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Unions on btc

Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation(BTC)unions are rallying the troops to garner support for their anti Cable and Wireless Communications(CWC)campaign, the Nassau Guardian has learned.

The Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union(BCPOU)as well as the Bahamas Communications and Public Manager’s Union(BCPMU)met with the Progressive Liberal Party(PLP) Sunday night and are making plans to get around to as many civic groups as they can, to champion their cause against the sale of the BTC to CWC.

MP for West End and Bimini, Obie Wilchcombe, confirmed that he and his cabinet colleagues met with both of the unions and listened to their position on the matter of the BTC sale.

“We had discussions with them and we are looking at the issues,”said Wilchcombe.

According to him, the PLP is waiting to take a look at the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Free National Movement and CWC before they take an official stance on the matter.

However, the unions remain rooted in the position they took long before the MOU was signed:”We don’t support Cable and Wireless period.”

President of the BCPMU, William Carroll, said the unions are still formulating their strategy to deal with the CWC deal that they never wanted to happen.

According to him, he and representatives from the BCPOU offered their position to the PLP Sunday night.”We just put our position forward and were just informing them on how we feel about Cable and Wireless,”said Carroll.

The unions’primary concern with the sale of BTC to CWC was the preservation of jobs. They claimed that the British-based company was notorious for scything staff levels after gaining control of companies.

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham revealed during a press conference that it was indeed CWC’s intention too reduce BTC’s staff levels by 30 per cent.

However, Ingraham said that was a deal we was not prepared to accept as a term of the sale. Instead, he said he would only agree to CWC offering voluntary separation packages to workers.

According to the press release outlining the MOU, the restructuring of the workforce will take place on a voluntary basis and would begin following completion of the transaction between government and CWC and conclude by the first anniversary of the completion.

“A detailed plan is in the process of being developed(for the workforce restructuring),”the release said.

However, while the union was grateful that Ingraham took this posture with CWC, President of the BCPOU, Bernard Evans, maintained recently that the unions want absolutely no deal with the company.

“We aren’t advocating packages,”he said.

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