BWU’s annual delegate conference is scheduled for next Saturday
After being postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) is due to hold its 79th annual conference of delegates next Saturday, and its priority will be to protect vulnerable workers from this. countries, the issue of COVID-19 testing and vaccines, and examining the issue of remote work.
Word of this came from BWU General Secretary Toni Moore in a statement released to the media yesterday, in which she revealed that with the pandemic not yet behind us, the BWU will host this year’s conference at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium on Saturday at place of their headquarters of the Maison de la Solidarité.
According to Moore, the conference will be held under the theme “Now is the time” and will examine many of the issues the union has addressed as efforts have been made to “get breakthroughs” for workers in this country.
“At the very least, the BWU has been strong in its struggle to maintain industrial relations principles, standards and agreements during the period. In addition to a discussion of the Executive Board’s report, the conference will revisit a number of demands that we have made over time in the context of the changes taking place in the labor market globally, and to Barbados in particular. As such, we will reconsider our demands for the protection of vulnerable people, recognizing that beyond the introduction of a national minimum wage, which came into effect in April of this year and was championed by this union, we must also ensure that more is done so that all categories of workers have effective terms and conditions, ”she argued.
In that vein, she suggested that a case should be made for gas station workers who, although they can now be paid minimum wage, are at risk due to the nature of their work. The secretary general said these workers should have coverage for “foreseeable and unforeseeable dangers” that may be related to the very important work they do.
She continued, “A similar case can be put forward for security guards, hotel workers, domestic workers and others as well. The conference will also examine the issue of remote working and the need to streamline home work policies that take into account a number of factors including health and safety, liability, burnout, balance work-life and access to a person’s home, in the context of labor administration ”.
Regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and testing, Moore said they expected there would be “strong interest and high participation.” Her comments came as she said the Executive Council had “consciously reserved to become heavily involved in the public discourse” on this issue, stating that it anticipated meaningful discussion at the highest decision-making body of the government. the BWU, the Annual Conference.
“As one might imagine, the BWU represents workers with strong opinions based on choice and rights, on different sides of the argument, and all points of view must and will clash,” he said. she declared.
Meanwhile, she said General President Linda Brooks, who has served on the Executive Board for 29 years and has served as Unopposed General President for the past 13 years, has indicated her intention not to run again. She said Shawn Knight, who has served as vice president for the past eight years, should be elected without opposition.