NASSAU, BAHAMAS — National Congress of Trade Unions Bahamas (NCTUB) executives have thrown their support behind president Bernard Evans to guide the major umbrella union through its ‘transition’ amid calls for his resignation.
A June 22nd letter by ‘affiliate’s of the NCTUB, a copy of which was seen by Eyewitness News, called for Evans’ immediate resignation.
The letter argued that the NCTUB has been “stagnant and almost non-existent” on labour issues over the past six months, citing the bankruptcy order against Evans and that their confidence and trust in him had ”irretrievably broken down’.
Still, Daniel Thompson, Assistant Secretary General of the NCTUB and president of the Union of Tertiary Educators of The Bahamas (UTEB) told Eyewitness News that the majority of NCTUB executives backed Evans to remain in the presidency post amid an ongoing court battle over elections which should have been held in December.
Thompson said: “There was a consent order by Justice Ian Winder on January 5 2020. In that order the judge ordered that the executive board continue to fulfill the duties of their respective offices and to continue the business of the NCTUB until the election of the new executive board at the triennial convention. Mr Evans wasn’t running for re-election and their was an order to cease that election. That matter is still before the courts. In the meantime the court issued an order for us to continue our operations. While Mr Evans wasn’t a candidate the court ordered the executives to remain in place.”
Thompson continued: “Mr Evans remaining in that position has nothing to do with his desire. The executives of the NCTUB supports Mr Evans notwithstanding the Court of Appeal’s determination with regards to him in his capacity as a trustee of the BCPOU.
“We understand the ruling however the constitution of NCTUB does not mandate or require his resignation. We don’t have a clause that if there were a bankruptcy order one must resign. We do have various committees. The only position the executives have is that if there is a concern, there is a process to address it.”
Thompson said that given the “fragile state” the NCTUB is in with the pending court matter, the executives of the NCTUB have determined that Mr Evans still represents the best source of stability in the NCTUB while it transitions.
“Further, if persons have an issue with what is happening there is a process,” he said.
“He has the support of the majority of the executives to continue this transition. We are in a fragile position now. Mr Evans is not is not running but we determined that we prefer him because the alternative at this fragile period may be destruction. At this pint we want to keep the ship steady and proceed.”