EDITORIAL – Right’ll come to those who dare to hope
Both sides have the capacity to disrupt proceeding and destroy the joint productive venture. You can therefore understand Government’s concern about too ready a resort to the negative sanctions and the dangerous weapons that both sides have at their disposal. – Prime Minister Freundel Stuart in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Barbados Workers’ Union’s 70th annual delegates’ conference on Saturday at Solidarity House.
SIMPLISTICALLY PUT, it takes two to tango. Both sides of any business must work in unison that the operation might flourish; no company, however big, will thrive without recognizing and observing this fact.
As Prime Minister Freundel Stuart told Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) delegates and their special guests on the weekend, there is no business too large to fail, and success is far more likely when employer and worker both play their part.
In this challenging economic period therefore, company owners and managers must make the fullest effort to so responsibly and creatively administer their duties and obligations that cooperation from the other side could only be automatic. Self-defeat and the throwing in of the towel are not options.
Concomitantly, company workers have a commitment to ensuring the engine of production and/or service is operating to its maximum capacity – even if at some sacrifice of personal time or leisure.
If there must indeed be a sustainable way of avoiding the suspicion, the breaches and the consequent friction, it can only come by joint understanding and mutual respect.
But reality is an essential ingredient. And Sir Roy Trotman, the BWU general secretary, is to be hailed for alluding to it in his own address to the annual delegates’ conference.
Where some in labour would prefer the hardline stance that would lead to shutdowns and a closure of offices, Sir Roy would settle instead for “keeping Barbadians employed”. He did not think that in these most trying times the Barbadian public should look for anger from the union.
A frank Sir Roy observed that though the signing of Protocol VI among the Social Partnership could not ensure that no worker would lose his or her job, there was a pledge that loss of work would be a last resort. Thank God, many an employer has stayed the course.
Regrettably, Prime Minister Stuart has had to caution the few who have been using the current crisis as “an excuse for encroaching on and eroding the fundamental rights of their employees”. They will heed his warning!
As Sir Roy has said, this is a time to recognize that hope is what we need, and that nothing less than hope is what is to be demanded.