Notes From The Margin

February 19, 2008

STRIKE OFF – Picking Up The Pieces….

At the eleventh hour the Barbados Workers Union deferred the strike action after taking the country to the brink of a National industrial action. Sir Roy Trottman, indicated that the action (or deferment of action) was taken due to the “newness of the current administration” . This dramatic climbdown came after a week of deadlocked talks, where both sides became more and more entrenched in their respective positions.

We on the Margin always felt that the Union had painted itself into a corner by reaching for the “big gun” prematurely. The lateness of this climb down also has several knock on effects that may be more long lasting.

American Airlines cancelled flights today and tomorrow into Barbados, stranding some Bajans in Puerto Rico. It is not clear how many tourists this has affected.

Cruise ship handlers had indicated that in the event of a strike the cruise ships scheduled for Barbados calls on Wednesday would divert to other nearby ports.  At the time of writing, it is unclear if they have diverted or if they will make their regularly scheduled call.

Certainly in looking at our WordPress data we can see that much of the traffic we have picked up is be people looking for informaition on strikes. We believe that many of these queries originate outside of Barbados and we have to wonder if the uncertainty will result in potential tourism business going elsewhere.

In short, even though the strike action is off, we on the Margin are deeply concerned about the impact the strike will have. We are concerned that this matter was allowed to develop to this stage and was not resolved earlier. Even though we may have dodged the strike we still stand to be affected.

This whole sorry episode will do nothing to enhance the reputation of the Union, or the new administration for that matter, who we think should have intervened in some form far earlier than they did.

We can only hope that this issue (which is still ongoing) will now be resolved in an amicable fashion.

Marginal

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4 Comments »

  1. […] post by notesfromthemargin and software by Elliott […]

    Pingback by singlepilot.net » STRIKE OFF - Picking Up The Pieces…. — February 19, 2008 @ 6:06 pm | Reply

  2. Marginal:

    You said: “This whole sorry episode will do nothing to enhance the reputation of the Union, or the new administration for that matter, who we think should have intervened in some form far earlier than they did.”

    Let me state, clearly, that I am defending the “new” administration which I considered acted admirably in all the circumstances. One of the important messages that Prime Minister Thompson delivered is that the Democratic Labour Party Government differs from that of the previous administration in its unwillingness to pull a “deus ex machina” out of the hat, if I may mix my metaphor, when industrial conflicts are precipitated by persons who do not seem to take ALL the interests of the community into consideration. One further point: WHEN A PROBLEM CAN BE SOLVED AT A LOWER LEVEL, WHY USE THE SLEDGEHAMMER TO CRACK THE NUT? UNLESS, OF COURSE, THE “NUT” IS REALLY THE HEAD OF …

    Comment by Linchh — February 20, 2008 @ 1:13 am | Reply

  3. Linchh,

    You said.. “One of the important messages that Prime Minister Thompson delivered is that the Democratic Labour Party Government differs from that of the previous administration in its unwillingness to pull a “deus ex machina” out of the hat, if I may mix my metaphor, when industrial conflicts are precipitated by persons who do not seem to take ALL the interests of the community into consideration. One further point: WHEN A PROBLEM CAN BE SOLVED AT A LOWER LEVEL, WHY USE THE SLEDGEHAMMER TO CRACK THE NUT? UNLESS, OF COURSE, THE “NUT” IS REALLY THE HEAD OF …”

    While generally I agree with you, I do think that 24 hours earlier would have made a difference in this case. As I say in the post, it doesn’t make much of a difference in the day to day running of the country internaly but there is the potential for longer term effects.

    Marginal

    Comment by notesfromthemargin — February 20, 2008 @ 8:10 am | Reply

  4. […] Free Press reports that the national strike is on hold, while Notes From The Margin says: “We…always felt that the Union had painted itself into a corner by reaching for […]

    Pingback by Global Voices Online » Barbados: Strike on Hold — February 20, 2008 @ 8:34 pm | Reply


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