Bahamas Communications and Public Managers Union (BCPMU) President Ricardo Thompson said yesterday that he was “disappointed” with Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Garfield Sinclair’s belief that infighting at BTC could be “fatal” to the company.
“I was disappointed in his remarks because as much as it would seem an appeal it’s still disingenuous,” Thompson said.
“We are definitely united in the progression to see BTC move forward, but not in its present state with the kind of leadership and the treatment of the employees.
“They’re pushing the VSEP. Voluntary separation is from them trying to get rid of about 100 more persons after two or so earlier attempts. We are now trying to say, ‘That’s your effort, but if you’re going to put it out, make it worth the while.’
“We’re trying to save jobs. They’re trying to get rid of them.”
Sinclair told The Guardian that, “It’s fatal to fight amongst ourselves in public. It’s fatal in the eyes of customers. It’s fatal in the eyes of our competitor who is just licking their chops at this.
“And when you’re a monopoly and don’t have competitors, fine, but when you do, this kind of infighting and behavior is fatal, and it cannot be where the idea is, ‘Let’s just burn down the whole thing if we don’t sort of get what we want, particularly when what we want is opaque at best.’”
However, Thompson insisted that the union is keeping the interests of the company in mind.
“We’ve filed some trade disputes already with their non-compliance to negotiate,” he said.
“They want to take a unilateral stance on this voluntary separation. Clearly, the industrial agreement calls for bilateral discussions, but we have some legal movements afoot.”
Both unions have also called for Nair’s resignation. He came under fire after videos of him criticizing BTC and its employees began making the rounds last week.
He made the comments at a recent Liberty Global town hall meeting in Jamaica, during which he said that BTC is one of Liberty Latin America’s lowest-performing subsidiaries. Nair also joked about the prime minister asking for more jobs for Bahamians and being unable to look Sinclair in the eyes. He later apologized for his comments.