Categorized | National News

Unions Warn PM–Threaten to shut down country

In the wake of over 600 persons being left jobless as a result of Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort’s temporarily closure, members of both the Commonwealth of The Bahamas Trade Union Congress (CBTUC) and National Congress of The Trade Unions Bahamas (NCTUB) stood in solidarity threatening to have a nationwide shut-down if their resolutions have not been met in the next 48 hours.

In a joint press conference held across the street from the resort , Union heads Obie Ferguson (TUC) and John Pinder (BPSU) claimed they have reached out to Prime Minister Perry Christie to meet with union officials but Mr. Christie has not responded which sends a strong message to them.

Therefore, they have stated that all workers and friends of workers, civic organizations, religious organizations and political parties are on notice that they will be calling on them to participate in a shut-down in order to resolve the matter,” Mr. Ferguson said.

“We have to put a halt to this, if necessary close this little island down, until we get the matter settled. This isn’t the first time we had to stand together as Bahamians. What kind of country is this? So we say to the prime minister we know you went to London, we know you fought it but you lost and the reason we are standing here today is because you lost.”

“We urge all workers of our country to go to the history books and read what happened in 1958, when Clifford Darling was president of the Taxi Cab Union.

“What he had to do to Nassau International Airport to get a call up system in place and we are prepared to repeat that, we are prepared to call all workers out and shut the country down, until parliament recognizes they work for us and not us for them,” Mr. Pinder said

Both entities said they consider the action by Gordon “Butch” Stewart to be barbaric, disrespectful and outright reckless.

The CBTUC and NCTUB are calling on the prime minister to intervene in the matter and bring it to a satisfactory conclusion.

Mr. Ferguson referenced comments from Labour Minister Shane Gibson who said the matters are above his pay grade and only the prime minister is capable of resolving this matter.

Meanwhile, some questions they have for Mr. Christie include, if the hotel is closed why you need 41 work permits for the jobs Bahamians can do.

Adding why would a work permit be granted to allow someone to conduct a job fair for the same people who were there for 20 years and who made the hotels business such a success.

Mr. Ferguson mentioned that a meeting had been scheduled with Tourism Minister Obie Wilchombe for Monday but was cancelled at the last minute.

He added that he hopes to meet with the prime minister at some point today.




Written by Jones Bahamas

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