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Union and GB power company sign new deal

After a failed attempt to sign an industrial agreement between the Grand Bahama Power Company(GBPC)and the Commonwealth Electrical Workers Union(CEWU)earlier this week, both parties finally sealed the deal yesterday.

At the signing at the Department of Labour, Minister of Labour and Social Development Dion Foulkes advised both sides to work towards creating more trust between the union and company in order to improve industrial relations.

“Industrial relations work best when management and workers have a trust in management and a trust in workers,”said Foulkes.

He added that the success of Grand Bahama’s economy is dependent on the success of the power company and the reliability of its service.

“Without electricity and a steady flow of it, and a reliable source of electricity, it is difficult to have a reliable economy. We have some businesses like Statoil(and)Vopak/Buckeye who have made massive investments and the government’s administrative building so reliability is key,”said Foulkes.

GBPC CEO Allen Kelley said he was pleased that they were able to reach an agreement and noted that good communication can lead to better relations in the future.

“We have to ensure that we are living up to(the)agreement on both ends and ensuring that things put on paper are carried out. It’s all about walking the talk at the end of the day,”Kelley said.

CEWU president Leslie Lightbourne thanked everyone involved with the negotiating process, including Foulkes, who he said”came through at the final hour.”

Lightbourne said he is satisfied to be starting a new relationship with the company so that members are able to give a better quality of service to the residents of Grand Bahama.

“Members this is a new day. We will put out 110 percent in everything we do as we move forward together,”he said.


The contract signing between the Grand Bahama Power Company and the Commonwealth Electrical Workers Union took place yesterday morning at the Department of Labour. Pictured are, Minister of Labour and Social Development Dion Foulkes(center); Tyrone Gibson, Labour Department(second right); and Leslie Lightbourne, CEWU president.

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