Yes, Mr Miller should be reappointed
No, Mr Miller should not be reappointed
243 total votes.
By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
BAHAMAS Electrical Workers Union President Paul Maynard said yesterday that Bahamas Electricity Corporation Executive Chairman Leslie Miller will “regret the day he opened his mouth” if he reveals any employee’s personal information to the public.
Speaking with The Tribune, Mr Maynard said the chairman has “gone too far” and is not only threatening employees, but also “threatening the prime minister” by insinuating he will reveal BEC secrets if he is not reappointed next month. The union leader added that he is “prepared to die” for his beliefs and said his organisation will go “ballistic” if provoked further by Mr Miller.
Mr Maynard’s comments came one day after Mr Miller defended his tenure at BEC amid rumours that he will not be reappointed.
On Monday Mr Miller told The Tribune that he would tell his version of the debacle at BEC “in full colour” if the government caters to unions over the best interest of the Bahamian people.
“I was appointed by the (prime minister) to do a job. He said he wanted to bring down the cost of electricity to the Bahamian people,” Mr Miller told The Tribune on Monday.
“Whether they like it or not, I was not sent here to appease unions,” he added. “Now if the government policy is that they got to cater to the union and cater to them at the expense of the Bahamian people then I have a serious problem with that, and when that time comes you all will hear from me in full colour.”
While admitting that the Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU) wants Mr Miller removed as chairman, Mr Maynard said the union was not involved in the consultation process with Prime Minister Perry Christie over who the next chairman will be.
However, he said, Mr Miller needs to have more respect for the prime minister and more respect for the unions who were “ultimately responsible for him getting his position.”
“How dare he say those things to the prime minister in the press? If he thinks he is bigger than City Hall then he needs to run for leader, then he can do whatever he wants to do. That is a threat, he is basically saying if he is not reappointed he will come with all his stories,” Mr Maynard said.
“Well if he has a story he doesn’t have to wait until he is removed or replaced because then that will be sour grapes. But I tell you one thing, the union is not going to tolerate him putting employees’ business on the streets. He does not have the right to say what he says or put any of our private business in the public. I dare him to open his mouth. He will regret the day he opens his mouth. I am prepared to die for what I believe in, ask him if he is because we will go on the line on this one. If I have to be on Bay Street by myself demonstrating, I will do it. He alluded to me in his comments as well and there will be no more sorrys, I am not hearing it. We will go ballistic.”
Mr Maynard said the minute Mr Miller decides to release information on BEC employees, the union will release details on Mr Miller and “all his cronies” at BEC.
He said: “If he is reappointed that is up to the prime minister. Mr Miller is saying he doesn’t have to deal with the union but he needs to understand this, the party that he is in, is in power as a result of the unions. I don’t care what he is running on with. If the unions did not support the PLP they wouldn’t be there, he needs to do well to remember that. When, and if, he comes out with this information he claims he has, we will go ballistic. We will put his business and his cronies’ (business) on the street with it. All of the things he is doing will come out trust me. He needs to govern his mouth.”
The BEWU called for Mr Miller’s resignation in June when it was revealed that Mr Miller and one of his family owned businesses owed the corporation more than $200,000. It was later reported that $100,000 in cash was paid at BEC’s post office branch for Mario’s Bowling Palace’s outstanding bill.