Members of The Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union (BCPOU) and The Bahamas Communications and Public Managers Union (BCPMU) are vowing to take action against the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) if it fails to rescind the termination of one its employees.
On Monday, BTC abruptly dismissed Elizabeth Thompson from her position as Senior Manager in the Legal Regulatory and Carrier Services Department.
In a letter to Ms. Thompson from BTC dated October 22 and signed by the Senior Vice President of Human Resources Helene Ferguson, the company informed Ms. Thompson that after due and careful consideration, the company had decided that the continuance of her employment was not in the best interest of the company or consistent with the requirements of the company’s business.
However, in the letter, the company gave no specific reason for its decision.
“The letter gave no reason for the firing,” said Ms. Thompson. “Had they had any issues that rose to the standard of complaint or something outlined in the industrial agreement that ought to have been stated in the letter otherwise this is termination without cause.”
Ms. Thompson who serves as the Vice President of the BCPMU was joined by representatives from both the BCPOU and the BCPMU who gathered to at the BCPOU’s headquarters on Farrington Road to put public pressure on BTC to reinstate Ms. Thompson.
“What we find terribly offensive and problematic about this is that there is an industrial agreement in place and there are specific guidelines as to if a particular breach is committed – minor or major breaches – these are the steps that are agreed to,” said Talbot Collie, BCPMU president.
“For management to unilaterally decide that an employee is no longer needed and not reference a particular is what we find problematic.”
BTC issued a statement on the matter late Tuesday.
The company said it became increasingly concerned with the pattern of behaviour exhibited by Ms. Thompson that placed her in an adversarial position to the company’s interest.
The statement said further that back in April, Ms. Thompson sought to participate as a member of the BPMU’s negotiating committee to negotiate a successor industrial agreement between the union and BTC – a position BTC said was clearly adverse to the company’s interests.
“Senior BTC executives, over a period of time, continued to meet with Ms. Thompson to try and arrive at an amicable solution,” the statement said. “After it became increasingly apparent that the confidence and trust essential to her employment was being destroyed by her conduct and attitude the company determined that the continuance of Ms Thompson’s employment was untenable.”
The union has not said exactly what its next move will be, but union representatives said they expect BTC to reinstate Ms. Thompson no later than tomorrow.