Categorized | Featured, National News

Gibson Takes Tough Stance With BCPOU


Labour Minister Shane Gibson responded harshly to recent criticism from the Bahamas Communication and Public Officers union (BCPOU) over the government’s failure to reacquire a majority stake in The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC).

The union said as a result, its members have faced unfair treatment from the company all while the government stands idly by.

But Mr. Gibson, himself a former BCPOU president, challenged the union to be more proactive.

He accused the current union leadership team to not doing enough to protect the interests of its members.

“I don’t know about this new generation in the union,” Mr. Gibson said.

“When I was a union leader, I didn’t depend on the government to do my job, I did it myself. This new generation of union leaders seems to want the government to do everything. We can certainly give you a support base, but [people] must take it upon themselves to fight for what they think is rightfully theirs and to fight for what they believe in.

“Sometimes it calls for sacrifice and you have to make those sacrifices. I remember losing salaries on a number of occasions when I worked at Batelco because I wanted something that was better. These days it’s always blame the government. If the union feels that strong, how come I don’t see them demonstrating – why don’t I see them making the move to make some of these things happen? So I would ask them to put their money where their mouths are and stop just sitting back and waiting for the government to initiate everything.”

Regaining majority control of BTC was a cornerstone of the Progressive Liberal Party’s (PLP) election campaign last year but since coming to office very little progress has been made in securing that in fact happens.

The Ingraham administration sold a 51 per cent stake of BTC to Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) for $210 million in April, 2011.

Prime Minister Perry Christie appointed a four-member team last July to enter into formal talks but the prime minister has since conceded that it is no longer feasible for the government to pursue trying to reacquire BTC.

However, Mr. Christie has also stated that while the government will not move on regaining majority control of BTC in the immediate, it still plans to fulfill its campaign promise.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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