Evans tells members elect pro-union MPs
Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union (BCPOU) President Bernard Evans yesterday encouraged union members to elect members of Parliament who have “laborers at heart”, suggesting that the current administration and others before were not supportive of labor issues.
“The new BCPOU and the labor movement must take the lead in shaping the future of this country; what kind of government would allow a scheme that would put working Bahamians out of work to the benefit of a foreigner?” asked Evans during his speech at the union’s 37th convention at the BCPOU Hall.
“What kind of government would give a contract to a foreigner over a Bahamian worker, certainly not a labor government? The time is right, the issues affecting us are real and [our livelihood] as we know it is under attack.
“Let us stop electing politicians who do not have our agenda at heart.”
Evans said if the union were in charge of the government, ZNS employees who were let go last year would have received “their due reward” and the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) would never have been sold.
He added that public servants would be more appreciated and there would be legislation to ensure the right to decent injury on the job compensation.
“So let us wake up and take what is ours, and ours is the people’s house. Those in government can not and will not help us. They have used and abused us and they plot against us all the day long,” Evans claimed.
He added that he is not seeking election, but a paradigm shift in the consciousess of the working people in the country to elect people with a labor agenda to the House of Assembly.
The union fought the government strongly over the sale of a majority of BTC to Cable and Wireless Communications earlier this year.
The union also fought against the downsizing exercise of the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas last fall.
It lost both battles.
However, Evans said those losses have taught the union lessons.
“The new BCPOU and the labor movement must become a force to reckon with; we should be tired of marching and singing in the noonday sun ‘we shall overcome’ trying to get the politicians to do right by us,” he said.
Evans called on union members to band together.
His statements came among some infighting in the union.
Union executives were recently locked out of BCPOU headquarters on Farrington Road by trustees due to a dispute regarding the union’s pension fund.
Evans said the infighting must come to an end.
“Fellow delegates and trade unionists, while our enemies are united in their quest to destroy unions around the world, unions have become [their] own worst enemy and the single biggest threat to [their] own continued growth and viability.
“Even now as I speak, there are plans to divide and tear down the BCPOU from within.”
The convention comes to an end today.