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Union Calls For WSC Chairman Removal

Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) Union members are  calling for the removal of the Chairman, Adrian Gibson and General Manager, Elwood Donaldson “post haste” from their respective positions.

President, Officers and Union members of the Bahamas Utilities Services and Allied Workers Union (BUSAWU) “withdrew their enthusiasm ” yesterday morning, staging a sit out on the lawn of the University Drive headquarters, chanting ‘chairman gatta go!’.

Speaking with reporters,  BUSAWU president, Dwayne Woods, insisted that the union members had only withdrawn their enthusiasm and it was not a demonstration or protest, as they were not in possession of a strike certificate.

Woods and the union  are  accusing the corporation of attempting to bust the union by rolling back four major benefits,  including union or administrative leave, meeting place, rental space, and accrued vacation.

“These matters are breaches of the Industrial Agreement between WSC and BUSAWU, the Industrial Relations Act as well as the Employment Act.

“While these matters are being adjudicated at the Department of Labour and the Supreme Court, the Executive Chairman and the General Manager have already suspended one of our members for 15 days with pay pending investigation.

“The Corporation would like for him to take ownership of the alleged allegation of the Executive Chairman renting his vehicles from the Corporation’s compound. To this the Union says no way!” Mr. Woods said.

Another bone of contention for the union was  that another union member was suspended for five days without pay. They claim that the Corporation was  using an incorrect breach of discipline and an unwritten and unknown policy.  Mr. Woods said that this move is an added “insult to injury”.

“The member parked his personal vehicle on WSC compound from Friday to Monday due to a dead battery.  In a meeting with the General Manager and his management team, in the absence of a Human Resources  professional, the Union requested to see the policy  which the Corporation  said was breached, but  it could not be produced.

“The Union corrected the interpretation of the breach of discipline being used, as the Union representative  was the sole professional present at that meeting to explain the intent of the article during negotiations.

“However, the Corporation after consultation, advisement and command from the Executive Chairman via phone call, decided to be judge, jury and executioner,” Mr. Woods said.


The Union leader further alleged that the Corporation continues to practice “unfair and inconsistent promotional exercises”, claiming that “friends, family and lovers are being promoted over hardworking individuals.

“In addition, there are inconsistent levying of penalties of discipline to our members from the office of the Executive Chairman and the General Manager, without the experience and expertise of Human Resources.

“We demand that Human Resources be allowed to function without the interference of the office of the Executive Chairman and the General Manager,” Mr. Woods said.

The union is now calling on the Minister of Public Works, Desmond Bannister, the Prime Minister and all stakeholders to remove the Executive Chairman and the General Manager post haste.

“The Executive Chairman is micro managing the organization and creating chaos. He is not allowing the General Manager, Human Resources Manager, nor the Financial Controller to perform in their capacities.

Weighing in on the standoff, Progressive Liberal Party Chairman, Fred Mitchell expressed concern that the government has allowed this to happen, adding that the issues must be settled amicably in favor of the workers as soon as possible and in the interest of the people.

Mr. Mitchell  suggested that Cabinet have a word with the Executive Chairman and ask him to draw back forthwith of be dismissed.

Labour Minister, Dion Foulkes meantime, encouraged WSC Union Executives, its board and management to come to the table for a resolution of the issues.

“None of them seem to be insurmountable; they’re all said to be administrative issues, there’s no major issues there that cannot be solved.

“So, I’d like to encourage both sides to sit down and have a discussion. The supply of water, the access to water is very important for Bahamians, so, we’d like to see that service uninterrupted,” Mr. Foulkes said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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