrous, Need ac reminds you what happens when a bull enters a china shop and everything looks red when in fact it is myopia

    You cannot help it can you? The thrust of Jeff’s article is how can we more efficiently resolve issues like this one. You never keep up with the non political perspectives.

    Like

  32. Caswell Franklyn February 7, 2016 at 11:02 AM #

    These workers are owed this money. They approved the original agreement to pay the 3.5% in 2011. They had no knowledge that it was given back, purportedly with their consent.

    Dennis Clarke deceived the workers but he was doing so as general secretary of NUPW, so that union should therefore be liable.

    If the workers win their case against NUPW and are awarded damages, the Government will bail out the union. Government needs NUPW nastiness. Who else will sell out to them?

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

  33. David February 7, 2016 at 11:06 AM #

    @Caswell

    Is it not accepted practice to carbon copy an importance piece of correspondence to key parties?

    Like

  34. Caswell Franklyn February 7, 2016 at 11:11 AM #

    David

    It is normal practice but not when you are committing fraud.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

  35. racehrse February 7, 2016 at 11:23 AM #

    @David
    I think this reply was meant for ac: “You cannot help it can you? The thrust of Jeff’s article is how can we more efficiently resolve issues like this one. You never keep up with the non political perspectives”.

    We’ll give us a solution: renegotiate, not bring up the past. For me if the union wants to strike, so be it. Put it before the membership, only when negotiations fail. Then the memberships can cross the picket line if it really believes in the good for the country. Government has no backup plan in case of a strike.

    No one should hold the good of the country hostage, and no government should take advantage of its employees.

    Like

  36. Well Well & Consequences February 7, 2016 at 11:24 AM #

    Is Mrs Jean-Marie of the executive team by any chance married to Jean-Marie, GM at the port.

    Like

  37. ac February 7, 2016 at 11:27 AM #

    Sir ,my bad was not aware there was a set standard of communication on any giving issue ,
    Sir or only so applied when a difference of opinion is forwarded? be that as it may the comments which i made does not in away alter or change the saga in the ongoing dispute
    If i have made a differentiating opinion those which you do not readily agree you have a right to oppose just as i have a right to state my position
    As far as i know this is an open Forum with a policy which states ” All comments are welcomed”
    Sorry if i misunderstood the policy

    Like

  38. David February 7, 2016 at 11:31 AM #

    Correct racehrse

    Like

  39. Gabriel February 7, 2016 at 12:19 PM #

    Dennis Clarke wrote on behalf of and committed the workers at GAIA Inc to the content of the letter to the CEO of GAIA Inc.,
    The CEO of GAIA Inc.,correctly holds the NUPW to the content of the letter.
    In this culture,the “economy” is associated with the GDP of Country Barbados.If we recall the former PM referred to Barbados of being not only an economy but a society.In my opinion therefore,GAIA Inc.,cannot be seen as separately and distinctly liable to advance the 2011 increase based on that entity’s balance sheet.It’s not even remotely on the table.

    Like

  40. balance February 7, 2016 at 12:47 PM #

    “Dennis Clarke wrote on behalf of and committed the workers at GAIA Inc to the content of the letter to the CEO of GAIA Inc.,”

    are you aware of the content of the letter Mr Clarke wrote Gabriel?

    Like

  41. millertheanunnaki February 7, 2016 at 1:00 PM #

    @ balance February 7, 2016 at 12:47 PM

    You are a man in the know when it comes to the Civil Service operations.
    Do you know when last the posts of top civil servants were ‘reevaluated’ and salary scales adjusted to reflect any upward ‘re-grading’?

    Like

  42. NorthernObserver February 7, 2016 at 2:04 PM #

    The article and comments are to me, clear indications, Barbados needs revised industrial relations legislation.
    It goes to the core. “NUPW has lost 125 of its members at GAIA Inc to Unity Workers Union”. Who actually represents the employees today? Wasn’t this one issue at Apes Hill?
    “These workers are owed this money. They approved the original agreement to pay the 3.5% in 2011. They had no knowledge that it was given back” What due process must a union/agent execute to have proof they actually communicated with the employees? Don’t the employees have a ‘shop unit’ which represents them with the union management?
    Can an employer be forced to deal with multiple employee representatives regarding the same job functions? NUPW and Unity as an example.
    These all seem contentious under the existing framework?

    As an aside, WHY does GAIA need THIRTEEN directors, and where are the financials for GAIA, should they not be public?

    Like

  43. David February 7, 2016 at 2:13 PM #

    @NorthernObserver

    GAIA was “incorporatized” a few years ago when the government hived it off. It is a private company owned by government,,,lol.

    Like

  44. Alvin Cummins February 7, 2016 at 2:23 PM #

    @David,
    You asked…”Are you serious?”
    Of course I am serious. Phase two of the protest action; given the serious; or apparently serious, intention of the union to escalate this “protest” action, is a serious matter. However, as usual, many people seem anxious to take the side of the union without careful analysis of the situation. I think theorems of the agreement need to be clear. According to the GAIA website there are many summaries of landings etc. There is no inclusion of the balance sheet to show the degree to which the airport has made a profit;as opposed to improved income etc. The government has shown that up to 2014 there has been no or little improvement in the GDP. They showed that in 2015, there has been a growth of 0.5%. The Union therefore has to be pellucidly clear about what they are referring to when they claim that GAIA has shown increased profit;of how much. Apparently no parameters were set to judge the …”improvement in the economy””.. and the connection with the “National economy.”

    Like

  45. Willie February 7, 2016 at 2:53 PM #

    My reading of Mr. Clarke’s letter does not suggest that there was a meeting after the ‘subsequent meeting held on January 3, 2011’. The letter goes on, ‘(I)t was agreed and accepted that there will be no increase for January 2011’. Who agreed and when? Would minutes (if such exist) shed light on the matter?

    Like

  46. NorthernObserver February 7, 2016 at 3:04 PM #

    So the GAIA reports into the cohobblopot of public finances which the CBB regurgitates periodically? The same is probably true for the National Oil operation which might be sold? Gov’ts love this shiite, as they can hide all kinds of stuff under the guise of ‘mekking money operations’. But no different from consolidation within big corporations?

    Like

  47. David February 7, 2016 at 3:07 PM #

    @NorthernObserver

    GAIA is a glorified collector of taxes/fees, that is all.

    Like

  48. ac February 7, 2016 at 4:42 PM #

    there is no crystal ball to foresee the future in industrial negotiations especially when applied to depressed or stagnated economies if hindsight was foresight mostly likely NPUW would have waited out a little longer ,
    I believe the benefit of the doubt should be given to Denise Clarke who most likely made decision based on economic indicators that were negatively impacting barbadsos economic vibrancy as far back as 2008,
    To take an all out war on Denise negotiations and attached them to sabotage is slanderous

    Like

  49. Caswell Franklyn February 7, 2016 at 4:57 PM #

    I am lifting my self-imposed ban on replying to anything “ac” says to point out that it was not Dennis Clarke’s decision to make. The man is absolutely dishonest. He sold out the workers.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

  50. David February 7, 2016 at 5:01 PM #

    A little surprised we have not had any meaningful discussion about the ERT and the exchanges between Gollop and Codrington.

    Like

  51. Jeff Cumberbatch February 7, 2016 at 5:13 PM #

    Not much significance to it, David. Probably some long-held animus between them…who knows for sure?

    You know, of course, that Mitch is the senior member of the Bar by the number of years call.

    The simple issue is the procedural one of whether the union was consulted on the terminations as the Act requires, not the substantive one of whether the the NCC’s method of selection was a fair one.

    Like

  52. David February 7, 2016 at 5:18 PM #

    @Jeff

    Of course there is the animus BUT the time wasting!

    Like

  53. NorthernObserver February 7, 2016 at 6:49 PM #

    Mr.Franklyn your entire argument is based on the belief Mr.Clarke made the decision to forego the subsequent wage increase without consulting the membership. I will guess this information emanates from employees who have told you “nuhbuddy en axe or tell we we nuttin”? Is it possible in the NUPW minutes one will find record of a meeting where this information was conveyed [slipped in?], possibly in a manner the average person may not understand?

    Like

  54. Gabriel February 7, 2016 at 7:29 PM #

    Balance
    I am being guided by the letter signed by Clarke and addressed to the CEO of GAIA Inc.,
    Clarke says he met with the PM and met with the staff of GAIA Inc.,The 2011 increase was foregone but with a caveat.
    I would tend to agree Clarke was supported by the lack of an immediate follow up by the staff in 2011,who,if they were not aware of the “sellout”,should have been raising cane with the accounts dept of GAIA Inc and the NUPW shop steward.In other words this matter should have been in the public domain in 2011 or soon after.

    Like

  55. ac February 7, 2016 at 7:32 PM #

    I too am wondering what caswell damaging allegation against Denis Clarke is based on. I hope it is not simply hearsay but facts sufficient to support his allegations

    Like

  56. ac February 7, 2016 at 7:45 PM #

    Are letters sent to the workers during the negotiations process detailing .Are the workers allow to vote on the final outcome of the negotiations
    If Denise Clarke opt the member/ workers as full participants or negotiators then he indeed committed a grevious act and should be held responsible for any
    financial or physchological damages brought about because of poor or misleading transactions to the workers.

    Like

  57. Caswell Franklyn February 7, 2016 at 8:30 PM #

    NorthernObserver

    The workers were not consulted and even if they were the agreement would have to be approved by the National Council. Therein lies the problem: Clarke met with the Prime Minister on December 28, 2010 where they hatched the agreement to forgo the 3.5% increase in 2011. He then claimed that he met with the workers on January 3, 2011, and thereafter he informed GAIA Inc of the decision on January 4, 2011. In order to inform the airport of the decision, the National Council would have to be summoned and given seven days notice of the meeting before the agreement was approved. That seven days would have to pass between January 3 and 4, 2011. An impossibility.

    The only reasonable explanation is that Clarke deceived the workers. He did not have the authority to act as he did, but his actions would bind the union.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

  58. David February 7, 2016 at 8:36 PM #

    @Caswell

    If there was not adequate notice period to call a meeting of the Council then there is a good case for both parties to remove this matter from the public domain. Needless to say minister Sealy’s inflammatory public utterance on the matter was uncalled for.

    Like

  59. Caswell Franklyn February 7, 2016 at 8:50 PM #

    Minister Sealy’s problems is with Akanni, but that is what happens when Dems fall out. Sealy should have been aware of the dealings with Clarke and he ought to have known that the workers were not consulted. His righteous indignation did not impress me.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

  60. Artaxerxes February 7, 2016 at 10:54 PM #

    Caswell Franklyn February 7, 2016 at 8:50 PM #

    “Minister Sealy’s problems is with Akanni, but that is what happens when Dems fall out.”

    @ Caswell

    It seems the entire DLP and their supporters’ “problem is with Akanni.”

    In my opinion, many of those commenting on this situation are failing to understand the significant point, which is, according to Caswell, Dennis Clarke conducted negotiations on behalf of the GAIA employees unbeknownst to them.

    I have to agree with Caswell that Clarke is a sellout. There was a situation where, after the 1986 general elections the DEMS terminated the services of several employees of the National Assistance Board and hired DEMS supporters.

    The NAB under the Chairmanship of Farley Brathwaite and comprised of Richard Sealy (MoT), Derek Alleyne of UDC, Astor B. Watts, Rev. Errington Massiah and Reggie Hunte as Board members, appointed the DEMS and made such appointments retroactive to 1990. The employees who were employed prior to 1986 and remained at NAB were not appointed.

    Those employees sought the services of NUPW and Dennis Clarke was supposed to deal with the issue. Clarke did not do anything to address the workers’ concerns. It was only when the government changed in 1994 that Delcina Burke of the NUPW was able to assist those employees in being appointed.

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  61. William Skinner February 8, 2016 at 12:53 AM #

    It seems to me that Caswell is correct. Furthermore, what research was done before the NUPW took the drastic step to attempt to shut down the airport. I must say that the public relations arm of the NUPW is in need of serious attention. We have their leaders declaring their political intentions , in an industrial climate that is highly polarised. Without credibility nothing would be achieved

    Like

  62. NorthernObserver February 8, 2016 at 1:32 AM #

    I feel like I am focusing a manual SLR camera on an object which keeps moving.
    The issue is now procedural?
    What if “time is of the essence” can’t a union, like a corporation, schedule an emergency gathering?
    To me, the true essence of the matter is did the NUPW meet with its membership to discuss the matter. And did that membership, having a quorum, render a decision. I am unsure precisely what the blessing of the National Council becomes, or if they can reject the will of the membership?
    Thus, not claims, but confirming if Mr.Carke (NUPW) met with the GAIA employees represented, was the matter clearly explained and was a decision rendered, are key to the scenario.

    Like

  63. Artaxerxes February 8, 2016 at 7:46 AM #

    William Skinner February 8, 2016 at 12:53 AM #

    “We have their leaders declaring their political intentions, in an industrial climate that is highly polarised. Without credibility nothing would be achieved.”

    @ Skinner

    As far as I read and heard, the press implied that the president and treasurer maybe considering entering the political fray. When asked both individuals in question said that they were thinking about it at the time.

    So what if they did actually declared “their political intentions?” Perhaps you are being purposely selective with your criticism. The Barbadian political system was basically conceived in the union movement.

    There was a time in Barbados when cabinet ministers and senators were members of the BWU. Derek Alleyne who contested the St. Michael West Central seat for the DLP, worked at the NUPW. O’Brien Trotman was a past NUPW president who subsequently won the Christ Church West Central seat on behalf of the BLP and was appointed the Minister of Health and Social Security in the Bernard St. John administration.

    In my opinion the industrial climate was not any different to what pertains now. However, the NUPW under known DEMS Dennis Clarke and Walter Maloney was dormant during their tenure as General Secretary and President respectively. People pay union subscriptions for the service of representation when the need arises. Both the NUPW and BWU have moved in a different direction, which in the past labeled these unions as pro-DLP. Because of recent protest actions, the critics are now saying the leadership is political and aligned with the BLP.

    Like

  64. Frustrated Businessman aka Republic my ass. February 8, 2016 at 10:43 AM #

    David February 7, 2016 at 8:11 AM #
    Of course not Jeff, persons like you must put forth the logic of your training. Just stating the obvious given the flawed judicial system. The mismanagement that has led to the problem of inefficient delivery of justice in Barbados is one of the drivers feeding the same ‘ethos’ behind a lot of wha we do.

    In fact, said delays have been used as a legal and business tactic in Bim for many years. Justice delayed is justice denied. Hence, our current banana republic status.

    Like

  65. balance February 8, 2016 at 9:46 PM #

    “millertheanunnaki February 7, 2016 at 1:00 PM #

    @ balance February 7, 2016 at 12:47 PM

    You are a man in the know when it comes to the Civil Service operations.
    Do you know when last the posts of top civil servants were ‘reevaluated’ and salary scales adjusted to reflect any upward ‘re-grading’?”

    To the best of my knowledge; increases in pay to public servants arising out of regrading/reclassification exercises took place in 1988, 2005, 2011. The one in 1988 is credited with contributing to our economic problems from 1991. The one in 2011 was supposed to correct anomalies arising out of the 2005 exercise.
    Bro cas can correct me if I am wrong.

    Like

  66. Alvin Cummins February 9, 2016 at 8:36 AM #

    @David and Caswell,
    Can you help me? some members of the NUPW (airport workers) left the NUPW and sought refuge in Caswell’s union. If the NUPW negotiates with GAIA and gets an increase, are the workers in Caswell’s union entitled to those increases also? Which of the two unions are the “legal” and, or, recognized bargaining agent for all the workers? Can the members of Caswell’s union strike without penalty? If Caswell decides to take GAIA to court, would that be only on behalf of those workers who have joined his union?Can he legally take the GAIA to court on behalf of only the workers in his union, or on behalf of ALL the workers?
    I think Jeff should jump in this because I see some technical legal questions that need to be answered here. Example, is Caswell’s union recognized by GAIA as a bona fide representative of the Airport workers? Can both unions sit at the bargaining table?

    Like

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