Foulkes certifies WSMU’s strike poll
Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes said yesterday that he certified the Water and Sewerage Management Union’s (WSMU) strike vote.
Both unions at the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) now have strike certificates.
Foulkes pleaded with the WSMU and the Bahamas Utilities Services and Allied Workers Union (BUSAWU) to meet with the WSC board and take steps to avoid a strike.
Both unions recently held strike polls to address longstanding issues at WSC.
“Yesterday, I signed the strike certificate for the line staff union,” Foulkes told reporters outside Cabinet.
“This morning I signed the strike certificate for the managerial union.
“I had discussions with the attorney general’s office, also with the director of labor and also with the executive chairman of Water and Sewerage Corporation, to come to a determination and we thought that was the right thing to do.
“Notwithstanding the fact that both certificates have been issued, I want to encourage both sides to please sit down and talk, to give a little bit and see if you can reach a resolution to the issues on both sides.
“The supply of water is a necessity to the residents of The Bahamas here in New Providence and the Family Islands, and the government is very concerned, the prime minister is very concerned, about the consistency of the supply of water to all the residents. So we really wish to impress on both sides.
“There has been an improvement in the relationship between the unions and management and the board, and we’d like to see that relationship develop into a very friendly relationship where both sides can reach an amicable conclusion on all of their matters.”
BUSAWU President Dwayne Woods said while recent talks with the WSC board have been fruitful there are still several outstanding issues that required the union to take a strike vote.
WSMU President Dino Rolle has said that talks with the corporation regarding his union’s industrial agreement have been completely stalled and there remains contention between the two parties.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications