Visiting Nelson Island – Butler’s Prison

June 19th 2015 is Labour Day and as one very much interested in the “Rights of Workers” this day is of much significance. June 19th marks the anniversary of the Butler Oilfield Riots of 1937. Tubal Uriah “Buzz” Butler was essentially the most significant figure then, fighting for the rights of workers.

Ironically the Industrial Relations climate that existed  in the 1930’s and the conditions that workers faced then are still reflected in many ways today. According to the National Library and Information Systems Authority (NALIS) website “worker abuse, underpayment for labour, racism, economic depression and a considerable fall in the living standards of the working class” was the reality. Most recently we saw a worker a Public Servant at that, Ms. Cheryl Miller thanking God that the court had ruled in her favour by awarding her not nearly enough, for her being dragged from her place of employment, (her desk no less), right to the very dark and wretched  room of a mental institution. The incident happened three (3) years ago not in the 1930’s.

What would Mr. Buttler have done were he alive today? No doubt he would have been pained by Ms. Miller’s experience. He would have done more than just looked on from the sidelines.

with Logo IMG_9236Recently I got the opportunity to visit Nelson Island and more specifically the Cottage where Mr. Buttler was detained or imprisoned rather from 1935-1945. According to the signboard posted outside the Cottage, prior to this he was imprisoned in a Trinidad prison for some two (2) years. His crime standing up for the rights of workers. with logo IMG_9189

Here are a few photographs from that Nelson Island tour and adventure. with logos IMG_9049 with log IMG_9058 with logo G_9164 with logo IMG_9046 with logo IMG_9051 with logo IMG_9053 with logo IMG_9061 with logo IMG_9062 with logo IMG_9063 with logo IMG_9066 with logo IMG_9067 with logo IMG_9068 with logo IMG_9080 with logo IMG_9086 with logo IMG_9100 with logo IMG_9116 with logo IMG_9117 with logo IMG_9125 with logo IMG_9126 with logo IMG_9138 with logo IMG_9141 with logo IMG_9166 with logo IMG_9167 with logo IMG_9169 with logo IMG_9170 with logo IMG_9171 with logo IMG_9174 with logo IMG_9178 with logo IMG_9188   with logo IMG_9193 with logo IMG_9194 with logo IMG_9195 with logo IMG_9197 with logo IMG_9198 with Logo IMG_9200 with logo IMG_9202 with logo IMG_9206 with logo IMG_9214 with Logo IMG_9218 with Logo IMG_9220 with Logo IMG_9229 with logo IMG_9230 with logo IMG_9231 with logo IMG_9232 with logo IMG_9238 with logo with logo IMG_9073

You can also visit these links to read a little more on Mr. Butler.

struggles. http://owtu.org/content/owtu-history

http://www.nalis.gov.tt/Research/SubjectGuide/LabourDay/tabid/204/Default.aspx

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*