Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley is responding to critics who have been lashing out at trade unionist Senator Toni Moore for agreeing to be the Barbados Labour Party’s (BLP) candidate in St George North for the upcoming by-election.
Last week, following the announcement that Member of Parliament Gline Clarke who has represented St George North for the past 26 years will be retiring at the end of this month, Prime Minister Mottley revealed that the party had chosen Moore as the candidate for the still-to-be announced poll.
Mere hours after, an unimpressed Opposition Senator Caswell Franklyn argued that working class Barbadians had been slapped in the face and stabbed in the back by the BWU General Secretary whom he also said betrayed workers by swiftly accepting Government’s recent wage subsidy proposal for hotel workers, even before making the move to run on a BLP ticket.
However, speaking during a St George North public meeting at Flat Rock in St George last evening, Prime Minister Mottley said the only b about Moore is that now she is with the best political party.
“You mean to tell me that [Sir] Grantley [Adams] could have chosen a union leader in the form of Hugh Springer but Mia Mottley can’t choose another woman to run.
“You mean to tell me that Grantley could have chosen Frank Walcott to run in St Peter but Mia Mottley, a woman, can’t choose a next woman to run as a unionist. You mean to tell me that Errol Barrow could have chosen the same Frank Walcott after he was an independent and put him to run but Miss Mottley, a woman, can’t put a next woman to run, the third decade of the 21st century.
“You mean to tell me that Errol Barrow and then Sir Erskine Sandiford could choose Sir Roy Trotman to run and then this woman Mia, can’t choose a next woman to run,” Mottley said, citing several instances where men and women in the trade union movement have been given the nod to serve by other political leaders. She also named former minister Ronald Jones and current head of the Barbados Union of Teachers Pedro Shepherd who she said, sits on the DLP’s Executive.
“The difference between all of them is that when this young lady told you she was not interested in elective politics, she was telling the truth and I said ‘Toni you will be the only General Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union who would not have come to represent people in Parliament and you need to go back and read the documents and to see that when the workers’ union was formed it was always understood that it wasn’t only about representing people through the union and industrial relations but that you needed to have a political voice in order to be able to influence policy and to protect the workers of this country’,” she said.
The Prime Minister also took a swing at trade unionist Senator Franklyn whom she hinted was yet to resign from the BLP. She suggested that the BLP may have also paid the rent for a period for his Unity Workers’ Union.
“I never give the Barbados Workers’ Union any money, or Toni Moore or Leroy Trotman. I have come to them to help us, he came to us for a handout and a help-up,” Mottley said.