Tuesday, Jan 28, 2020
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Woods wants goodwill to prevail in meeting with Gibson

Bahamas Utilities Services and Allied Workers Union (BUSAWU) President Dwayne Woods said yesterday that he and his union members will be going into today’s meeting with the Department of Labour and the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) “in the spirit of industrial good will”.

Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes said last week that the meeting was called to lower the temperature between the parties and find a resolution to several concerns that have risen recently.

Woods and union members demonstrated a “withdrawal of enthusiasm” outside WSC’s Thompson Boulevard headquarters last week Tuesday.

Their concerns were that executives were attempting to minimize the influence of the representative trade union by blatantly disrespecting, intimidating, victimizing and discriminating against union members.

The same day, water supply went off in several areas of New Providence, impacting households, Princess Margaret Hospital, Doctors Hospital, Baha Mar and many businesses.

In a post on his Facebook page that night, WSC Executive Chairman Adrian Gibson alleged members of BUSAWU were involved with the disruption.

However, BUSAWU has denied the allegations.

“I want to be able to go on neutral ground in hopes that industrial good will be extended on both sides,” Woods told The Nassau Guardian yesterday.

He, however, opted not to comment on the latest development between the parties, with the board announcing on Friday that a list of all WSC employees with access to the corporation’s valve keys will be handed over to police.

“In that regard the union reserves its comment until after the meeting,” Woods continued.

In a statement on Friday, the WSC board of directors said the corporation will also hire private security to man its major pumping stations and install concealed cameras near its valves.

“Additional controls and policies are being implemented relative to the control room [including] the hiring and assignment of private security to the major pumping stations and heightened monitoring of valves, including the use of concealed cameras and other technologies, which would complement the current system,” the statement said.

“…We will not stand for any behavior that causes WSC to come into disrepute nor would we stand by and condone any form of defamation or alleged criminal conduct.

“The board of directors remains steadfast and hopeful of fostering a harmonious work environment; bring about real change in the public’s interest, and executing a reformist agenda. Gone are the days when it was business as usual.”

Sloan Smith

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Sloan covers national news for The Nassau Guardian. Sloan officially joined the news team in September 2016 but interned at The Nassau Guardian while studying journalism at the University of The Bahamas.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications

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