What a week it's been!

Carol Martindale,

Added 17 January 2013


A day in politics is a long time, they say. So too is a day in journalism. So imagine how long a week is. Take this week for example. We all started out on Monday with one issue on our minds – a possible national strike. Companies in Barbados mobilized and were putting contingency plans in place as unionized workers were on standby to come out to support the Barbados Workers’ Union initiated strike, triggered by the LIME retrenchment of 97 workers. LIME at the time was not budging from its position when union boss, General Secretary Sir Roy Trotman called for the workers to be reinstated. Everything was set, placards were made and the BWU was rallying the troops at Solidarity House, its headquarters. In steps Prime Minister Freundel Stuart who called a meeting with the affected parties on Tuesday afternoon at Government Headquarters. Strike action has now been put on pause, and the PM is having another go at it tomorrow and, hopefully, all will be well. This possible strike has been forced to take a back seat – at least for the time being. Since then, this issue has been eclipsed by others which dominated headlines in the media. Take, for example, the fifth anniversary date – January 15, when the Government came to power – the longest term for any Government without announcing an election date. There has been much furore about this as well as the Opposition boycott and the fallout from this action. This no-show by the Barbados Labour Party members on Tuesday when Members of Parliament met in the House of Assembly to do “the people’s business” generated more news for us in the media. Then the unfortunate shooting death of a 33-year-old chef at CinCin Restaurant on Wednesday turned our attention away from politics and even the “gloomy” review of the economy by the Central Bank Governor. We were all focused on a human tragedy. A life was lost in what CinCin management correctly described as a “senseless” killing. Many of us grieved for the family of this young man, who also left behind a son. Sympathy was extended to family members and friends. Just hours later, more news surfaced.  The Barbados Labour Party mass meeting which was set for Heroes Square on Wednesday night was now off. The Royal Barbados Police Force withdrew permission three hours before it was scheduled, as the staging of this meeting would have contravened the Public Order Act with Senate in session. The news continues even today. A meeting was scheduled to take place between the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Unionand the Chief Personnel Officer. We await the outcome of this meeting, understanding that the issue surrounding the transfer of teachers at different schools is still unresolved. What a day! What a week! Carol Martindale is the Nation’s Online Editor carolmartindale@nationnews.com      

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