During the saga that was the sale of BTC, I watched with amazement the way in which the president of BTC’s union got out schooled at every turn by Papa and the folks at C&W. But what concerned me more as I watched Bernard Evans performance, was that I was stuck with the impression that he wasn’t giving his best effort nor was he making the good decisions in his union’s opposition to the sale of BTC.
I admit I don’t know Mr Evans personally, but the perception he gave me when the spotlight was on him, was not a very inspiring one. For all intents and purposes, I am still trying to figure out how is it that an outside group of Bahamians lead by radio personality Steve McKinney and Dr Elwood Donaldson, with less finances and boots on the ground, were more effective in opposing the sale of BTC than BTC’s very own union led by Mr Evans.
One can not ascend to the top of one of the country’s more influential unions and be a fool or incompetent. One must have some political savvy and smarts to accomplish such a feat. So I honestly struggled to understand Mr Evans poor showing as there was no energy, effort, sensible strategy or fight seen in him and by extension, his union at anytime in the process.
When I opened Monday morning’s Tribune and saw that he is already signaling giving up ground in procuring better benefits for those members in his union who are considering taking the voluntary severance package, my stomach churned!
So Mr Ingraham and C&W won round one, but now in round 2 it looks like Mr Evans has already, willingly bent over before being asked too, just anticipating to be screwed from behind; raw, with no condom, and extra hot sauce. The only thing I want to know is, was Mr Evans promised something to look the other way or is he just incompetent?
Now if it was me, and my efforts to oppose the sale of BTC was as flaccid as Mr Evans, I would at least begin to save face by ensuring that the benefits in the voluntary severance package was equal to or better than the one in 1999, but that’s just me. If I were a compromised union leader, in bed with the enemy, I would at least make my efforts to fight for my members, especially the ones considering leaving, look believable and give them the sense that they are getting the best deal. But alas, that is just me.
In the article this morning, Mr Evans has admitted that the current packages being offered by C&W, “…falls short…” and are in no way equal to the packages the union received in 1999. So if he knows the current package is bad, why is he signaling his union will be accepting it? Why does it seem that he is folding his tent again, not even willing to put up a good fight for his members?
This is the second time Mr Evans has had an opportunity to show where his loyalties lie, and it is becoming clear where they do. Where is the fight from Mr Evans? When is he going to draw the line in the sand? When is he going to marshal the troops and make C&W take them seriously? When is he going to say no and not give up ground?
Mr Evans believes the bad severance package will be offered in the coming weeks and he is justifying not fighting C&W on this front because the packages are not mandatory. Mandatory, voluntary, what difference does that make? Mr Evans, as union head, its your job to make sure that whatever the employer is offering to your members is fair to your members, regardless if what is being offered is voluntary or not! That is what they pay you for!
By your own logic, if some of your members decide to take the package, they will be short changed because you haven’t put your best foot forward in seeking the best deal for them. Now I see why Papa shook your hand with that big grin on his face after the House of Assembly voted to sell BTC. You are a bad tactician and negotiator. You negotiate the best package, regardless! You don’t lay there and accept whatever is thrown in front of you!
The 1999 voluntary package has already set a precedent. The minute C&W starts talking anything less than what has already been established, you stand your ground. Who negotiates for less than the precedent? The men and women who head BTC’s union must be a bunch of spineless, scary, incompetent, little bitches. BP, are they scared to fight? Do they even know how? Do they even want to?
If the government tried what C&W is trying, these unions would cause an uproar. But for some reason, Mr Evans is like Scobby Do, looking clueless and confused!
Mr Evans is getting out schooled AGAIN! He isn’t giving all of his members equal representation. If C&W is targeting 400 employee’s in this voluntary severance exercise, then you can’t take a half assed approached to this negotiation. That’s potentially 400 employees with families and bills who will be entering a recession when they are let go. They need their union boss to be focused on them and not on an industrial agreement that is way down the line!
But what really inflamed me is Mr Evans statement that he hasn’t seen the full details of the package. WTF? Well if you haven’t seen it, then why the hell are you commenting on it in public? Why are you showing your hand to C&W before they even finish arranging the terms of the severance package?
This is totally unbelievable, 100% amateur hour. Now I understand why BTC’s union effort leading up to the sale was so lethargic. Their president is just incompetent. This man’s priorities are misplaced. The only thing he is suppose to be focusing on right now is those workers who may leave, making sure they get the best deal possible. The industrial agreement is a totally different beast and will take care of itself.
Mr Evans the moves you have made have caused me to look upon you in suspicion.
I urge all BTC employee’s to put pressure on Mr Evans to keep his word and negotiate a voluntary severance package equal too or better than the one in 1999. Do not take anything less!
I see why Papa likes negotiating with him. This man is incompetent, a day late, and $10 short. For this Mr Ingraham and C&W love him as they get to do what they want with minimal resistance.