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Island-wide strike looms in wake of LIME dismissals

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 | 11:49 AM    

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – The Barbados Workers Union (BWU) is threatening a nationwide strike if the telecommunications company, Cable and Wireless (Barbados) Limited, does not retract dismissal letters sent to nearly 100 workers last week.

The BWU has also given the telecommunication company until today to rescind the letters.

Last week, Cable and Wireless (Barbados) Limited, which operates under the brand LIME, said that it would be outsourcing its retail operations in a bid to improve its financial position.

LIME managing director Alex McDonald said while the company would be sending home 97 employees 48 new positions would be created.

But BWU general secretary, Sir Roy Thompson, who met with Labour Minister Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo on Monday said, “if by Wednesday, we have no indication that this matter is coming towards some means of resolution, then I shall be asking the executive council to declare a national strike”.

Media reports said that Byer-Suckoo is seeking to meet with LIME management in a bid to encourage them back to return to the negotiating table.

Sir Roy described the decision to send home the workers as “reprehensible” and “totally without foundation and justification.

“When the employer goes the route of bypassing the collective agreement, bypassing the Minister of Labour, bypassing the Social Partners Protocol, then I believe that employer has flown past its nest, has insulted the Minister, has insulted the trade union, has insulted the working class people of Barbados and such an employer needs to make an apology or that we should consider taking some action which brings him back to human feelings,” he added.

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