The Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) has again been taken to task for its approach to negotiating for retrenched workers from the state-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
The criticism came from general secretary of the Unity Workers’ Union Senator Caswell Franklyn, who charged that the BWU’s acceptance of bonds for severance packages for laid off workers was not only contrary to law but tantamount to just “rolling over [to] let the Government play with their belly like a little puppy”.
His comments came after word from CBC’s industrial relations consultant John Williams that after recent discussions, the BWU had accepted that funding the retroactive employee costs through a bond issue “was the only possible solution because the corporation has accumulated debt of over $115 million.”
“While it would wish to pay all outstanding monies in cash, it is simply unable do so because of its cash-strapped position,” Williams wrote.
But speaking to the Saturday Sun yesterday, the Opposition senator maintained it wasn’t a good idea, stressing that a bond was not legal tender.
“It cannot be a good idea. First of all, the law is, workers must be paid in legal tender. I must be able to take a legal tender to the supermarket or a shop and the body will give me goods. If I go to a shop [with a bond], will they give me anything? Government cannot pay with foolish paper,” he said. (SDB Media)
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