ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!
The Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union (BCPOU) filed an industrial trade dispute today with the Department of Labour against the Bahamas Telecommunications Company, Limited (BTC). The BCPOU noted in their filings that BTC has failed to bargain in good faith and renew the Industrial Agreement which has been expired for twenty (20) months. Noting this, BTC is in violation of the collective bargaining agreement and in breach of section 41 (1) (2) (3) of the Industrial Relations Act, Chapter 321.
Dino Rolle, President of the BCPOU stated, “enough is enough”. “The Officers of the BCPOU have demonstrated extreme patience with the CEO and executives of BTC and we came to the bargaining table in good faith. What we’ve received in return are excuses and delays. The livelihood of our members is at stake and we must remain steadfast and ensure that their rights are protected.” Mr. Rolle also went on to state that the proposals that BTC have submitted for consideration are unreasonable in this economic climate; “They are expecting to run a corporation by cutting costs at the expense of the staff”. In addition to the delays with the renewal of the Industrial Agreement, Mr. Rolle outlined a host of issues crippling the morale of staff at BTC which include: delayed payments to staff for approved and worked overtime; the increase in the hiring of foreign labor, particularly in the Retail, IT and Finance areas, in an attempt to make the roles of his members redundant, and; the breach of the Purchase Agreement by CWC with BTC’s attempt to close the local Call Center and ship those Bahamian jobs overseas.
Mr. Rolle emphasized that BTC must develop and present a sound corporate strategy that outlines a plan to invest in the technological infrastructure of the Bahamas to grow company revenues. “This thoughtless approach of cutting costs on the backs of Bahamians to maintain a company is myopic and is not sustainable,” cited Mr. Rolle.
Mr. Ricardo Thompson, President of the Bahamas Communications Public Managers Union (BCPMU) stated that he supports the efforts of his sister union and the BCPMU will soon follow suite. He noted that, “the current leadership at BTC must embark on a mission to rebuild the company and create an environment that his members would be happy to be a part of while maintain its profitability”.
The BCPOU and the BCPMU are the sole bargaining units for line-staff and managers, respectively at BTC.