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THE RECENT ESCALATION of industrial actionand strikes by the various unions in Barbados are doing serious harm to the island’s reputation as a stable and reliable country, and is beginning to tarnish its image abroad.
The Government of Barbados and the various unions need to have a serious dialogue about how they are going to behave going forward in order to put the country’s reputation back ontrack as a stable environment in order to attract foreign investment and improve tourism, on which the country is heavily dependentfor its survival.
All of the parties involved need to see the forest from the trees, but a significant amount of damage has already been done by the various strikes that will take years to repair.
Most individualsjust view such thingsfrom their local perspectives, but some of these actions have an impact on the Barbados economy that go far beyond the local boundaries, and willtake a long time arecover from.
Binding arbitration should be one ofthe tools utilised in settling such labour disputes, and both the Government and the unions need to explore the use of alternative methods of dispute resolution that will not further harm the country’s already damaged reputation abroad; and that will not further erode the country’s questionable economic standing inthe world.
The entire Barbados population will sufferthe consequences of irrational behaviour,and the economywill be irreparably damaged if cooler heads do not prevail.
– ASHLEY L. MCCLEAN