Transport Board workers off the job over outstanding issues
An issue surrounding acting and appointment arrangements was one of the many unsolved problems that caused Transport Board staff to stay off the job today.
General Secretary of the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) Toni Moore gave that update on Monday morning after speaking to numerous aggrieved drivers and ancillary staff members at the Police Sports Club grounds, Weymouth, St Michael.
While explaining that the issues were not new, Moore suggested that the workers were not satisfied with the speed at which they were being addressed.
“There is not a single issue that has brought workers out here today that is absolutely a new issue. It might be the same situation impacting new people, but they are old matters.
“However there comes a point in time where matters are not being addressed as swiftly, effectively, as efficiently and expeditiously as they should and there is straw that breaks the camel’s back.
“In the situation this morning the straw is a situation that has occurred regarding acting and appointment arrangements that are still on the table and before the Ministry of Labour through the Labour Department,” Moore said.
She was supported by the union’s former general secretary Sir Roy Trotman and Deputy General Secretary Dwaine Paul, who all interacted with the staff.
Although staff members declined to speak on the record, some decried management’s response to their concerns, considering that they are often “the first and last individuals on the road”.
Some event pointed out that they are on the frontlines, and are called in to work, while others can remain at home.
They cited their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic and the ash fall in 2021.
Due to the protest action, the Ministry of Education announced that classes were cancelled, as many students rely heavily on public transportation.
When asked if the action was likely to continue for the rest of the day, Moore said she could not say, as she was set to meet with management of the Transport Board.
“I know that I don’t want it to be for the whole day but a lot depends on the kind of response we get when we go upstairs.”
“We are going to go in and try to have that matter addressed because while this is a dispute with the workers of the Transport Board, and their management, we are very fully aware of the impact it is having on the traveling public,” Moore said.
She also said she would be in a better position to discuss the other matters after their negotiations with government.
While praising the workers for showing solidarity Moore said she was hopeful management would respond accordingly to their cries.
“The executive council is pleased with the show of solidarity from the workers. We do not have many cracks and that show of solidarity must be understood by the management and the board of the Transport Board and I have every confidence that they should want to respond accordingly,” she added. (TG)