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Maria Bradshaw

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Trade unions went back to the bargaining table with Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler yesterday in an effort to get the Government to reduce the number of workers it plans to start laying off by next week.
General secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU), Sir Roy Trotman, and general secretary of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), Dennis Clarke, led a large contingent of delegates in the third round of discussions with Sinckler and Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer Suckoo at Government Headquarters yesterday evening.
The parties will meet again tomorrow after the Government has considered the union’s proposals and Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is expected to take part in that meeting.
When they emerged from the three-and-a-half-hour meeting yesterday, both Sir Roy and Clarke pointed out that they had put figures on the table for the Government to consider.
“Today if we can reduce the number of people to be laid off by whatever figure, then we would have done what the trade union is supposed to do,” Sir Roy told the media.
Acknowledging the Government’s loss of critical foreign exchange, however, he noted: “We are very strongly of the view that we cannot because of that sit back and allow 3 000 or any figures of that sort to go without making our very best effort either to prevent all or to reduce the number that will be going.
“We have made some suggestions and the Government is saying it will study those proposals and come back to us on Monday,” the union boss said.