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.