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The BWU Anniversary Lecture Series Continues
Monday, 17 October 2016 16:39

The Barbados Workers’ Union 75th anniversary lecture series will take another stage at “Solidarity House” on Thursday, October 20, starting at 7:00 p.m. .

Former General Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union, Sir Roy Trotman, in conjunction with Senator Harcourt Husbands and former General Secretary of the CTUSAB, Patrick Frost will examine aspects in the development of the Labour Movement in Barbados, particularly the challenges the movement has had to face ever since the celebrated days of its founding fathers, Rt. Excellent Sir Grantley Adams, Rt. Excellent Sir Hugh Springer and Rt. Excellent Sir Frank Walcott, when they breathed on the organisation and gave it the first steps which brought it to a stage where it was able to hold its own as a mature organisation which gained the respect of people all over the world.

The high-level panel will examine three challenges which characterised the movement’s development since 1941, when the three Barbados Workers’ Union stalwarts – Sir Grantley, Sir Hugh and Sir Frank – were able to make their contribution.

Sir Roy, the lead presenter, said the panel will be looking at the challenges relating to:

  • the organisation of workers,
  • problems relating to the Trade Union Act, and particularly
  • the experiment, which led by the Labour Movement, started to establish a tripartite social partnership as a means of developing improved relationships of the partners for the overall development of Barbados and for the enhancement of our levels of efficiency and productivity in an environment where the benefits would be shared by all the parties.

Sir Roy added that the panel will be looking especially at the .contradiction that presents itself in a country like Barbados where, throughout its existence as a nation, it has been governed by Labour governments and yet, where in 2016, the question of recognition of trade unions and the workers’ right to bargain collectively is still in dispute, still not as clear-cut as happens throughout the rest of the English-speaking Caribbean, where the boast may not be in every case, the boast that says that there was Labour throughout that period.

According to Sir Roy, the panel will endeavour to discover how relations can be enhanced and what kinds of recommendations need to be pit before our publics in such a manner as to change that particular unfortunate situation. And the panel will be inviting the public to participate in a manner where it was not possible for them to interact in earlier discussions.

The upcoming lecture session follows others presented by historian, Dr. David Brown, Principal of Queen’s College, who dealt particularly with the birth of the Progressive League, the 1937 Disturbances and the founding of the Barbados Workers’ Union. He was followed by Justice Sherman Moore who dealt with the laws that underpin the trade unions of Barbados and buttress the living and working conditions of the working class. Justice Moore was followed by Ambassador Robert Morris who dealt with the contribution of Rt. Excellent Sir Frank Walcott and debunked many of the myths relating to the relationship which Sir Frank had with Sir Grantley.


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