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            [post_date] => 2015-06-27 10:00:02
            [post_date_gmt] => 2015-06-27 14:00:02
            [post_content] => After the issuing of termination letters  to over a dozen workers over the age of 60 by the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC), the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) is threatening that its members across the public service could take industrial action next week if the letters are not withdrawn. The Barbados Workers' Union (BWU), the biggest trade union on the island, also joined the force to back the NUPW to fight with the statutory board over its forced retirement of the employees.

At a news conference that was held yesterday, NUPW general secretary, Rosyln Smith, said that if  the letters given to the 13 BIDC workers are not withdrawn by next Tuesday, "serious" industrial action will commence.

"We have not ruled out a shutdown of the country," she said following meeting with workers from all statutory boards."We will recommend [to the union’s National Council] that if BIDC fails to change their decision, then the only option that we will have is to embark on serious industrial action . . . We will not be going backwards, we are going forward."

The final decision on the matter will be determined by the National Council in a meeting that will be held next Tuesday.
The termination letters from the BIDC were handed to the patrons last week, a day before its management was expected to meet with the union. Protests were triggered as the letters shared that the Board of Directors had decided to invoke its right under the Statutory Boards (Pensions) Act to retire officers reaching the age of 60.
The legality of move however became a concern as the Pensions Act had been amended to allow employees of statutory boards to work up until age 67.  In addition, it said that if the BIDC did not want to rescind the termination letters, it would have to pay the dismissed workers as if they had reached that age.
The affected workers are now seeking a court injunction to fight the matter on the legal front and stop the terminations from taking effect.
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Barbados' Public Sector Trade Unions Threaten Industrial Action Island Wide

June 27, 2015
1

After the issuing of termination letters to over a dozen workers over the age of 60 by the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC), the National Union of Public Work...Continue reading

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            [post_date] => 2015-06-26 10:00:14
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            [post_content] => The Guyana Ministry of Public Security is considering allowing fishermen to carry firearms at sea as piracy has become a major problem. Speaking with executives of the Upper Corentyne Chamber of Commerce and members of the Upper Corentyne Fisherman’s Coop Society Limited yesterday, public security minister Khemraj Ramjattan made the disclosure and shared that it was one of the proposals being considered to address piracy on the Corentyne River.

"I am keen on something like that because when you are out on the ocean there, it’s like the olden times in America, like you [are] out on the west and you have only a six shooter revolver to defend yourself," he said.

He informed that if the proposal is implemented, the firearms will only be issued to the fishermen when they are heading out for a voyage at sea so that they can defend themselves. The firearms and ammunition will then be turned over to the police on their return. He says that having Coast Guard vessels guarding fishermen would be too costly and so the ministry had to find a more practical solution for the piracy problem.

"So too is having helicopters in various parts of Berbice to respond to call from fishing boats . . . Just the elementary helicopter costs millions, much less the sophisticated type," minister Ramjattan pointed out. "What we would need are some practical solutions,"he added, as he identified measures such as ensuring better response time by the police and Coast Guard units. He said the latter’s metal shark boats would be put to use.

The boats will also be equipped with radio systems to ensure that their positions can be tracked.

 
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Guyana Govt Considers Allotting Firearms To Fishermen For Self-Defense As Piracy Strikes The Region

June 26, 2015
1

The Guyana Ministry of Public Security is considering allowing fishermen to carry firearms at sea as piracy has become a major problem. Speaking withexecutives of the Upper Corenty...Continue reading

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            [post_date] => 2015-06-25 10:00:44
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            [post_content] => As outrage continues to grow over the Dominican Republic's move to deport hundreds of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has called on the leaders of the country to halt their act to avoid creating a humanitarian crisis in the region.

"The Community calls on the Dominican Republic authorities to adhere to the above principles and confirm the citizenship status of Dominicans of Haitian descent. The Community also calls on the Dominican Republic not to engage in the expulsion of Dominicans of Haitian descent . . . ," the body said in a statement that was issued yesterday.

Since a 2013 ruling by the Dominican Constitutional Court, which had been made retroactive to 1929, the many people born in the Dominican Republic to Haitian parents have been left "stateless" following the revoking of their nationality. Recently, the government launched a programme that offers legal residency to Haitians born in the Dominican Republic but the deadline for applications ended last week with thousands still unable to register. With this, the government announced that it will begin deporting those whose citizenship has not been regularized.

Being extremely concerned by the threat of the expulsion of these Dominicans, the CARICOM said that it initiated a discussion on the issue during the recent European Union-CARIFORUM High-Level Meeting in Brussels.

They shared that "the meeting was informed of the plight of the Dominicans of Haitian descent rendered stateless, both those who were documented and those who were not. As highlighted in the Joint Communique of the High-Level Meeting, there was commitment to adhere to a number of principles including ‘protection of the status of citizenship and the presumption that persons shall not be rendered stateless’,” the CARICOM statement said.

Considering this, the CARICOM said it was agreed that "proposals to set up appropriate benchmarks and monitoring mechanisms, to be presented by CARIFORUM, will be considered". Efforts to solve the issue are however currently underway.
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CARICOM Urges Dominican Republic To Halt Deportation Of Haitians

June 25, 2015
1

As outrage continues to grow over the Dominican Republic's move to deport hundreds of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has called on th...Continue reading