Categorized | National News

FNM Senator Accuses PLP of Terminating and Victimizing BAMSI’s Employees

Free National Movement (FNM) Senator Michael Pintard is accusing the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) of victimization after claiming that two employees were terminated at the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI).

According to Pintard in a statement released yesterday, the Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources V. Alfred Gray consented to the termination of two of BAMSI’s well-trained and competent employees on February 27 and March 3.

However, The Bahama Journal contacted Gray yesterday and he said he doesn’t know anything about the employees being terminated at BAMSI and he has no information concerning the termination of the employees.

The Bahama Journal also contacted BAMSI’s President Godfrey Eneas and he also said that he is unaware of employees being terminated at the North Andros facility.

But Pintard claims that one of the terminated employees was Lenny McDonald, an irrigation specialist and staff supervisor, who was terminated without notice and in breach of his contract.

The other terminated employee was Micah Valdes, an aqua technician, who was also terminated without notice.

“We cry shame on the PLP for discriminating and victimizing Bahamians at BAMSI in North Andros,” Pintard said. “We believe that the PLP government victimized them because they expressed concerns about the management of BAMSI and were perceived to be supporters of the FNM.”

Pintard explained that despite the government’s claims about the smooth and steady progress at BAMSI, it is shown that workers lack some of the basic tools required to execute their work.

“It is not uncommon for workers to be competing just to use the pickaxe. This deficiency in resources can also be seen in the lull in construction of some of the buildings at BAMSI and may explain the long delays before some workers are paid,” he said.

Pintard expressed that this type of behaviour, victimization, by the PLP is despicable and totally unacceptable.

He stressed that the FNM will embark on an aggressive campaign to get the terminated employees reinstated.

“In light of the brain drain our country is experiencing, and the huge food import bill we are facing, one would expect that a wise and caring government would utilize talented Bahamian professionals who wish to contribute to national development,” Pintard said.

He noted that Valdes has about 14 years experience in aquaculture and tremendous access to information and experts in the field and the government should consider using his skills along with McDonald’s to the fullest extent possible.

As a result of the terminations, Pintard expressed that it is clear that the government does not believe in Bahamians and it is not committed to putting Bahamians first.

“Mr. Gray is one of the chief culprits in this administration when it comes to victimizing Bahamians. His first meeting with island administrators after the general election in 2012 was to terminate those he believe to support the FNM and then bring back several scandal-ridden administrators. Just recently, in South and Central Eleuthera, he ordered local government to hire and pay the least qualified of several applicants because it suited his political taste,” Pintard said.

Pintard added that the FNM is calling on the government to refrain from damaging the lives of Bahamians, apologize to McDonald and Valdes and reinstate them to their positions with full salary and benefits.

“We will not rest until justice prevails in North Andros and throughout our country,” Pintard said. “We are one people and all of us deserve a chance to live and prosper in our country.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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