AAAWU elections slated for June 30
A near two-year battle over the leadership position within the Airport Airline and Allied Workers Union may soon come to an end as elections are slated for June 30.
Interim President and Secretary General Anthony Bain said yesterday he would not be vying for the top post.
“I will not be running for president. We are not preparing a number of very knowledgeable persons. We have not handpicked anybody but we have broadened the landscape and have allowed a number of persons to be a part of the negotiation process, and so therefore they would be getting experience and subsequent to that they will be in a position to make their minds up whether or not they want to pursue the leadership and leadership roles in the union,” Bain said at a press conference held yesterday at the union’s Workers House headquarters.
Nominations for the June elections are to be held one month in advance.
Bain assumed the presidential post in late 2008 after then president Nellerene Harding resigned from office due to in-fighting within the labor organization.
That move caused a serious split within the organization. Bain and Harding were at odds over the running of the union. AAAWU has been trapped in numerous court battles regarding the question of leadership and issues surrounding a date for a poll to be held.
The last time the AAAWU held elections was back in June 2006. Elections were scheduled for June last year, but because of the in-fighting, the poll was placed on hold after Bain was granted an injunction by the Supreme Court.
Bain said yesterday that the mood of the membership heading into elections is encouraging.
“Right now I feel the union is poised to be one of the greater unions in the country and certainly has made history to ensure that some of the important, fundamental things in the pursuit of true unionism is being adhered to,” he said.
Bain was referring to recent amendments made to the union’s constitution, which clearly entrenches that elections are to be held every three years. He claimed that the old constitution spoke to elections being held annually, even though the poll was held every three years.
Additional amendments to the union’s constitution speaks to members receiving death and retirement benefits in the amount of $1,000, which comes into play immediately.
“This is a victory not only for me and my officers but for the union as a whole,” Bain said.
He claimed that the amendments were ratified on Tuesday night, after receiving the majority consent from the membership.
AAAWU represents employees at both Bahamasair and Nassau Flight Services. It has a membership of just over 400.