WSC unions to take strike poll

Dwayne Woods

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The two unions representing employees at the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) have applied to the Ministry of Labour to schedule a strike poll on April 17, 2019.

On Thursday, The Bahamas Utilities Service and Allied Workers Union (BUSAWU), headed by Dwayne Woods, issued a letter to Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes, requesting a strike poll to take place on April 17th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the rear of the Water and Sewerage Building on Thompson Boulevard.

The Water and Sewerage Managers Union also requested a strike poll on  behalf of its Bargaining Unit.

The Managers Union is also hoping to have their poll on the same date as BUSAWU on April 17, 2019, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., also at the rear of the Water & Sewerage building on Thompson Boulevard.

BUSAWU president Dwayne Woods told Eyewitness News on Thursday that there were nine outstanding items to substantiate the pending industrial action.

On more than one occasion, since the beginning of the new year, BUSAWU had expressed a number of concerns they claimed had fallen on deaf ears.

Last week, tensions ran high as BUSAWU members “withdrew their enthusiasm” for two consecutive days.

The union was also accused of sabotaging the water supply in several areas of the capital, but it was a claim that Woods vehemently denied.

Some of the main concerns of BUSAWU included the denial of free usage of office space for union meetings, the refusal to grant administrative leave to the union president, forcing employees to take accrued vacation leave, and the latest action taken against two employees who left their personal vehicles on the corporation’s compound.  Yesterday, Woods said discussions were held as it relates to the two employees and both sides came to an agreement.

As for the WSC Managers Union, its president by Ednel Rolle told Eyewitness News Online that the union was forced to request a strike poll because they had been waiting for far too long to have their industrial agreement executed.

“It has been four years now,” Rolle said, adding that having met on several occasions to address the long standing issue, the union’s concerns continue to fall on deaf ears and the execution of an industrial agreement is long overdue.”