Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union (BCPOU) President Dino Rolle said yesterday that he was “repulsed” by recent comments made by Liberty Latin America (LLA) CEO Balan Nair about the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) employees and market performance.
“I spoke to one of the board members yesterday and I told him how I found the remarks so repulsive and insulting,” Rolle told The Nassau Guardian.
“I’ve been getting calls left, right and center from all across the archipelago. Persons were so upset about what they’ve seen [and] what they heard from the leader of this organization.
“…The Bahamian people [are] waiting and they ought to be waiting, as my members here in BTC are waiting, to hear from the prime minister [and] what the prime minister has to say, since his name was invoked in it.
“What say ye, sir, to what Mr. Nair said about your actions in a closed meeting with [an] LLA leadership team?”
BTC is a subsidiary of Liberty Latin America.
Nair’s comments were captured on video and made the rounds on social media.
“It’s so funny. I’ll tell you a story,” Nair said as he addressed a crowd of Liberty’s Jamaican employees.
“Garry and I and a few others were meeting with the prime minister of The Bahamas on Monday, and you can see him standing there, his crown jewel BTC is ran by a Jamaican, who’s sitting right across from him. He brought up more than once, ‘We need more Bahamians’, and he’s not trying to make eye contact with Garry.”
The story was met with light laughter from the crowd.
Nair said, “My biggest wish is that one day they would say, ‘We can be like Jamaica. We can do what they have done in this country.’
“…The people in The Bahamas are no different from the people in Jamaica; it’s all about attitude. If you feel like you can win, you will win.”
Nair said the difference between the subsidiary countries on the two islands were like “night and day”.
In a statement responding to the backlash, BTC CEO Garfield “Garry” Sinclair said that Liberty Latin America is “extremely supportive of BTC, values its employees and remains committed to building a culture of high performance where colleagues are able to thrive and deliver moments that matter to our customers”.
Sinclair, a Jamaican native, was appointed to the position last August.
Rolle said his union members didn’t take this criticism well.
He said BTC wants a focused leader.
“We want somebody who is focused on the continuing development of BTC here in The Bahamas,” he said.
“That person may very well not be Garry Sinclair.”
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications