From left: president of the National Union of Public Workers Akanni McDowall, president of the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union Mary Redman and her Barbados Union of Teachers counterpart Pedro Shepherd and general secretary of the Barbados Workers' Union Toni Moore taking part in the Walk for Relief. (FILE)
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BARBADOS’ FOUR MAINS trade unions have asked all union members to go slow and work to rule today.
The protest action is one of the unions’ attempts to get Government to offer relief from the 400 per cent increase in the National Social Responsibility Levy. It follows a Walk for Relief which was staged last Tuesday.
The Barbados Workers’ Union, National Union of Public Workers, Barbados Secondary Teachers Union and the Barbados Union of Teachers explained the actions in a joint statement.
“This means that you come to work at your start time, take your time to do your work carefully, and leave at the stipulated time. No extra duties are performed.
“In addition, members are asked to peacefully stand outside their workplaces during their lunch period in protest of Government's latest uncaring action meted out to the workers of Barbados.
“Details of action will be disseminated on a daily basis via shop stewards and social media,” the message stated.
The unions said their recent plea for relief from the “brutal” NSRL and a coping subsidy had been rebuffed by the Government.
“In fact, the deadline of 48 hours to respond to our concerns as outlined in a meeting on 23rd June, in the letters delivered to the Prime Minister on Thursday July 6, and again, during our Walk for Relief has been met with scathing public verbal attacks on our efforts to provide relief for you our members.
“The risk the NSRL poses to our livelihood is too severe and devastating to simply accept. These taxes will bring great hardship on every consumer in Barbados. For the average Barbadian there is nothing left to tax,” the statement said.
The workers’ representatives added: “Our unions will continue to pressure Government on your behalf to address this injustice. However, success can only be achieved through you, with each individual member acting in solidarity.” (NB)