Saturday, August 13, 2022

Mottley Warns Lives Are At Risk In Strike By Nurses

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Barbados Today:-  Prime Minister Mia Mottley today warned the lives of Barbadians are at risk as she chided the positions taken by Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley and veteran trade unionist Derek Alleyne in support of the nurses’ strike action led by the Unity Workers Union headed by Senator Caswell Franklyn.

In a strong statement, Mottley maintained the action was political, insisting that it does not “conform or resemble ” industrial relations practice.

 Below is the full statement issued by the Prime Minister:

Having read the comments attributed to Bishop Atherley, Senator Franklyn and Derek Alleyne, I must say that I am even more disturbed by this totally unwarranted and potentially dangerous situation that has been created by the Frankly-inspired strike.

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What are they really saying to us in today’s media? Who is really going to hurt?

Are they saying the lives of Bajans do not matter? Are they saying that the lives of working people and of poor people do not matter?

Exactly to what lengths will this group go to make a political point? Are you really boasting that you have paralyzed the National Vaccination Programme in the middle of a dangerous and deadly Pandemic with new variants lurking around?

Are you seriously personally satisfied that your actions are preventing your own citizens from getting access to potential life-saving medications when the clear evidence emerging is that this is what protects us against these new variants that are lurking?

Is this really what we have come to in Barbados? This is unbelievable!!!

Who is being vaccinated? Is it not regular people like you and I? This is not a test trial in a lab somewhere where you are working on mice. These are real people who if left without the option of getting these vaccines due to the recklessness stance, potentially face a literal death sentence if God forbid they catch COVID.

This is not Mia Mottley’s belief; these are cold hard proven medical facts backed by the empirical evidence right here in Barbados over the past months. Unvaccinated people we have seen for ourselves, face the highest risks of serious illness or death when they contract COVID-19.

And I ask why on God’s earth would anybody, and especially these goodly gentlemen see no problem in promoting or supporting actions that imperil lives?

Bishop Atherley spoke and made no reference to the well-being of the patients who are at the centre of our concern. Does he not realize that we are not talking about what is going on in a drinks factory? Is he so afraid of Senator Franklyn that he is prepared to abandon reason and common sense? And to what end?

I have known what it is, my friends, to ask a Senator that I appointed, to resign when I was Leader of Opposition. I know what it is to hold people accountable to the national conventions and laws we must protect. What is the motivation of the Leader of Opposition? It is the same question I had to ask when he assumed that position immediately after the last election. For real. What is it?

People at the Psychiatric Hospital and Geriatric Hospital who are unwell and who need this care are being left in the lurch because apparently, it is ok for nurses to be told that they should leave them for someone else to deal with as Senator Franklin told them. They were told by him that they are not your problem. And the boasting rights that he wants, seem to be more important than the health of an elderly person or a patient! I wonder what Florence Nightingale would say if she were alive.

The current General Secretary of the DLP, Derek Alleyne, now, seeing the void created by the silence of his leader – sees nothing wrong with what is happening and in fact has intimated that even if a union is doing foolishness other trade unions should not intervene and call for good sense to prevail. This is unbelievable! This is not who we are.

Their statements reinforce all that I have said. And my view is that it is these political actions that are putting at risk our people. It does not conform or resemble any aspect of our industrial relations practice.

Are they really prepared to undermine the integrity, also, of an industrial relations system that is based on clearly established protocols that are globally recognized and respected? Our actions today will determine what is permissible conduct in the management of our industrial relations going forward. And that is why all of the established unions in this country stood united as a Social Partnership because they know what is at stake.

Who are they attacking for speaking out and for reminding us what is acceptable international relations conduct? They are seeking to attack the Barbados Workers Union, the Congress of Trades and Staff Association of Barbados, the National Union of Public Workers, the Barbados Nurses Association, the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners. For what? For reminding us what the ILO (International Labour Organization) principles are and those of the International Code of Nurses.

Will the ILO and the International Nursing bodies be picking sides in Barbados by reinforcing their best practice protocols in international relations as these unions have sought to do? The same ones are being attacked in the Social Partnership for simply standing up for best practice.

They ALL know you cannot set criteria as a trigger for a strike and immediately take that action even though the trigger has not happened. And that you want a strike for your 1st course of action in an industrial dispute? Unheard of.

This is Barbados that has a union movement that celebrates 80 years this year, 2021. This is who we are. And when we go to attack the integrity of all who spoke from the union movement and declared that they are being political WHEN THE FACTS ARE SO CLEAR THAT EVEN A BLIND MAN ON A TROTTING HORSE CAN SEE THEM.

My friends, it is as if they will destroy Barbados in their quest for relevance. We have not had a silly season that puts us this perilously close to the edge. And certainly already in the midst of a pandemic. Patriotism is now to be sacrificed at the altar of them seeking relevance.

I repeat, this is not a lab experiment. This is real life and real lives that can be lost.

You are stopping the woman from Pie Corner from being vaccinated. But Senators are vaccinated. What is wrong with that woman from Pie Corner or Black Rock or the man from Kirton’s in St. Philip, wanting to be vaccinated? Why were the Senators and Members of Parliament vaccinated? Is it not to save their lives? Why should that grandparent in Pie Corner or the one in Black Rock or the same person in Kirton’s or in Parish Land not want to be vaccinated especially now that they know that they may have grandchildren coming home and living with them and who are moving about more in their community because it is Christmas time.

This goes, my friends, to the core of who we are as a people. And I ask, how can we have persons encourage the abandonment of patients? And really for what reasons?

And this level of ignorance and folly is not associated with Barbados that I know. Indeed I am embarrassed, truly, by their behaviour. And they should hang their heads in shame.

Let us be real. The only person who can pull this back is Caswell Franklin. For there is no action that the Government has taken. He is reacting to an action that was not taken by the Government! If ever there was a case about jumping the gun, this is it!

And at some point, my friends, he will have to stop because no one sent him out there. And the things he is complaining about have not happened. So I ask, why is he punishing the vulnerable and the sick? If you want to take action and take on the Government, my brother, find a Constituency and run in it and take us on that way.

But your fight is not even truly with the Government. Because we know deep down that this is an act to boost your membership and to be politically divisive but let us remember who is at risk and who may die as a result of it. They need the vaccines to protect them from death and hospitalization. And boasting that you have collapsed a programme when there is clearly a need for vaccine protection for Delta and Omicron   is a most unfortunate development.

And this is not just politics now, this is ignorance and recklessness.

And as I said before, every Parliamentarian is vaccinated to the best of my knowledge. If you’re not, I don’t know, but why is it that all of the rest of us went? The same reason we all went is the same reason the lady would leave Pie Corner yesterday to go and get hers or the man who went to Parish Land to Randall Philips yesterday to get a booster. Only to be told no such luck.

And boasting about a vaccination programme being collapsed.

The silence of the leader of the Democratic Labour Party is equally deafening and perplexing unless of course it is that she endorses all that her General Secretary has said. My friends, we are now emerging from a third wave and we are beginning to see a strong path to some level of normalcy and we don’t want to be able to have this recklessness bring serious peril to Barbadians.

Why should Bajans be asked to go into Christmas week this week, worried that if they get sick they might be in trouble.

There is no action that the Government that has done that has brought this about. I repeat. We have not introduced any Safe Zones yet. We have not introduced mandatory vaccination yet. We have not introduced mandatory testing. So I ask, why are persons striking? And what are they striking for?

Is there no room in this country for right and for wrong and to understand the difference between the two?

My advice – no my prayer – is for Senator Franklyn to listen to that part of the Bible that says, “Go to the ant thy sluggard way – consider her ways and be wise.”

I ask him and I ask all of the others, Bishop Atherley and Derek Alleyne as well, who are we really hurting as we enter this Christmas week?

Is this the Barbados that we now want or are we going to stand up for what we know to be right and fair and not put ordinary Barbadians at risk?

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

11 COMMENTS

  1. A bunch of Politicians cannot dictate to the ppl. The ppl out number them. Not sure Why ppl accepting this form of Slavery and Segregation in the Region. Our fore fathers fought and some died for an end to Segregation Why should we go back to Segregation. Now it\s Vaxxers against Non Vaxxers. I used to hear Lucians biggin up this woman. Bad rep of a leader.

  2. “We have not introduced any Safe Zones YET. We have not introduced mandatory vaccination YET.”

    But you sure will. Bajans are some of the most educated people in the region. They have enough sense to see what is coming at taking in front before in front takes them. Lucians it is coming for you.

  3. “We have not introduced any Safe Zones YET. We have not introduced mandatory vaccination YET. We have not introduced mandatory testing. So I ask, why are persons striking? And what are they striking for?”

    People know what YET means and they know you will introduce it. Duh! The same nurses who dealt with infected patients are more scared of the treatments. That really is a no brainer as to why I should stay away. Police need to walk off as well. Let’s see who protect them.

  4. I don’t think those dictator s have ever seen a civil unrest they just hide behind their police force and victimize the people but they are in for a surprise

  5. Calling fire and brimstone on stlucia times for not posting my comments. You’ll part of the system motley pushing to silence people’s opinion.

  6. Oh yeah, first they became a republic, bravo for dat, but now they will best first to remove God, first to marry LGBT in the region, first to set up embassy in the metaverse and sell real estate too, in the virtual world, a world that doesn’t exist. Bravo to you Mia and all your supporters and sycophants and all those regional heads that bow down to you. Thank you for bringing this region into the New World Order. May fire and brimstone consume all who worship is to the beast system. Fire burn Babylon.

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