Categorized | National News

BEWU Not Taking Chairman’s Threat Seriously

Members of the Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU) are not taking Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) Chairman Leslie Miller’s threat to lay off workers, who don’t accept a new shift system, seriously.

“He shouldn’t take himself seriously either,” BEMU President Stephano Greene told The Bahama Journal yesterday.

“The government’s position is not to terminate anybody. [It] is trying its best to work with all employees. As a matter of fact they are trying to find jobs for workers and so the Government of The Bahamas’ position is not to make anyone redundant as best as they could and so if that Mr. Miller’s personal opinion then that’s his. But I am sure that is not the government’s. Unless the prime minister says that’s the government’s position then that’s something else.”
He continued, “As far as I am concerned there will be no job loss. There will be no violation to the labour laws and no violation of our employment rights.”

Mr. Miller announced last month that BEC would implement a new shift system after an internal audit determined that over time paid last year was over $11.8 million.

The total number of employees who received overtime pay for the year was 876, officials said.

Many of them were able to take home more than $100,000 when overtime pay was added to their basic pay.

Outraged, Mr. Miller said the government was cutting overtime by implementing a shift system.

That system was supposed to be implemented on February 1, but has now been pushed back to March 1.
Mr. Greene reiterated however that the workers will not go along with that system.
“They have indicated that they would send us some new communication to ask us to enter into new negotiations for a shift system and we are currently waiting on that communication to see how we will address that once we get the communication from them,” he said.

“BEC currently has a shift system. We’ve always had a shift system with 24 hour shifts where our operation command was 24 hours, emergency room, power station and the control room. What I think Mr. Miller is indicating is that he wants other day workers to go on a shift system and currently I can say the union is not interested in a shift system for day workers.”
He added, “We are willing to negotiate anything the corporation puts in front of us. But we cannot disadvantage our members.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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