Categorized | National News

“FNM Approved BTC Layoffs,” Says Roberts

As the Bahamas Telecommunications Company Ltd. intends to layoff 140 employees tomorrow,
Progressive Liberal Party Chairman Bradley Roberts wants to remind the public that the Free National Movement gave Cable and Wireless Communications the rights to reduce staffing levels to address competition.

According to Roberts, the FNM administration gave CWC certain guaranteed rights in advance of the liberalization of mobile services.

Roberts made this statement yesterday as he responded to comments made by FNM Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis, who called the intended BTC layoffs “inhumane.”

“Clearly, Minnis is shameless in seeking to blame others when he in fact was a senior Cabinet Minister in Hubert Ingraham government and simple should have looked in the mirror on being inhumane,” Roberts said.

Last week, it was reported that BTC intends to make 140 employees redundant as the company begins its first round downsizing.

However, Roberts questioned whether Dr. Minnis was aware of the agreement following the sale of 51 per cent of BTC to CWC in 2011.

“Minnis cries that the pending BTC layoffs are ‘inhumane’ rings very hallow and begs the question as to whether he was sound asleep at the Cabinet table when the terms and conditions on the sale of majority shares and control of management to Cable and Wireless was approved?” Roberts said.

“Was Minnis present and voted in the House of Assembly? How can Minnis now claim to be shocked over the proposed layoffs when the process was outlined in detail in the shareholders agreement with CWC and associated documents?”

Roberts also pointed out that there were no complaints from Dr. Minnis when 470 BTC employees lost their jobs between 2011 and 2012 under the FNM administration.

At that time, the layoffs were done in accordance with business restructuring plans agreed with CWC and by 2014 the total number was 553, he explained.

According to the PLP chairman, the FNM government agreed that CWC could reduce staff numbers through VSEP in the first two years following privatization, which was until April 2013.

“The FNM further committed under the Shareholders’ Agreement that thereafter, CWC was at liberty to proceed to reduce staff numbers on a voluntary or non-voluntary basis without the government’s consent,” Roberts said.

He also noted that it was the FNM administration and Dr. Minnis, who by legislation restricted the PLP administration from beginning the process of liberalization, which should be concluded shortly.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook