iLocal News Archives

The Editor Speaks: When a worker’s alliance isn’t a union

Colin WilsonwebQuestion: When is a Worker’s Union not a union?

Answer: When it is an alliance

So says former Premier McKeeva Bush who said this with a straight face on CITN/Cayman27’s television talk show “The Panel”.

He even said he expected people like advocacy groups C4C and the Chamber of Commerce to “smear it”.

He called on workers to unite to protect their own rights and advance their skills so they can address some of the “ills in the modern workplace” and unemployment.

The employers are now the bad boys he intimated saying people were living 20 to a room because they were earning only $5 per hour.

He didn’t say where this was or if all 20 were paying the $20 each, nor did he give a good answer to Tammie Sulliman, the show’s host, why he didn’t create or promote such an alliance when he was premier?  His answer implied he was just too busy.

He had to tackle the budget and the public finances, he said, and “fighting” red tape AND ……  “dealing with the media”.

Of course it was us, the media, that “blew everything out of proportion”.

The current government, he said, had four ministers doing the job he had done single handed.

Excuse me, wasn’t that his choice? He was the premier but perhaps there wasn’t anyone competent enough, in his eyes, who could or was willing enough to help him?

Don’t you just feel sorry for him? Whilst watching the broadcast I nearly shed a tear.

Apparently, according to Bush, no government is able to help workers because of the pressure from business and the civil service “that stops everything”.

The bashing of the employers continued because “participatory democracy meant everyone should have their say but at present most issues are decided by employers, with the people only invited to speak on election day”.

But again, I have to say, “Mr. Bush. You were the premier. You could have done something about it. You had at least one back bencher, Captain Eugene Ebanks comes to mind, who wasn’t heavily engaged in anything. He would have done everything you said without question. There was the man. He could have started your union  (whoops sorry) your alliance and allowed them a voice. He had the time.

Apparently there were a number of people who had talked to the ex-premier about creating a formal association to represent workers, “from hotel employees living on low wages to young lawyers not able to find articles”.

Didn’t former Government Minister Frank McField start a Workforce Union/Alliance some years ago and then some years later become an employer? I seem to remember some of his employees crying out they were living on low wages…..

Bush has said his alliance is not a union without explaining the difference. He wasn’t going to spear head it or set it up but just promote the idea.

In other words he wants to make mischief and look like the Robin Hood of Cayman.

His Bush Band of Merry Men could be The Bush Amusing Alliance Band. Now if they play music I might employ them. That won’t do, though, because I would be an employer.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *