Categorized | National News

Ferguson: Workers Are Suffering

On the heels of the 2016 Labour Day Parade, President of the Trade Union Congress of The Bahamas (TUCB) Obie Ferguson had some strong words for Minister for Labour Shane Gibson.

In a press conference, Mr. Ferguson claimed that the government is feeding the media false information regarding the status of multiple union negotiations.

“The minister said that it was only customs and the doctors but that can’t be correct. What about sandals union from about 2011, it is 2016?

“How could they omit that? What happened to the Commonwealth Union in Grand Bahama from 2013? What happened to Melia? What happened to Kentucky Fried?”

“What happened to Customs and Immigration? What happened to Water and Sewage Management Union? This isn’t fake. The minister of labour and the director of labour knows the facts. Why are they saying that it is only two,” Mr. Ferguson said.

Ferguson also said that workers in The Bahamas are in a dire place and the last three years have been the worst period as far as labour relations are concerned in the history of The Bahamas.

He also accused the government of falsifying documents and undermining trade union leaders.

“The workers of The Bahamas are suffering because the government is trying to undermine their leadership, they want to discredit the leaders, and the minister initiated the action against the customs and immigration union.

He called all the press and they carried it saying the unions were in violation of the laws according to the tribunal.

“If you don’t know when a matter is referred to the tribunal properly there can’t be any strike but first you must go through the proper channels. There must be first a conciliation meeting, there was no meeting, two the president of the union sign the conciliation documents which did not happen.

“They claimed to have the documents signed but we have not signed them meaning they have perpetuated fraud to the highest degree,” Mr. Ferguson said.

Ferguson added that he would like to see the mindset of Bahamians to shift from workers into becoming entrepreneurs and taking back parts of their country that belong to them.

“This country is for us Bahamians, What Jobs? We want ownership, we want to be owners of this country, you see what happened at Baha Mar, 2,000 gone, and we have to change that.

“The government is talking about diversification, how they are stopping us from collecting dues from Melia, I spoke to the prime minister, minister of labour and the director of labour and neither of them could correct that, so we are left with no choice but to take it to the streets, ” Mr. Ferguson said.

Ferguson also made mention of a lawsuit his organization has filed against a very high ranking law enforcement official.

Ferguson claims that Assistant Commissioner of Police Leon Bethel breached the Police Act with his interference with workers and officials associated with the TUC in last year’s parade.

The Sir Randol Fawkes Labour Day March is scheduled for this Friday.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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