By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE government is working to see how it can quickly resolve ongoing negotiations surrounding Elizabeth Thompson’s reinstatement at BTC, Labour Minister Shane Gibson said yesterday.
The minister admitted to reporters outside the Cabinet office that the matter had gone on for too long and that all parties wanted it to end.
Ms Thompson was terminated from BTC on October 22 after serving the company for almost five years in the legal department.
She also serves as the vice president of the Bahamas Communications and Public Managers Union.
Mr Gibson said: “We are trying to see how we could have the matter resolved because everyone agrees that it has been a saga for too long and it is something that perhaps should not have happened. All sides agree that at this stage it is in the best interest to have this resolved as quickly as possible.
“We met with BTC and they have asked us to look at something and get back to them. So hopefully we should have some recommendations to send back to them.”
He said a government communication to the company would be completed by today.
Last month, labour officials claimed that they would delay the promise of industrial action after it was revealed that Mr Gibson and BTC were in talks over Ms Thompson’s firing.
They had been threatening strike action among other forms of protest for several weeks.
Back in November, the Joint Labour Movement led by Jennifer Isaacs Dotson and Obie Ferguson claimed they would spark a withdrawal of labour if BTC did not agree to discussions with the union.
They are the presidents of the National Congress of Trade Unions of the Bahamas (NCTUB) and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas Trade Union Congress (CBTUC) respectively.
The two represent about 40 unions with an estimated 60,000 workers throughout the country.
The union believes that BTC breached stipulations in a current industrial agreement between the company and Bahamas Communications and Public Managers Union (BCPMU).
Again in October, union leaders threatened to “do what we need to do in order to get justice” after BTC issued a letter of termination to Thompson.
In the letter, she said, BTC told her: “After due and careful consideration, the company has decided that the continuance of your employment is not in the best interest of the company or consistent with the requirements of the company’s business.
“We therefore regret to inform you that the company has decided to sever your employment without cause with pay in lieu of notice.”