Labour minister issues strike certificates
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Unions representing employees at the Water and Sewerage Corporation have been given the green light by government to take strike action as Labour Minister Dion Foulkes recently signed off on their strike certificates.
This follows a dispute with the Trade Union Congress and the Board of the Water and Sewerage Corporation, who questioned the validity of the strike vote taken by the Bahamas Utilities Services and Allied Workers Union (BUSAWU) and the Mangers Union, almost two weeks ago.
“I had discussions with the Attorney General, the Executive Chairman and the Labour Director, and we made a determination that we thought it was the right thing to,” Foulkes told Eyewitness News Online.
Despite signing off on the certificates, Foulkes encouraged all parties to work together and avoid taking industrial action.
“I want both sides to please sit and talk to give a little bit and see if you can reach a resolution on both sides,” Foulkes said.
Foulkes also expressed concern that if industrial action is taken, it could jeopardize the stability of water in New Providence and in the Family Islands
“Water is a necessity and the government and the Prime Minister is very concerned about the consistency we want to impress upon both sides to do their best,” Foulkes said, adding that there has been a significant improvement in the relations between all parties.
Meanwhile, BUSAWU president Dwayne Woods said that both unions plan to use the strike certificate as a “back pocket item.”
He said a meeting has been planned for May 7th and he is hoping to “wipe the slate clean.”