Categorized | National News


The outspoken President of The Bahamas Electrical Workers Union Paul Maynard says Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) needs to be retooled in the national interest.

Appearing as a guest on the Love 97 Radio  evening show “On Point” yesterday, Mr. Maynard said “the poor performance at BLP over the years is not the fault of the workers. You have to blame  the former management team  of the last fourteen years headed by Kevin Basden.

“Our members have worked seven days a week, 24 hours a day to keep an ancient system going. We haven’t had a system upgrade since 1990. That is why when lightening strikes, the whole island goes off. The switches are ancient and they need to do a protection audit,” he said.

The Union leader said there is no easy fix for BPL. “It took years for them to get into this situation and it’s going to take years to get out of this.”

Mr. Maynard said BPL needs  to bring in propane at the Bluehills Power Station. “That will represent a significant savings. They have to retool Bluehills to operate on  propane. It’s on diesel now. It should be off in the day and only be running in the night.”

He said “the Clifton Pier Power Station is a mess. Fix Clifton so that it can run on bunker C fuel and get Bluehills on propane and you’ll see the fuel bill drop to almost one half.

“On the family islands, put solar  systems  and propane engines  there. Now you will have your fuel problem fixed and you’ll be fine. On New Providence, just about every sub-station has to be upgraded,” said Mr. Maynard.

As Labour day approaches next Friday, he says after the movement lost ground in the 1990s, it is picking up again.

Mr. Maynard, the Presidents of the umbrella Unions, Obie  Ferguson of the Bahamas Trade Union Congress and Bernard Evans of The National Congress of Trade Unions of the Bahamas are all hopeful that by June of next year, all unions will be under one umbrella.

Mr. Maynard said  the unions must get stronger because a lot of people are being taken advantage of. “ As opposed to a minimum wage, we need a livable wage,” he said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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