Nationwide action still looms over LIME lay off plan

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, August 31, 2009 – It appears that all remains not well between Barbados’ largest trade union and LIME, with the threat of a national protest against the telecommunications company still looming.

Although the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) has held off on calling for island wide action over the firm’s plans to lay off 116 employees, General Secretary Sir Roy Trotman said over the weekend that he could give no guarantees that would not change.

His comments came after Prime Minister David Thompson’s intervention in the matter failed to break the deadlock between the BWU and the company.

“We have taken the advice of the Minister of Labour and sought not to have industrial dislocation because Barbados needs every single foreign dollar that it can get…We have therefore avoided putting greater pressure on those of you employers who would be inconvenienced if we were to take national industrial action before it becomes absolutely necessary,” he said at the union’s annual conference on Saturday.
“But if it becomes absolutely necessary, then you will have to forgive us because principle cannot be sacrificed on the altar of expediency.”
The union has been trying to convince LIME to explore options rather than sending home the workers.

But the BWU General Secretary has accused the company, which provides landline, Internet and mobile services, of being unwilling to consider other alternatives.