KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – A large segment of the audience at the Teachers Solidarity Rally on Friday was not happy to see noted trade unionist Joseph ‘Burns’ Bonadie there.
And the made their feelings known when he went onstage to bring a solidarity message, according to reports.
Members of the crowd, which included the leadership and supporters of the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), jeered, hissed and booed Bonadie.
The uproar was such that Ronald Clarke, president of the SVG Teachers’ Union intervened and appealed to the crowd to allow Bonadie to speak.
However, according to report, Clarke’s intervention did little to help the situation and Bonadie brought his greeting amid protest from the crowd.
Bonadie is the principal adviser to the Unity Labour Party (ULP) administration on labour issues and heads the recently created Workers Institute of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
He is regarded as an outstanding labour leader across the region although some Vincentians consider him a polarising figure here.
Bonadie served for many years as the general secretary of the Caribbean Congress of Labour and was a senator under the opposition NDP before he switched his allegiance to the ULP, on whose behalf he advocates.