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Minnis: BTC cannot outsource without government permission

FNM leader Hubert Minnis

FNM leader Hubert Minnis

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

FNM LEADER Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday the Bahamas Telecommunications Company cannot outsource Bahamian jobs overseas without the current government’s permission.

Therefore if the company were planning to lay off hundreds of Bahamian jobs, the government not only knows about it, but approved it.

Speaking with The Tribune, Dr Minnis said as long as the government owns more than 50 per cent of the company, CWC cannot lay off anyone without the government allowing it.

“The PLP is in the business of exporting jobs and the FNM is in the business of giving jobs to Bahamians. With respect to BTC, included in the business plan is a clause that says as long as we own over 50 per cent we can veto anything they try to do,” he said.

“Which means the government has the power to protect Bahamian jobs if they want. They cannot do anything without the government. That was added there by the FNM to show how much we care about the Bahamian people. If the government allows this to happen it will prove that they do not care about the Bahamian people.”

Under the 2011 privatisation agreement, “the day-to-day administration, operation and management of BTC shall be substantially conducted from premises in the Bahamas”.

Also the shareholder’s agreement between the government and CWC requires the government to approve “any material change to the nature of scope of BTC’s business.”

Dr Minnis also denied claims by government negotiator Franklyn Wilson that if BTC were to outsource jobs, it would be the result of conditions the Ingraham administration agreed to in the 2011 sale.

BTC board member and PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts also claimed that in a presentation before the FNM Cabinet in 2011 “the entire FNM crew agreed that CWC could decimate BTC after the first year of privatisation and outsource all its main functions to CWC operations abroad”.

Earlier this week, FNM deputy leader Loretta Bulter-Turner had questioned whether mass lay-offs of scores of BTC employees was imminent as the company reportedly prepares to outsource its call centres to Panama.

However, yesterday BTC’s board issued a press statement denying there were any such plans to restructure their business.

“This message,” the statement read, “has been shared with our union partners. Moreover, the Board is committed to increasing our level of investment across the Bahamas to improve network reliability and customer service.

“Finally the Board wishes to make it clear that this sort of unfounded speculation is most unwelcome, undermining, as it does, the confidence of the hard-working BTC employees who support our customers every day. We call for an end to these irresponsible accusations,” the statement said.

Comments

birdiestrachan 8 years, 4 months ago

How can Doctor Minnis fix his mouth to say the FNM is in the business of giving jobs to Bahamians. Does he remember ZNZ, BTC and the Road Works? Does he remember the FNM Government of which he was a cabinet member sold 51% of BTC. So what 50% is he talking about . There was no 50% under their rule.

The FNM and their leaders are being very irresponsible , It makes one wonder, what can really be expected of them.?

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Cobalt 8 years, 4 months ago

Dr Hubert Minnis is an opportunist who only talks for talking sake. This whole mess at btc was initiated by his FNM government when they decided, against the people's will, to sell more than half the company. Someone please give Dr Hubert Minnis some toilette paper to whipe that diarrhea coming from his mouth.

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realfreethinker 8 years, 4 months ago

Well the current government said they renegotiated the BTC deal so any thing wrong now they must take responsibility for. If the other government allowed for out sourcing why didn't this gov have it changed.

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Cobalt 8 years, 4 months ago

Simply put... because they couldn't. If a contract is to be changed, then both parties involved must be in congruence. Clearly C&W weren't willing to negotiate certain changes.

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TalRussell 8 years, 4 months ago

Minnis going in one direction, Loretta in the other with Duane and Daron all over the damn place, it's no wonder they has the capacity to tie the party up with a number of very awkward, confusing political moves.

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TheMadHatter 8 years, 4 months ago

What call centres are they going to outsource to Panama? We have call centres at BTC ?

TheMadHatter

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John 8 years, 4 months ago

DOES BTC HAVE A GAMING AND/OR LOTTERY LICENSE? Right now they are running one of the biggest games in town and have their customers all over the place begging for money to keep minutes on their phone so that they can play. You have to answer some trivia questions for a chance to win a car as the grand prize and to win other prizes. BUT GUESS WHAT? YOU HAVE TO PAY FIFTY CENTS EACH TIME YOU PLAY! So you say ok 50 cents is no big deal,,,,

SO LETS DO SOME QUICK MATHS: Lets say one third of BTC's Cellular customers (family islands included) are playing That is about 30,000 people. Lets say that BTC asks 6 trivia questions a day, so at 50 cents, each person who plays will spend $3.00 a day. So 30,000 players @ $3.00 a day is $90,000.00 (NINETY THOUSAND DOLLARS A DAY!) The Lottery/game is running for two weeks so $90,000.00 a day times 14 days is $1,260,000.00 ( One Million Two Hundred And Sixty Thousand Dollars). THAT IS HOW MUCH BTC WILL TAKE (RAKE) IN!!!

SO BTC CLAIMS THEY ARE GIVING AWAY A CAR AND OTHER PRIZES...Lets say the car costs $60,000.00 and the other prizes cost a total of $40,000.00 and say it costs BTC another $60,000.00 to run the game (did I say run a game?). That is a total of $160,000.00 expense wise. Now deduct that from the $1,260,000.00 they took in from the consumers who are playing the game. Rather than giving away a car and other prizes, BTC is actually SUCKING in $1,100,000.00 NET in TWO SHORT WEEKS! ELEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS AND THE PHONE SERVICE STILL SUCKS!

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Bahamianpride 8 years, 4 months ago

Outsource this to Verizon, at&t, sprint, etc.. To much government.. I pay private phone, private water, private gas & electric, trash collection, etc. The service is great & if its not I switch to better or more affordable one.. Its call free market capitalism, it has many flaws but its the best of all the systems available. Stop looking to government for everything, government should only be the referee, private sector has to be the source of jobs & services moving forward. I'd rather deal with a private business any day over some government bureaucracy. For those who think capitalism sucks, well look @ what socialism has done to us with these massive wasteful bureaucracies sucking Bahamians dry & the service is pissed poor.

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John 8 years, 4 months ago

Where is your point when BTC is sucking $90,000.00 a day from the Bahamian people? and their service still sucks!

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Bahamianpride 8 years, 4 months ago

John, my point is government or quasi government btc should not exist. This service should be left to private sector.. if you had 5 or more privately ran providers to choose from u would get better service & cheaper prices. Btc and other government service run a monopoly on the Bahamian people. I use verizon & comcast @ my place in U. S. Great service, if there quality or price changes I switch, I also have a choice of a few gas & electric providers. We have to get out of this government ran model. It expands the power of politicians to control everything & everyone. When I send money for my Moms bill I cringe @ the cost due to lack of free market competition..

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Bahamianpride 8 years, 4 months ago

Btc sucks because they can afford to suck.. What's the competition? People r so concern with service, yet they support these huge wasteful, greedy bureaucracies because they provide government jobs. Well we see how government runs the country so should we expect any difference when they provide essential services.

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John 8 years, 4 months ago

BaTelCo was established years`ago when no private company wanted to come in and set up a communications company. It was the norm for governments to run the power company, the communications compay, the water and sewerage corporations and even radio stations in small countries like the Bahamas The numbers just were not there to make the venture profitable. Now that there is profitability, a private company has come in but, so far their service is still lacking. However the numbers are just not there t0 bring in 5 companies and hope competition between them makes the service better like you suggest.

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John 8 years, 4 months ago

Ok so BTC admits that is has been sending subscribers the same trivia questions 2, 3 4 and maybe as much as FIVE times a day. Every time a subscriber responds he/;she is charged 50 cents. So if a persons answers the questions 5 times he is charged $12.50! Imagine several thousand subscribers doing this or even answering the trivia questions twice or three times a day...THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS TO BTC! and no word if these people will be reimbursed.

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concernedcitizen 7 years, 11 months ago

THANK GOD IN HEAVEN BTC WAS PRIVATIZED NOW BRING IN OTHERS TO COMPETE ,,WISH WE COULD DO IT W/ BEC ,BUT NO ONE WILL ASSUME ALL THAT DEBT ,THATS WHY PERRY GOT TO MAKE A "NEW' BEC TO PRIVATIZE W/ OUT THE DEBT ,AFTER 40 YEARS OF TOTAL MISMANAGEMENT WE THE PEOPLE OF THE BAHAMAS GET THE 'JOY'OF BEC 500 MILLION DOLLAR DEBT

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