Categorized | National News

BCPOU Declares War On CWC

The Bahamas Communications Public Officers Union (BCPOU) declared war on The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) yesterday.

President of the BCPOU Bernard Evans claimed during the BCPOU’s 39th Annual Convention, that on average Cable and Wireless local executives pocket nearly $500,000 in annual salary and benefits and they want more.

“We own 49 per cent of BTC,” he said. “But it seems to be a very quiet and weak 49 per cent.”

“That changes after our convention, we’re ready to go to war and we’re not going to sit by and let these people do what they want with us, our managers and our line staff.”

Former BTC CEO Leon Williams backed up these claims after putting on the table that 12 years ago BTC had 2,500 employees, four years ago – 1,200, today 700 and next year it will be down to 600 employees.

He said all indications point to this trend continuing.

“Mr. Bernard Evans, President of the BCPOU has got to be able to say to his members, can we out run the executives of BTC and the board of BTC; otherwise we will be their lunch, their supper and their dinner,” Mr. Williams said.

“Believe me, the executive management at BTC is saying listen, you’ve got to be able to outrun the union or we will lose ground we will lose profit and we will lose our benefits.”

BTC has however responded very quickly denying all allegations of staff layoffs made by Messrs. Williams and Evans.

Senior Manager of Public Relations Jerome Sawyer says there are no such layoffs presently being contemplated or planned.

“The company continues to restructure itself to meet the needs of its customers in an increasingly competitive marketplace and will continue to seek and maximise efficiencies,” he said.

“As has been communicated to the union partners and the full Bahamas Telecommunications Company, the paramount ambition is world class service for customers and in a manner that minimises displacement of full time staff.”

BTC is jointly owned by Cable & Wireless Communications which 51 per cent of the company while the government maintain 49 per cent.

Cable & Wireless Communications has both management and board control.

Minister of Labour and National Insurance, Shane Gibson urged the members however to continue to fight for unity, equality and justice.

“I will not mislead you and stand here and say this morning that all ahead will be well because you need to know that there are some more difficult times ahead for the BCPOU,” he said.

“What I can say is that tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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