WSC: Rolle no longer president of management union
Following a threat of industrial action by both the Water and Sewerage Management Union (WSMU) and Bahamas Utilities Services and Allied Workers Union (BUSAWU) after management postponed a meeting with them, General Manager of the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) Elwood Donaldson said that WSMU President Ednel Rolle’s time as the head of the union expired on March 31 and Rolle should be focused on calling an election.
In a joint interview with Donaldson and WSC Chairman Adrian Gibson on Monday, Gibson declined to respond directly to WSMU because he said he has appointed a negotiation team to handle union matters. That team, he said, is led by Donaldson.
Donaldson said Rolle is at fault for failing to call an election following the expiration of his presidential term.
“Mr. Rolle said [we were] stringing [the union] along. Mr. Rolle himself has missed several previous engagements to speak with the chairman and myself,” Donaldson said.
“Several meetings were arranged and he said he had prior obligations.
“So, he is in no place to make those accusations that we’re stringing [the union] along. Technically, Mr. Rolle is no longer president of the union. Well, as a matter of fact, his term expired on March 31. So, the only thing he should be doing is calling an election.”
Donaldson said Rolle was supposed to call an election from January.
“So, the corporation is at no obligation to engage him because he is not the president at this time,” Donaldson said.
Rolle would yesterday neither confirm nor deny that his term as president of the union had come to an end.
Donaldson added that the industrial agreement which WSMU wants WSC to sign, states that WSMU members can remain employed at the corporation and bid on its contracts, which he said is a “blatant conflict of interest”.
The contracts, Donaldson said, range from reverse osmosis systems to armored car services, which he said are worth millions of dollars.
Donaldson said the corporation will not agree to such a clause.
Following the granting of strike certificates to BUSAWU and WSMU by Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes, BUSAWU President Dwayne Woods said that WSC had set a meeting for May 7 with both unions. However, he told The Nassau Guardian that the meeting was postponed.
After WSC postponed its meeting with BUSAWU and WSMU and failed to show at another meeting at the Department of Labour, WSMU said it appears that industrial action is certain, while BUSAWU expressed its intention to join WSMU.
The Guardian understands the meeting was postponed because a senior officer at WSC was not available.
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