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  The following is the maiden address, delivered by Comrade… Read more...
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About Us

Vision Statement

Through team work to enhance the organisation’s performance, and improve the quality of life for workers and other vulnerable groups through organising, education, collective bargaining, tripartite social dialogue, lobbying for policies which defend their rights and interests and promoting diversity.

Our Mission

To be an excellent trade union provider of labour market services in Barbados and the wider Caribbean and to improve the quality of life of all Barbadians through participatory representation.

Motto

Unity is Strength, where there is no vision the people perish.

History

The Barbados Workers’ Union is a general workers union and was registered on 4th October  1941. It has a membership of 25,000 persons covering all areas of employment in Barbados: Members are represented in Agriculture, Tourism and Restaurant Services, Transport (Road, Sea and Air), Government and Statutory Boards, Banking and Insurance, Manufacturing and Industry, Construction, Commerce and General Services.

The Barbados Workers’ Union has strong international links and is affiliated to the following International Trade Secretariats:

  • Union Network International

  • International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations
  • International Transport Workers’ Federation

The Barbados Workers’ Union also has close fraternal links with the following National and International Organisations:
  • International Labour Organisation

  • International Trade Union Confederation

  • Inter-American Regional Organisation of Workers

  • American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Organisations

  • Canadian Labour Congress

  • British Trades Union Congress 

  • Commonwealth Trade Union Council

The Barbados Workers’ Union is affiliated to the Caribbean Congress of Labour  (CCL), which is headquartered in Barbados and is a member of The Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB), which has its registered offices at “Solidarity House”, Harmony Hall, St. Michael.

The union is governed by an Executive Council which is elected annually at an Annual Delegates’ Conference which is held in the on the last Saturday in August and the first Saturday in September. The day to day administration is in the hands of the General Secretary who is a member of the Executive Council (the General Secretary has the right to speak at meetings of the Council but he cannot vote).

The union has a staff of fifty persons working in the following departments:

  • Industrial Relations

  • Finance and Administration

  • Research

  • Education

  • Public Relations and Communications

  • Counseling and Wellness

Objects

The objects of the union are set out at Rule 2 of the Rules and Regulations of the Union and include:

  • To secure the complete organisation in the union of all workers employed in all the trades, industries, and occupations in the island.

  • To obtain and maintain just wages, reasonable working hours, holidays and other conditions of employment, and generally to protect the interests of its members.

  • To secure legislation which will safeguard and improve the economic security and social welfare of workers, protect and extend our democratic institutions and civil rights and liberties

  • Generally to promote the material, social and educational welfare of the members in any lawful manner in which the Annual Conference may from time to time deem expedient.

Services

The services offered by the union include:

  • Grievance Handling

  • Negotiations

  • Protection and defense at the workplace including dismissals

  • Access to Medicare Schemes

  • Access to Pension Rights

  • Access to Credit Unions

  • Access to Labour Education

  • Guidance in time of lay-off

  • Guidance in times of severance

  • Assistance in gaining promotions and job enhancement

  • Lobbying government in support of workers’ interests.

  • General counseling services

Achievements

Some of the achievements of the Union are:

  • Holidays with pay

  • Maternity leave

  • Severance pay

  • National Insurance and Social Security

  • Protection of  wages

  • Unemployment Insurance

  • Protocol on job security

  • Shops Act

  • Housing Development at Mangrove, St Philip