There is a divide among the two unions at the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC).
Earlier this week, the line staff union at the corporation resolved its issues with WSC, according to Bahamas Utilities Services and Allied Workers Union (BUSAWU) President Dwayne Woods.
However, Water and Sewerage Management Union (WSMU) President Ednel Rolle said yesterday the managerial staff still has four outstanding issues with the corporation, asserting that the union will take a strike poll next Wednesday.
Rolle claimed that WSC Executive Chairman Adrian Gibson refused to speak with the managerial union earlier this week.
“Well, I can tell you now, initially we were both supposed to go in there,” he said.
“When we got inside there, the chairman decided that if the management union was inside there, he was not going to have any discussions with the non-management union, so we had to leave.”
The union president added: “Well, we spoke with him for about 20 minutes regarding the illegal stuff to try to get them to commit to writing a letter to the police in support of our letter so to get the matter resolved.”
Rolle said there has “definitely not” been a resolution of WSMU’s issues.
He said the union is still concerned about the recent suspension of staff and its industrial agreement, among other issues.
When asked if the union was still moving forward with a strike poll, Rolle said, “We have to.”
He added: “We all intend to take [it]. The whole attitude has changed because they realized that the strike vote makes everything after that legal.”
The union president suggested, based on how negotiations were proceeding, the management of WSC was going to “cause good citizens go bad”.
He said WSMU is going to “do what we have to do”.
“Look at it from our point of view, for four years the government has refused to sign the agreement,” Rolle said.
“Now, suppose us now, when we do this poll, suppose we decide we gonna take a strike and we ain’t gonna do nothing for four years. What would happen then? We’ll get paid for the four years and we do nothing.”
On Monday, Director of Labour John Pinder expressed discontent with the current relationship among the management of WSC and its two unions.
“Let me say, I don’t like the relationship between the union and management at this time,” Pinder said.
“It is not a good relationship and I’ve pleaded, begged and asked the union leaders, both union leaders, to please strengthen the relationship. The level of disrespect, I feel as though they have to still recognize the fact that they are unions, you know. It’s important to have a good working relationship.”
When asked about the union’s relationship with the board of WSC, Rolle said, “I don’t think the director gave a proper analysis there.”
He added: “…I’m saying the protocol is fine, nothing to do with relationship because we don’t have no bad relationship with anybody. We don’t have bad relationships.”