BWU defends NUPW head


THE HEAD of the Barbados Workers Union Toni Moore has stepped in to defend President of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Akanni McDowall and is requesting a meeting with the Chief Personnel Officer of the Personnel Division.
McDowall was recently removed from his senior position of Acting Health Planning Officer 1 to his substantive post of Environmental Health Assistant 1.
In a letter dated October 21, Moore reminded the Chief of one of Barbados’ intense industrial relations battles back in 1981, where the entire country was shut down by the BWU for one employee.
According to Moore, the action against McDowall was carried out without notice, and with no dissatisfaction expressed regarding the length of quality of his service.
“The BWU is concerned about Bro Akanni McDowall as a worker, but additionally, the BWU is concerned that Government as his employer, even if unwittingly, may be giving encouragement to other employers who wish to act in contravention of the right to Freedom of Association and to intimidate workers who intend to exercise that right and the right to bargain collectively.”
It is against this backdrop that the BWU Head requested a meeting on behalf of workers to discuss the custom and price which she says has obtained over the last 50 years, with the view of promoting industrial harmony and furthering the cause of labour management relations.
Moore states in the letter that it is wished that during the requested meeting, the principle that trade union leaders will continue to benefit from the ILO convention concerning protection and facilities to be afforded to workers’ representatives.
As it relates to McDowall, she stated that where, if possible, his office as President of the NUPW has caused his employers some level of unease, “that your department will recognise the ground-breaking procedure that was set down for union leaders in the 1981 ‘David Giles case’ which relates both to the public and private sectors,” she stated. (JH)

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