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BCPOU may instruct members not to cooperate with CWC

The quiet calm that has descended upon the workers at the Bahamas Telecommunications Company may soon be broken as the Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union(BCPOU)may instruct its membership not to cooperate with Cable and Wireless Communications(CWC)representatives already stationed at the telecommunications company.

BCPOU President Bernard Evans said yesterday that if the government fails to tell them(CWC representatives)to act accordingly until the deal is sealed, BTC employees would be ordered to pull their”cooperation.”

Evans claimed that approximately a dozen CWC representatives have been in and out of BTC since last August, giving instructions regarding various projects.

He said the union would not sit idly by and allow CWC representatives to act as if they already own the company.

“Everybody has noticed the boldness, the arrogance of Cable and Wireless seemingly strutting their stuff around as if this deal has already been done. If the government don’t come forward and pull them aside and ask them to act accordingly until this deal is done, we are going to ask our members not to participate or cooperate with anybody from Cable and Wireless,”Evans said during a press conference held at the BCPOU headquarters yesterday.

“We just want to let the government know, we are not going to lie down on this one. We are going to be unrelenting. We are going to keep on fighting and pushing and we can’t guarantee anybody anything, but we are not going to tolerate Cable and Wireless or whoever is representing them walking in and about and instructing our members on what to do,”he said.

Evans alleged that the CWC representatives have been asking to see various projects and asking that some projects be placed on hold or are made to stay within budget.

“In the last couple of weeks they have seemingly been getting more aggressive and trying to put their feet down. We have been very tolerant to this point but we are not going to take it anymore. We are not going to mimic what is going on in Egypt, but we do have plans. We said we had a 12-point plan and we are now on number four with the court. We are going to wait and see what the court has in store for us, but we will not sit idly by and continue to let Cable and Wireless walk in and through and around BTC as if they already own us,”Evans said.

The government signed a memorandum of understanding with Cable and Wireless early last month for the purchase of a 51 percent stake in BTC at a cost of$210 million, plus stamp tax. According to recent reports, BTC is expected to hand the keys over to CWC on March 1.

The BCPOU and the Bahamas Communications and Public Managers Union are oppose to the government’s intention to sell a majority stake of BTC to CWC. Both unions have filed court action against the government’s bid in an effort to stop the sale.

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