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Ajamu Nyomba , I've given more thought to your point about pan players being unionized , and you're right.

The way things are , they would be better served by being in a union.

However , forming a new union is complicated by the fact that they already had a union , which they voluntarily turned into a corporation.

These technicalities will have to be worked out , and I don't know if and how it can ; it would have to be left up to lawyers , I suppose.

I can see the perceived benefits of incorporation which may have appealed to those pan people who favored incorporation.
However, since most of the business Pan Trinbago does is management of the monies doled out to the steelband culture by government , would it not have a better solution to remain a union , and have that union hire, or even create a firm to manage their financial affairs ?

That would have kept the union viable in the struggle for the rights and betterment of pan players in general , which is the role of a union.

If and when a new executive is elected , strong consideration should be given to returning Pan Trinbago to it's former role as a union ,which would necessitate a constitutional convention , for starters , but that probably won't happen.
As a matter of fact , pan players have a limited role in the affairs of Pan Trinbago .

One should be aware that Pan Trinbago is an association of STEELBANDS , not of pan players. Pan players can only be associate members , and have no vote , which means they have no direct power in the association.
Have you all noticed that we haven't heard much from steelbands , who are the ones who can make changes?

With a few exceptions , steelband leaders seem quite content with the status quo , since only they and their representatives can elect or remove the executives.

Some of us do not wish to hear this , but having looked at the act of parliament , the mandate and the constitution , Pan Trinbago legally remains arbiters of all things related to the steelpan in T&T , and there isn't much that can be done collectively by steelbands without their involvement. They hold the purse strings to those government funds , after all.

Maybe a new pan players union isn't such a bad idea , after all.

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I would like to think the view that Pan Trinbago is representative of the steelbands, rather than  panplayers is a correct perspective. (View their treatment of players in general). This should then allow panplayers to form a union, since the right to freedom of association/representation is part of our legal system. Of course this will then be a headache for the management teams of the various steelbands, as our historical attitude to unionization is confrontational rather than collaborative. To my mind the total focus on the funding proferred by the State has handicapped the ability of many to look beyond the now and the pittance given to panplayers by the steelband management. Maybe at this time thought should be given to the practicality of how many steelbands can be properly sustained in Trinidad & Tobago, meaning as businesses properly run and managed by professionals. Look at what has happened to our dance orchestras from the 50s and 60s right up to the present time.

Michael David Germain

You hit the nail on the head. I  hope someone is listening.


Good points , Michael.

Glenroy, we're on the same page, almost but not quite.

I am suggesting that Pan Trinbago should remain as is, a public corporation (with the necessary constitutional changes, e.g., more gov't oversight regarding the allocation of the annual subvention, annual, independent, government audit, etc.) 

In this framework, Pan Trinbago is "management" and pan players (not steelbands), are the workers who should form a union to represent them in negotiations with management w.r.t. income, benefits, etc., (as unions traditionally do).

The difficulty here is getting rid of the "old guard," the Forteaus, the Serrettes, the Josephs, the Byers, and their hangers-on, the Bryants, the Henrys, etc., members of the oligarchy.

Even if we assume they have good intentions, they lack the requisite professional qualifications and business acumen to run a multi-million dollar enterprise.

They have made careers (40+ years in some cases) of being on the national and/or regional Pan Trinbago executive. Further, they are complicit in the mismanagement of the monies earmarked for pan players. 

Fire go bun dem!

I hope this clarifies my position.

My understanding of your idea of unionization is that the pan players union would replace Pan Trinbago.

I ask, to do what, negotiate with government over the annual subvention?


It may be expressly dishonest of those who may be aware of the initiative and did not support it, or refuses to give credit to it's initiator, to pretend that this is a new idea, and a product of impromptu brainstorming. 

I would advise caution when attempting to market that idea as being novel sir.

Quick question....Suppose a "Union to represent Panmen/women" is formed. Where do children who play pan fit in? Let's not fool ourselves here...At least I'm not being fooled one bit. The "union" idea is simply another way of ensuring people get paid for playing pan. In addition to children who I don't believe are legally allowed to work until eighteen or so, what about professionals who already have jobs. The doctors, lawyers, policemen etc who play pan too. Can they be "unionised" too"  Who exactly should a "union" represent and in what way?...

More than that. What about the business of band-hopping. The crackshots, the crews, the drill masters for multiple bands etc. Will a "union" sanction playing with more than one band in Panorama? Is that the prime reason for a "union"?

Just asking...

All good questions , merrytones , that should be addressed.

However , remember that Pan Trinbago managed to operate , and was registered as a UNION before it became a corporation !

merrytonestothebone: Yuh come and trying to MASH UP the PAN PLAYERS UNION before MAN even start COLLECTING DUES. And what is this OBSESSION you have with the CRACKSHOTS and CREWS and SWITCHEROOS?

What I have come to accept about this world is that every country has it own NORMS (cultural, social, culinary and the like). So if COMPETING AGAINST YOURSELF in a STEELBAND PANORAMA is one of OUR NORMS -- that is a defining element of TRINIDAD CULTURE ... UNIQUE TO US.

And now ah hear we running ah close second to AMERICA in LITIGATION!!! That is the NEW NORM!!!

Claude that is why I refuse to ever take you too seriously...Nothing further to say bro...

Merrytones, who am I thinking of ?

In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion."

I hear you Glenroy...Sometimes I get the feeling that he is a well paid troll too...

And yuh notice de race ting he always trying to promote ?


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