Commonwealth Electrical Workers Union speaks to developments at Grand Bahama Power… “all departments are overworked, understaffed and under-compensated.”

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October 12, 2022.

To Whom it May Concern,

A member was dismissed on Nov 27, 2020, without cause or reason given, and this case is filed under dispute at the Labour Board currently and awaiting an outcome of the Court of Appeal ruling.

A member was wrongfully dismissed on Feb 12, 2021, again with no reason or cause given.

In events leading up to dismissal, he had reached out to G.B. Power HR concerning some irregularities he found in connection with his superior’s work operations. After receiving no resolution, he proceeded to use Emera’s HOT-LINE which has been established for reporting code of conduct violations. (Promises to be anonymous and protect employees from retaliation) Shortly after he would have been dismissed by his Director and the C.E.W.U. Union responded by filing a dispute at the Labour Board for wrongful dismissal on his behalf. The case was ruled in favor of the C.E.W.U. May 2, 2022. This case is now on appeal by GB Power Company.

Another member was wrongfully dismissed most recently October 6, 2022, without cause or reason once again despite the previous cases being before the courts.

Much like the above case, the member would have utilized the HOT-LINE shortly before being dismissed. It seems Emera’s HOT-LINE is getting a little too hot for employees to manage and not even the law is enough to stay the iron fist of the Company.

Then there are numerous other matters pending, most notably is an outstanding safety concern in the Power Line Technicians Department as it relates to work processes to help keep workers safe while performing such integral and potentially dangerous tasks daily, ensuring the lights stay bright.

There is now a total of four (4) cases before the Labour Board and one (1) at the Court of Appeal and possibly more soon to come. There is also the matter of the three (3) Control Room Operators (CRO) being discriminated upon for three (3) years and counting, while they train Operators, some with far less years of experience and tenure, to far supersede their own salaries, are still being overlooked themselves.

There is also the Instrument Electrical & Controls (IEC) case of four (4) technicians being utilized for four (4) plus years to provide service and skill sets outside of what they were being paid for despite the contract clearly outlining how they are to be compensated.

There is also an alleged Customer Service Representative with no clear job title according to the Company, who has been worked far above his pay grade for seven (7) years and counting, with no promotion to an appropriate position and no remuneration for past years of service, almost akin to slavery.

There is also a Store Man that is stuck in the lowest rank for the past nine (9) years despite training other Store Men and acting as Warehouse Supervisor on many occasions.

There also exists numerous counts of employees performing tasks well above and outside their roles with no compensation, no raises, no promotions, not to mention many employees have either no clear job descriptions or are just plain missing in the contract. Meanwhile the Company has successfully and quietly downsized from over two hundred (200+) line staff down to almost half that in the past decade while
executive promotions and hiring seem to be at an all-time high.

With all the same equipment in place to maintain and operate, almost all departments are overworked, understaffed and under-compensated. With contract re-negotiations looming in the near future, to prevent the Union from taking any further course of redress we are calling on the Government to intervene and bring about swift, amenable resolves with the Emera Company and its affiliate, to make Grand Bahama Power bright again.

Regards,

Mr. Roscoe Burrows
President
Commonwealth Electrical Workers Union