March 27, 2024

11,000 Workers in Barbados to Become Sugar Industry Co-Owners

NCEO founder and senior staff member

Barbados’s Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Indar Weir announced that more than 11,000 workers at the two state-owned sugar companies will become owners of 20% of the stock as the companies transition to private ownership.

“My view,” Weir said, “is that when the full transition is completed, for the first time in our entire existence workers in the sugar industry are becoming owners. A sugar industry with workers becoming owners has to be the real deal…This to my mind represents the greatest piece of enfranchisement to ever take place in this hemisphere.”

Ambassador Clyde Mascoll, the chair of Barbados Agricultural Management Company, said, “No one individual can come from any part of Barbados or any part of the world and believe that he or she has the knowledge when the people who actually work in these institutions are the ones with the knowledge and only need guidance.”

The companies have been losing money in recent years. The ownership stake for workers is the first step in an envisioned gradual process of privatization, details of which are to be determined.