Barbados: Trades Unions Material

Scope and Content

Journals, newspapers, memorandums, constitutions, reports and conference reports issued by the Barbados Association of Local Government Officers, the Barbados Progressive Union of Workers, the Barbados Sugar and General Workers Union, the Barbados Workers' Union, and the Caribbean Labour Congress.

Administrative / Biographical History

Trades unions in Barbados were closely linked to the evolution of the party system in the years before independence, with leaders of the Barbados Workers' Union (BWU) sitting in the House of Assembly and on the Executive Council as well as being members of the Barbados Labour Party. The subsequent switch of BWU support to the Democratic Labour Party was important in securing the latter's 1961 election victory. As well as alluding to domestic politics, the Caribbean Labour Congress materials here also indicate the support of the union movement for some form of federation within the West Indies.


Alphabetically by union, and then in rough chronological order.

Access Information

Open to all for research purposes; access is free for anyone in higher education.

Acquisition Information

Institute of Commonwealth Studies

Other Finding Aids

Records at item level on library catalogue (SASCAT)

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Daniel Millum, Political Archives Project Officer at the Institutes of Commonwealth and Latin American Studies.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies can usually be obtained - apply to library staff.

Custodial History

The Commonwealth Political Parties Materials collection was begun in 1960-61, with special emphasis being placed then, as now, on "primary material such as party constitutions, policy statements, convention reports and election manifestos." (ICS, Twelfth Annual Report 1960-1961). Since then, the main method of gathering material has been to appeal directly to political parties throughout the Commonwealth, though contributions from Institute members and staff following visits to relevant countries have been significant.


Further accruals are expected, some in electronic form.

Related Material

See also Barbados: Pressure Groups Material (PG.BB) and Barbados: Political Party Material (PP.BB), as well as Political Party, Trades Unions and Pressure Group Materials for other Commonwealth countries and related material in the library's main classified sequence, all held at the ICS.