Unions of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) claimed that Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC), which now owns 51 percent of the telecoms company, is already not “abiding by legally binding contracts” it has with them.
President of the Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union (BCPOU) Bernard Evans said at a press conference at the union’s headquarters on Farrington Road that CWC/BTC is not adhering to the industrial agreement by failing to reimburse almost 500 employees whose pay was cut because they participated in protests against the sale of the company for two days in December.
Evans said BTC claims those employees were not given authorized leave and that is why their pay was cut. However, he contended that the unions’ members followed the rules of their industrial agreement with CWC/BTC with regard to time off.
Evans contended this action by the company caused union members “undeserving hardship,” forcing some of them to seek bank loans to make up for pay cuts. “It is evident to us that Cable and Wireless Communications intends to bring to BTC practices that will not produce a harmonious environment which is critical to maximize productivity,” he said.
Evans said the unions are still “vehemently” opposed to CWC’s ownership of a majority stake in BTC because they insist it has had a bad history with union relations.
However, CWC has assured that it is committed to fostering a harmonious relationship with the unions and staff at BTC.