Union slams ‘lax enforcement; of pay, health, safety rules

Deputy General Secretary of the BWU Dwaine Paul

by Emmanuel Joseph

In a strongly-worded rebuke, the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) today charged local Government authorities with failing to prosecute employers who it claims continue to commit crimes against their employees.

Deputy General Secretary of the BWU Dwaine Paul, who drew specific reference to the cutting of salaries, said the list of companies guilty of breaking the law that prohibits unilaterally slashing workers’ pay is growing while no one is being held accountable.

Paul said the practice of business leaders flouting the Health and Safety legislation and the law that protects workers from salary cuts has been allowed to persist under successive administrations.

He insisted that the practice must stop now and that the executive council of the union should not even have to contemplate taking action against employers when the law is there to be obeyed.

“We believe that there are too many companies in Barbados which are breaking the labour laws and there seems to be no recourse. We just did a curfew act, brand new and people are prosecuted under the curfew act. We can’t see anybody being prosecuted under the Health and Safety Act…we can’t see anybody being prosecuted for violation of the Wages and Protection Act,” the Deputy General Secretary told Barbados TODAY.

“The system just does not seem to be able to prosecute people for violation of the labour laws. For workers to have confidence in this country that they are going to have their rights protected, we are going to unfortunately have to see some people prosecuted for crimes against workers,” the senior union official stressed…

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