Categorized | National News

Labour Director Eases BTC Job Fears

With a new CEO at the helm of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company Ltd. (BTC) comes talk and fears of major job losses and while Labour Director Robert Farquharson can’t confirm or deny what’s to come, he’s stressed that there’s a collective bargaining agreement that speaks to such an issue.

Last week, BTC’s CEO Leon Williams was replaced by Dexter Cartwright, a former finance director for Cable & Wireless Communications.

Andre Foster, a former Cable Bahamas executive, assumed the newly-created position of chief operating officer.

In an interview with The Bahama Journal, Mr. Farquharson seemed to ease and alleviate fears over massive layoffs.

“There is a collective bargaining agreement that governs that terms and conditions of all employees at BTC and both sides are obligated to follow that collective bargaining agreement because it is registered under the act and it is legally binding,” Mr. Farquharson said.

“There is a process for redundancy in the act or if anybody has conducted a gross misconduct there are provisions for persons to be terminated or made redundant, but both sides have to maintain this CBA.”

Mr. Farquharson admitted that there is some degree of concern regarding services a group of people are providing the company

“There are a group of persons who are employed at BTC who work in the outside plant services division that has raised some concern and that matter. They have filed a dispute and I am trying to have this matter resolved at this time,” Mr. Farquharson said.

This week BCPOU President Bernard Evans said there were “absolutely” fears among workers of job security.

The BCPOU chief said the only thing that would surprise him would be if CWC presented BTC executives with short and long-term sustainable plans, along with the assurance of job security. The last time employees of BTC were sent home was in 2015.

During this restructuring exercise, 148 workers lost their jobs, Mr. Evans said.

Progressive Liberal Party Chairman Bradley Roberts added that he remained “shocked” and “surprised” by CWC’s decision to replace Mr. Williams.

He defended the two-time CEO, saying, “He did a fantastic job in leading the company throughout the competition period while the parent company projected that BTC would lose a large share of its business.”

Mr. Roberts said BTC’s ability to hold its own despite a new competitor in the market was the result of Mr. Williams’ ingenuity and foresight.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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