Call for meeting
Sir Roy Trotman, advisor to the General Secretary and Former General Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union, held a press conference yesterday morning to clear the air surrounding the retrenchment of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) workers.
Speaking during the proceedings, which were held at Solidarity House, Sir Roy Trotman noted that they had received a report stating that some of the workers of the BWA were experiencing challenges regarding unemployment claims.
“Regarding the unemployment issue, the BWU, having learnt of the problem only yesterday, 3rd December, has requested a meeting with the Authority to address this matter without delay,” he said.
“The BWU cannot at this stage speak regarding the conditions or the employment particulars, governing the engagement of some of the said workers.”
He reported that correspondence from BWU General Secretary Senator Toni Moore will show that BWU is anxious to meet the administration of the day to ensure that recruits were engaged under similar contracts of service to those of earlier staff.
Trotman stated that the BWA has agreed to meet, but signalled that it may need to refer the matter to the Ministry of Finance and the National Insurance Board.
“At their engagement, workers in the public service should be made aware that they are having social charges deducted to cover severance, sickness and unemployment. If this is not happening it would be concluded that the state is catering to such eventualities under the regulations covering public workers,” he said.
“Some of the displaced workers have worked before in the private sector and, having contributed for the qualifying period of a year, have benefited from such unemployment provisions before.”
He explained, that unless advised differently by the employer, BWA, these workers cannot be faulted for expecting that unemployment premiums were being deducted and that they should register for unemployment benefits.