Suffering and uncertainty after job losses


Recently in Barbados there has been talk of a tense industrial relations environment in part due to the Covid-19 pandemic and also due to the continuation of poor practices in certain industries in Barbados.

The result of that environment is that there are families which now have no income because they have been severed and have not received all of the money due to them.

The image of a former senior cabin officer of Liat 1974 Limited moved to tears while telling the story of her family’s challenges after she was laid-off by that company  has resonated with many other Barbadians who now understand the plight of trying to support a family with little to no income.

Following that occasion, which was a press conference with Opposition Leader, Bishop Joseph Atherley, the Government of Barbados agreed to give local workers who were laid off by LIAT a payment of two thousand dollars to assist them with some of their bills.

The situation is untenable, especially at a time where the island is said to need a higher birth rate to support its current social security systems. The idea of planning a family in this type of economic climate is daunting and it is suspected that many young couples will avoid starting their own families if possible until there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

There are persons with children who are unable to feed and clothe them and cannot provide them with the tools necessary to engage in virtual education, they also have difficulty when sending those children into the physical schools. These things need to be dealt with swiftly so that persons can support their families. There must be a way for these entities to make the necessary arrangements to have their former staff compensated as they should be.

It is not only an issue with LIAT but with many businesses in the tourism industry that have claimed that they are unable to pay the sums owed to the former employees. There have been multiple protests by these workers to remind the public of their plight and to beg anyone who is capable of assisting to help them with their mounting debt.

Several hotels are included in this list of businesses. The law allows for a portion of the severance to be paid by the Government which in some cases has been done but the employers must pay the bulk of the severance payments unless  those companies are officially deemed to be bankrupt under the law.

At a 2020 press conference, the General Secretary of the Barbados Workers Union stated that it was important that employers who are capable of paying the sums do not abuse the National Insurance Scheme. Further effort therefore needs to be made to advocate for these persons who are now unemployed to ensure that those companies which are financially capable of providing severance will do so in a more timely fashion.

The efforts of the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Labour and the BWU should be applauded but it is time to put the suffering of these persons to an end and ensure that those who have obligations continue to meet them. — Barbados Advocate Editorial

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  1. Keep on voting for world dictator traitor tyrant Gaston Browne and more of this shit will follow. Only a few select of his ass kissers will ever benefit from this piece of scum.

    Antigua will be doomed if this maggot stays in any longer.

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