Frank Walcott Collection

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This collection celebrates the work of Sir Frank Walcott. He was the first General Secretary of the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) and was credited with the elevation of Industrial Relations and workers' representation in Barbados to a position of a respect. Regarded as a tough but fair negotiator, he gave over fifty years to the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) not only representing workers in issues relating to collective bargaining but also becoming involved in social, economic and political issues. His interest in worker education and housing led to the establishment of the Labour College at Mangrove in St. Philip which provided training for members of the BWU. This was also the site for the BWU's Housing project. One outstanding feature of Frank Walcott's stewardship was the annual May Day celebrations. This occasion was used by the General Secretary to focus on burning industrial relations issue and to state the Union's stance in unequivocal terms. It is still regarded as one of the most important events in the Union's calendar and serves as a unifying force among workers.

Sir Frank Walcott served as President of the Caribbean Congress of Labour for three terms 1960- 1963, 1966- 1969, 1977- 1980; was a member of the governing body of the International Labor Organization, V.P. of the Executive Board of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions; Member of Parliament; and Ambassador to the United Nations.

Frank Walcott was recognized for his outstanding contribution to the country in 1954 with the Order of the British Empire (OBE). In 1987 he had conferred on him the Knight of St. Andrew (KA). The Frank Walcott building in Bridgetown is named in his honour and he is one of Barbados' National Heroes.


Collections in this Community

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  • A range of images capturing the involvement of the Barbados Workers Union and Sir Frank Walcott in the lives of the workers.
Please contact the Main Library, The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus for permission to use the digitized images.