Teachers jeer Burns Bonadie!

Burns Bonadie

This year’s Teachers’ Solidarity March and Rally was not without controversy; neither was it without drama.

When Burns Bonadie mounted the platform, presumably to bring a solidarity message behalf of his union, the crowd erupted in jeers, hisses and boos.  A clearly agitated Bonadie still attempted to speak but he could not be heard among the raucous roars of the crowd.

This behaviour went on for a few minutes as the veteran trade unionist attempted to address scores of belligerent teachers and their well wishers in attendance. Then, Ronald Clarke, the acting president of the SVGTU, intervened. He appealed to the angry teachers to allow Bonadie to speak. Clarke’s intervention did little to help the situation. Teachers were in no moood to listen to Burns Bonadie. Nevertheless, he persisted.

Amidst the jeers from the crowd, Bonadie gave his message. He expressed solidarity with the Teachers’ Union and reminded the gathering of his own contribution  to the struggle of teachers over the years.  Bonadie also took the opportunity to outline his credentials as an advocate for workers’ rights across the region.  As he concluded his brief address, the jeers and boos went up again.

Burns Bonadie is widely recognized as an outstanding labour leader in the region. He served for many years as the general secretary of the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL).  Bonadie is now the principal adviser to the government on labour issues and heads the recently created Workers Institute of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Some observers expressed the view that the treament meted out to the veteran trade unionist was unnecessary and embarrassing, especially for one who has done so much for the labour movement in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and across the Caribbean.

7 responses

  1. Am not sure if the bunch of angry people who were jeering and booing really teachers.I guess the teachers were booing silently.

  2. The teachers were jeerig Burns because they realize how two faced he is. He wasn’t there in 1975 to support them in when uncle Milton tear gas the teachers. They also booed him because he is an opportunist and one who has jumped from ship to ship every time the party he supports lose an election. His chances of becoming the next prime minister are over because Vincentians get to know who the real Burns Bonadie is.

  3. This clearly showed me that these teachers were there for a purpose, that is, to bring down the government as advertised by the NDP. They did not succeed so they were upset and the only person they could have targeted was on other than Burns. Were these persons really TEACHERS or NDP TEACHERS???

  4. This is such a shame and great embarassment to the SVGTU, but you have to “Wear what you buy”. It’s a good thing I choose NOT to participate when I saw who were on the march. I took my grand march back home. I suspected that incidents like these would have occurred once the NDP was a part of it, based on their recent behaviours. I really don’t want to be associated with such. As I said before, you cannot take politics out of the union, but open partisan politics is another issue.

  5. I am not sure if the booing was politically motivated.I believe they felt betrayed and were expressing their anger towards a two faced trade unionist. It does’nt matter which party is in power or which one he belongs to I strongly feel a trade unionist should be independent. Burns is employed by the goverment as an advisor because he is a trade unionist his job is to apply the same tatics he learned as a trade unionist against the workers he represented .The workers have every right to express their displeasure about any thing pertaining to their good and welfare. What they are saying to him is
    are you with or against us he cannot have one foot in and one foot out.

  6. Give me a break! Of all the positive things that emerged from the activity only this one incident is making it to these pages?

  7. progressive woman | Reply

    I’m glad I wasnt there.

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