Mr R. Fawkes, president of the Bahamas Federation of Labour, denied on January 17th. that?
Mr R. Fawkes, president of the Bahamas Federation of Labour, denied on January 17th. that the general strike in Nassau had political or racial significance, but he admitted that although the causes of the strike were "ourely economic" they were being "used by some people for political ends."
Mr Fawkes that the strike was the beginning of the end of British colonialism in the Bahamas. "we have our ties with the British Crown", he said, and we do not have any desire to sever them, but we are consciously become more in step with the marching feet of the other West Indian islands." "The whole population is in favour of a change in the structure of the Legislature."
The strikers want union recognition and the lifting of barriers preventing hotel workers joining the union. They want a 48-hour week, security against dismissal without justification, and the setting up of an agreements procedure for legitimate complaints.
They also seek a fuller voice in the administration of the island and the creation of a social climate that would allow progress towards more democratic government.
The Governor, Sir Raynor Arthur, as a precaution against trouble, has called in military forces, and a Naval frigate is now lying off the island.