All hands on deck
MAY DAY IS a day to toast workers, and yesterday they came out to enjoy themselves in spite of the layoffs and other industrial relations concerns.
It was a virtual rainbow of colour as thousands of workers took to the streets to celebrate the strides made through trade union activism on their behalf.
Dressed in bright red, green, yellow, blue and white T-shirts with this year’s slogan – All Hands On Deck – in bold letters, workers made their way from the Garrison Savannah with Minister of Labour Senator Dr Esther Byer Suckoo and outgoing general secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU), Sir Roy Trotman, taking the lead on the route in and around The City culminating at Brownes Beach, where those who took part in the parade and others just out for a holiday lime were entertained by some of the best acts Barbados has to offer.
Those who did not have company shirts either conformed to the colour code, or added some diversity with their own shades as they joined colleagues in the parade.
As usual, the parade paused for a special cause outside of the Sir Frank Walcott Building on Culloden Road. There, before the imposing statue of the late labour leader and National Hero, Byer Suckoo, Sir Roy, BWU deputy general secretary Toni Moore, president of the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU), Mary Redman, and others paid tribute by laying wreaths and flowers.
As if mindful of last week’s caution from senior assistant general secretary of the BWU Orlando “Gabby” Scott that the parade was not Kadooment, workers chipped and did little jigs to popular tunes from the likes of Edwin, Biggie Irie, Porgie and Murda, Red Plastic Bag and several others as they made their way along the route and onto Brownes Beach on Bay Street.
The celebrations seemed to have been heightened by the fact that it was the last time Sir Roy addressed the gathering in his current capacity.
When the formalities were over, workers and those who were just looking to have a good time were entertained by the likes of Adrian Clarke, Quinn P, John King, Calypso Monarch Ian Webster, Crystal, Blood, Grynner and Richard Stoute.
Workers from the Ministry of Labour walked away with two of the three prizes up for grabs in the form of Largest Group and Most Orderly, while the group from the Barbados Water Authority copped the prize for Most Colourful. (YB)