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TALK BACK: Not impressed by unions’ call for Customs go-slow

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

TALK BACK: Not impressed by unions’ call for Customs go-slow

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AFTER A MEETING with the executive of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) last Friday, customs officers at the air and sea ports reportedly went on a go-slow. It was in support of president Akanni McDowall who was reverted to his substantive post in the Civil Service, a move Chief Personnel Officer Gail Atkins said was not a case of victimisation.

But the NUPW’s decision to ramp up action through the customs officers – who themselves are resisting a move to the Barbados Revenue Authority – did not find favour with the majority of online commenters. Here are some of their views.

Collis Williams: I am saddened at the attitudes of the people who claim to lead the people. The unions need some serious introspection. This is wrong on so many fronts.

Niki Ramjet: Tourism and its spin-off businesses are the bread and butter of many Barbadians. It’s easy to be seen as a politically unstable country by potential tourists with this madness. I hope when all of the dust settles, they can explain why ships are bypassing Barbados and major airlines have dropped flights from here and in essence, people looking for employment.

Lawrence Griffith: Believe me, I am all for the unions but not when they are fighting for power. What I want to know is how can an acting role taken away lead to this action? Would the unions do the same for a lesser member without status? I would like to be proven wrong before I jump head over heels in supporting the unions. I find this case to be a personal conflict of interest rather than a sound case of employee mistreatment.

John Herbert: I too do not understand. How can someone who is working get more attention and representation to the point where you are affecting the operation of the country? Yet there are people who lost their jobs and are without any income, who don’t get the same. Extremely confusing!

Jules Niles: Here we have a guy with two good salaries from two perfectly good jobs causing action that will adversely impact this economy at peak demand period. Digest that, Barbadians, especially those of you who are unemployed or who are not in permanent employment.

Cardinal Hinds: I applaud and congratulate the unionists for yet another job well done in unveiling the double standards that they pretend to fight against. Their relevance and the much-needed cooperation from the masses is speedily vanishing.

Kahlil A. McClean: So during our high season of tourism (the bread and butter of our economy), these people see it fit to go on a go-slow (as if they were ever fast) because he didn’t get the job he wanted? This is not only stupidity, it’s abuse of power. People don’t get jobs every day. It doesn’t matter if you think you are qualified for the position or not, the employer has the right to hire who they see to be fit for the job. 

Antoine Moore: I am so glad that persons are really seeing the union for what it really is – especially in Barbados. Furthermore, customs always on a go-slow. Have they even started work yet under BRA, ’cause every week they have some other issue?


 Sherrylyn Toppin is The Nation’s Online Editor.