Barbados Trade Unions Plan

Barbados Trade Unions Plan to March Over New Tax
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Barbados (Mckoy’s News) – Trade Unions Plan to March Over New Tax:  Trade unions in Barbados have come up with a counterproposal to Government’s crippling hike in the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) even as they prepare to hit the streets this week to voice their opposition to the tax implemented seven days ago.
Following a joint meeting of shop stewards from the Barbados Workers’ Union, the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) and the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU), union leaders emerged with a proposal calling for Government to cut the NSRL by 50 per cent.
Previously they had called for the tax measure to be scrapped and a coping subsidy be granted to its members to help cushion the blow of the tax which moved from two percent to ten per cent.
“There is now a third position which we would have included and we put it to our members…and that is we would accept an increase in the NSRL to no more than five per cent. We, however understand, that one particular action might not serve the entire population, so there might need to be a combination of things to be done in order to bring relief to the members,” NUPW president Akanni McDowall said.
Meanwhile, the union leaders outlined plans to march on Parliament tomorrow.
BSTU President Mary Redman served noticed that this was only phase one of ramped up action by the unions.
She said the unions would dispatch official correspondence to Stuart, Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley and the two Independent Members of Parliament. After that, Redman said the unions were prepared to give the Stuart administration a short period to change its decision on the levy, which was increased in the May 30 Budget from two per cent to ten per cent.
She warned if Government failed to meet the union’s demand, more militant action would follow.
“After Tuesday’s event, we are hoping to get a reasonable and caring response from Government and at the end of the time period, if we do not get the response that we are hoping for, then we will ‘up the thing’, but that time period will not be revealed at this point in time,” she stressed.

Contributed by Dr Colin O Jarrett

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