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.
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.
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:
Finance and Administration
Public Relations and Communications
Counseling and Wellness
The objects of the Union shall be as follows:-
To secure the complete organisation in the Union of all workers employed in all the trades, industries and occupations in this 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.
To stimulate support for the principle that our country’s natural resources and means of production be developed primarily for the satisfaction of human needs rather than for private profit.
To regulate the relations and settle disputes between members and employers, between one member and another and between members and other workers, by amicable agreements whenever possible.
To establish and maintain gender parity.
To defend and promote the interests of young members and future generations; the retired and the elderly; the socially excluded and persons with disabilities.
To establish a social dimension to regional integration by promoting Tripartite Consultation both at the national and regional level, and by assisting in the required capacity building to ensure that trade unions within the region can effectively influence policy decisions and promote social justice as an integral factor in economic development.
To provide for members any or all of the following benefits and such others as the Annual Conference may decide:
Relief in sickness, accident, disablement, distress, unemployment, victimisation or trade disputes;
legal advice and legal assistance where necessary in connection with their employment.
To further the lawful political objects affecting the interests of the members by representation in Parliament, Local Government bodies and on all other such bodies calculated to further the interest of the members and workers generally and to employ the funds of the union, subject to the provisions of the Trade Union Act, in furthering such representations.
To encourage and stimulate the formation, growth and development of the Co-operative Movement, by way of initiating and promoting and employing the funds of the Union in Co-operative Societies.
To establish, carry on or participate in, financially or otherwise, such enterprises as are calculated to further the interest of the Union, or its members in any lawful manner which the Annual Conference may, from time to time, deem expedient.
The furtherance financially or otherwise, of the work or purpose of any association or federal body having for its objects the promotion of the interests of labour, trade unionism or trade unionists, subject however, to the restrictions imposed by Section 35 of the Trade Union Act.
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.
The services offered by the union include:
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
Some of the achievements of the Union are:
Holidays with pay
National Insurance and Social Security
Protection of wages
Protocol on job security
Housing Development at Mangrove, St Philip
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