Categorized | National News

BTC Board Say Outsourcing Claims Untrue

Board of Directors at the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) yesterday, finally responded to comments that the company was in the process of outsourcing hundreds of jobs, calling the allegations “irresponsible accusations.”

In a brief press statement issued Wednesday, BTC Chairman Phil Bentley and Deputy Chairman Rowena Bethel said the board noted the recent speculation regarding possible job losses within BTC and wanted to confirm that there no such plans to restructure the business.

“This message has been shared with our union partners,” the release read. “Moreover, the board is committed to increasing our level of investment across The Bahamas to improve network reliability and customer service.

“Finally the board wishes to make it clear that this sort of unfounded speculation is most unwelcome, undermining, as it does, the confidence of the hard-working BTC employees who support our customers every day. We call for an end to these irresponsible accusations.”

The statement by the BTC board emphasised what Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union (BCPOU) President Bernard Evans said Tuesday night that the outsourcing claims are untrue.

However, the BCPOU president told The Bahama Journal that BTC parent company Cable and Wireless (CWC) has outsourced jobs in other parts of the Caribbean and said if the same were to happen in The Bahamas, the union would “absolutely shut BTC down.”

“We’ve had extensive dialogue with Geoff Houston, Phil Bentley, board members, Bradley Roberts and Leon Williams and all that is just rumours and fabrications,” he said.

“There is no truth to that, what has happened in the lime model is they have outsourced the call centres from Barbados to El Salvador, and a year and a half ago they outsourced to Ericsson not only in Jamaica but in a couple of Caribbean countries. We were seeking protection from that kind of activity and so the government has assured us that that would not happen via their board representatives. We know it can’t happen here and certainly if they tried to sneak it on us it’s not going to happen.”

It was Free National Movement Chairman Darron Cash who first made the allegations and last night responded to BTC’s most recent statement in a press release of his own.

“I know of no speculation to which the chairman and deputy chairman refer,” Mr. Cash said. “Comments made by me to the press were guided by information provided by persons at the highest level of that organisation and with direct knowledge of what was being proposed. It is clear that Mr. Bentley and his colleagues have seen the error in their plans and are prepared to retreat.

“It is worth noting that comments from the Chairman of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and BTC Board Member Bradley Roberts gave the impression that the board was in fact working to execute a plan developed more than three years ago when the corporation and economic climate was much different from they are today. Mr. Roberts sought to play his typical game of passing the buck and it seemed for him that outsourcing was in fact in the cards and the only question was when it would take place. Mr. Bentley will understand it if I choose not to take his ‘no such plans’ comment at face value and instead maintain a steady and watchful eye on everything they do over the next few years until the FNM becomes the next government. We will also be watching to see if whether there is a change in the CEO position and what such a chance will mean for the way BTC does business.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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