BWU News Ticker:
(19.05.20)
Click on the image to download the PDF… Read more...
   |    (18.05.20)
  Members, this is the time to develop new skills,… Read more...
   |    (28.04.20)
Read more...
   |   See the latest news from www.bwu-bb.org. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook & Twitter as well.
Workers’ Viewpoint
Friday, 17 April 2020 17:07

workersforwebsite

A MESSAGE OF HOPE 

The April 12 Easter Sunday edition of Workers' Viewpoint

Wherever we go from here it must be forward together, with measures that put people first...

 

Behind every dark cloud is a silver lining For some of us it might be difficult to see it now, but the word of assurance from the Barbados Workers’ Union is that this period of doubt and uncertainty shall pass.  In this holy season of Easter, that silver lining is conveyed through the message of hope, the message found in the well-known hymn which says, because He lives, we can face tomorrow.

Without a doubt COVID-19 has been disruptive all around the world.  People are becoming sick, families are saddened by the loss of loved ones, employees are losing their jobs, businesses are folding, and countries, ours included, are spending way in excess of budgeted amounts on medical aid and social protection measures.  To say that COVID-19 is triggering stress, fear and uncertainty would be an understatement. Barbados certainly looks different to the way it did even a month ago.

COVID-19 has forced us to accept that many things are simply beyond our control and in many respects, it will likely change the world as we know it forever.

Yet we have hope because God is and because God lives, we have hope to face the unpredictability of tomorrow even in this fluid environment.

For this reason, this afternoon the Executive Council of the Barbados Workers’ Union is focussing our attention on that bit of hope, presented even in the face of the global pandemic. 

Amidst these dark clouds, there is a brighter side of this if we acquiesce to the prospect of changes and seize their opportunities.  For many COVID-19 forced upon us a valuable gift of time.  Time which ordinarily we would have been unwilling to accept.  Time, that in the past would have been scarce as we found ourselves juggling work, the gym, taking the children to lessons or participating in social gatherings.  Now that our routines have been interrupted due to a 24-hour curfew, we can pause to enjoy this gift of time with our families and focus on ourselves.  It has given us a moment of reflection to consider whether we are where we want to be, or whether we are contributing positively to this space we occupy.  We now have the time to explore what more can be done, how we can be more, and contribute more.  With this new gift of time we can consider whether some of the things we normally do but now can’t, are worth continuing when this crisis is over.

This time has allowed families and friends to find interesting ways to connect with each other, for many it has reinvigorated the community spirit.  The community spirit which our Government is encouraging, calling on all of us to be our brother’s keeper, to do something to help others, especially the most vulnerable.

As it relates to workers and the world of work, the BWU is of the view that the COVID-19 pandemic has perhaps accelerated some changes that perhaps will move the labour market in the right direction. As more companies see the benefits of remote working and flexible hours in certain types of jobs, it opens the doors to an improved work life balance and family time, therefore creating a more engaged, stress free and productive workforce as an end result. 

However, to seize these and other opportunities, the Executive Council of the BWU recognises that there will be a need for a New Social Contract. 

Even before the current pandemic, workers the world over have been struggling under a model that puts profit above people.  A model that has seen workers take home a smaller share of the wealth they have created.  The BWU, like other Unions, has been struggling to achieve social and economic justice for workers irrespective of their employment or contractual arrangements, but in far too many instances, workers have been observing a race to the bottom which makes it even difficult for them to trust people who are expected to make a difference for them, including organisations like ours.

As many areas of the labour market have been forced into rest, there is no better time for the social partnership to engage in discussions around a new social contract that would ensure rights for all workers, irrespective of the employment arrangements they have; and fairer wages, including minimum wages on which people can live a decent life.  A time to review a social contract that ensures that people have more control over their working time and offers more oversight to ensure that businesses do not discriminate or evade their responsibilities.

The BWU is inspired by the prospects of not continuing business as usual.  The emergency and crisis of this pandemic must not be recognised as a time to scale back on initiatives or to lower staff simply because it is a ready response.  A better Barbados post COVID-19 must be our objective and will require effort and change by all of us.  In the coming weeks and months, the Executive Council expects to be busy as we continue to engage in discussions to bolster Barbados’ resilience, not only for now, but beyond this pandemic. 

Such discussions must encompass strengthening the health, safety and wellness of our people, creating employment, new jobs and a sustainable pathway for the future. 

Wherever we go from here it must be forward together, with measures that put people first, if there is to be social trust and confidence that our future will be bright.  The BWU recognises that its input will be required now more than ever to ensure that policies offer hope and leaves no one behind. Our contribution will therefore have to build around our May Day theme for this year “Secure Workers, Sustainable Economies.”  The BWU is ready.

Until next time Barbados – please be safe.  

Prepared by:    The General Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union  

 

 

Behind every dark cloud is a silver lining. For some of us it might be difficult to see it now, but the word of assurance from the Barbados Workers’ Union is that this period of doubt and uncertainty shall pass.  In this holy season of Easter, that silver lining is conveyed through the message of hope, the message found in the well-known hymn which says, because He lives, we can face tomorrow.

 

Without a doubt COVID-19 has been disruptive all around the world.  People are becoming sick, families are saddened by the loss of loved ones, employees are losing their jobs, businesses are folding, and countries, ours included, are spending way in excess of budgeted amounts on medical aid and social protection measures.  To say that COVID-19 is triggering stress, fear and uncertainty would be an understatement. Barbados certainly looks different to the way it did even a month ago.

 

COVID-19 has forced us to accept that many things are simply beyond our control and in many respects, it will likely change the world as we know it forever.

 

Yet we have hope because God is and because God lives, we have hope to face the unpredictability of tomorrow even in this fluid environment.

 

For this reason, this afternoon the Executive Council of the Barbados Workers’ Union is focussing our attention on that bit of hope, presented even in the face of the global pandemic. 

 

Amidst these dark clouds, there is a brighter side of this if we acquiesce to the prospect of changes and seize their opportunities.  For many COVID-19 forced upon us a valuable gift of time.  Time which ordinarily we would have been unwilling to accept.  Time, that in the past would have been scarce as we found ourselves juggling work, the gym, taking the children to lessons or participating in social gatherings.  Now that our routines have been interrupted due to a 24-hour curfew, we can pause to enjoy this gift of time with our families and focus on ourselves.  It has given us a moment of reflection to consider whether we are where we want to be, or whether we are contributing positively to this space we occupy.  We now have the time to explore what more can be done, how we can be more, and contribute more.  With this new gift of time we can consider whether some of the things we normally do but now can’t, are worth continuing when this crisis is over. 

 

This time has allowed families and friends to find interesting ways to connect with each other, for many it has reinvigorated the community spirit.  The community spirit which our Government is encouraging, calling on all of us to be our brother’s keeper, to do something to help others, especially the most vulnerable.

 

As it relates to workers and the world of work, the BWU is of the view that the COVID-19 pandemic has perhaps accelerated some changes that perhaps will move the labour market in the right direction. As more companies see the benefits of remote working and flexible hours in certain types of jobs, it opens the doors to an improved work life balance and family time, therefore creating a more engaged, stress free and productive workforce as an end result. 

 

However, to seize these and other opportunities, the Executive Council of the BWU recognises that there will be a need for a New Social Contract. 

 

Even before the current pandemic, workers the world over have been struggling under a model that puts profit above people.  A model that has seen workers take home a smaller share of the wealth they have created.  The BWU, like other Unions, has been struggling to achieve social and economic justice for workers irrespective of their employment or contractual arrangements, but in far too many instances, workers have been observing a race to the bottom which makes it even difficult for them to trust people who are expected to make a difference for them, including organisations like ours.

 

As many areas of the labour market have been forced into rest, there is no better time for the social partnership to engage in discussions around a new social contract that would ensure rights for all workers, irrespective of the employment arrangements they have; and fairer wages, including minimum wages on which people can live a decent life.  A time to review a social contract that ensures that people have more control over their working time and offers more oversight to ensure that businesses do not discriminate or evade their responsibilities.

 

The BWU is inspired by the prospects of not continuing business as usual.  The emergency and crisis of this pandemic must not be recognised as a time to scale back on initiatives or to lower staff simply because it is a ready response.  A better Barbados post COVID-19 must be our objective and will require effort and change by all of us.  In the coming weeks and months, the Executive Council expects to be busy as we continue to engage in discussions to bolster Barbados’ resilience, not only for now, but beyond this pandemic.  Such discussions must encompass strengthening the health, safety and wellness of our people, creating employment, new jobs and a sustainable pathway for the future.

 

Wherever we go from here it must be forward together, with measures that put people first, if there is to be social trust and confidence that our future will be bright.  The BWU recognises that its input will be required now more than ever to ensure that policies offer hope and leaves no one behind. Our contribution will therefore have to build around our May Day theme for this year “Secure Workers, Sustainable Economies.”  The BWU is ready.

 

Until next time Barbados – please be safe.

 

 

Prepared by:    The General Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union

 

Add comment

Security code
Refresh