BTC Union update
Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union(BCPOU)President Bernard Evans said yesterday that his members are more united in the fight against the sale of 51 percent of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company(BTC)to Cable and Wireless Communications(CWC)as a result of BTC’s decision to cut their pay for engaging in industrial action.
BTC cut the pay of nealry 500 of its employees for walking off the job and protesting for two days in December.
Evans toldThe Nassau Guardianthe workers are entitled to emergency days and sick days. And in most cases, he argued, the days off were approved by managers. Some of these mangers also participated in industrial action in protest of the BTC sale through the Bahamas Communications and Public Managers Union(BCPMU).
Evans added that while most of the employees were granted leave from the job on the days of the industrial action, they did not receive the requisite paperwork that typically accompanies their paychecks indicating the same.
“We have asked them for the proper record of all the days and cuts,”he said.
He added that executive management at BTC also did not take the managers word about or record individuals whereabouts, on the days they were being cut for.
“They cut people who were away legitimately on vacation,”he said.”And so we know that they are in error and they are in violation of not only of our industrial agreement, but of the law of the land.”
The BCPOU and BCPMU were schedule to hold a protest in Rawson Square yesterday, but Evans said their members were told to continue to work until the issue of the pay cuts can be resolved.
“They(union members)are at work,”he said.”We are going to take the high road and we will comply and do all our proceedings. We won’t react ad hoc like they are doing.”
Last week the Unions protested the sale of BTC outside of Parliament with a force of almost 1,000 strong. Union members overran Rawson Square and aired their grievances as Members of Parliament debated the mid-year budget.
Evans said his union is putting together a case agains BTC and will not engage in anymore industrial action until the pay dispute is sorted out.
However, he warned that if a timely resolution is not met, industrial action will begin again.