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Sir Roy’s parting shots

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Sir Roy’s parting shots

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VETERAN TRADE union leader Sir Roy Trotman had a quiet warning for employers who might be interested in “reintroducing slavery in whatever form” as the island’s leading labour organisation prepared for a historic changing of the guard yesterday.

The end result “will not be what the employer may be looking for”, the 70-year-old said in what was expected to be his last address as general secretary to the Annual Delegates Conference of the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) yesterday.

“It certainly is not what we think will make life better for us all.”

It was a speech without sabre-rattling but one which delivered the union’s concern about what in recent times Sir Roy called efforts by bosses to “roll back” some of the gains workers had achieved over the years through negotiation, lobbying, appeals and even battles.

He tackled two issues of concern to the union – what unionists call employers’ “misuse” of the Employment Rights Act (ERA) and the union’s withdrawal from the Social Partnership.

He made it clear that whatever future the union had with that tripartite partnership, the union would have to see an improvement in how it was treated by its partners.