Counteraction an option
COUNTERACTION COULD be the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) response to LIME’s termination of 97 workers from its retail stores and back-office Wednesday, says BWU General Secretary Sir Roy Trotman.
He told the media yesterday, following a meeting with a large segment of the telecommunications company’s 600-plus staff at Solidarity House, that LIME’s managing director Alex McDonald had already started industrial action by making the workers redundant, and the BWU could counter it.
He said, however, the union was trying to be fair after being “severely provoked” by McDonald.
“As far as the BWU is concerned, Mr McDonald and his advisor have already taken industrial action. They have taken industrial action which is the counterpart of locking out the workers, and that by itself should lead to counter industrial action on our part; but we have been endeavouring to be fair to the process, and we are under the chair of the Minister of Labour,” he explained.
“We believe that at that level somebody has to be mature enough to take proper decisions, so although we have been severely provoked today, by receiving a letter at close to closing time yesterday (Wednesday) . . . we feel that in the given climate, and in the given circumstances of a reference to the Chief Labour Officer, we ought not to be hastening to take counteraction. But if we have to, we shall,” he stated.
The union boss said the termination letters were sent to workers at 3:51 p.m. Wednesday, so by the time the BWU got a copy, the 97 had been dismissed.
He also revealed that the union had in place a blanket agreement from its executive council to take whatever industrial action was required.
“So we don’t have to go back to our council if we have to proceed on counteraction today or the next day.”
In response late yesterday, McDonald said he hoped industrial action wouldn’t result.
“We hope it doesn’t come to that – industrial action. We’ve taken our decision based on customers’ needs and expectations.”
He asked Barbadians to “hold firm” with the telecommunications giant as it sought to improve. (RJ)