By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Bahamas Utilities Service and Allied Workers Union will hold a protest at the Water and Sewerage Corporation today to demand the resignation of the corporation’s General Manager Glen Laville, the group’s president said yesterday.
BUSAWU President Dwayne Woods accused Mr Laville of wanting to be “judge, jury and executioner” at the state-run corporation. He said the union is “sick and tired” of Mr Laville’s “foreign, unorthodox style of management,” which he said leads to workers being taken advantage of.
This, Mr Woods said, stems from Mr Laville allegedly threatening to fire a 54-year-old employee of 34 years at the corporation, despite the union’s industrial agreement stating that compulsory retirement comes into effect only when an individual turns 60.
Coupled with other alleged incidences regarding termination and probable termination of other employees at WSC, Mr Woods ultimately blamed the corporation of “attempting to minimise the influence of the representative trade union” by using the corporation “as a revolving door of employment.”
“This is taboo and ludicrous according to the union under the circumstances, and quite clearly explains the problems we are now facing,” Mr Woods said. “The general manager wants to be judge, jury and executioner. He is the general manager, human resources manager, and everything else.
“So we say to that, the union members are sick and tired of the general manager’s foreign, unorthodox style of management which results in him taking advantage of them, which now results in them saying enough is enough and the general manager has to go.
“The union wants to make it clear that it has no issue at the ministerial level or the government. Our issues are strictly with the executive management at the corporation, and we are here to blow the whistle on some of the injustices that the union faces that are unfair to us.”
Mr Woods also claimed that WSC is attempting to terminate a contractual employee with more than a year’s worth of service on the job and an “above average” performance rating, despite an agreement with the union which states that an employee is to be made permanent after working for a year or more.
Mr Woods also accused the corporation of allegedly going back more than six years on an employee’s file and using past breaches to terminate an individual, even though the employee had already been disciplined for the alleged infractions.
“The corporation is attempting to minimise the influence of the representative trade union by using the corporation as a revolving door of employment,” Mr Woods said. “They are firing in order to hire in order to maintain a fixed head count based on the number of permanent employees. It is the view of the union that this is being done in order to keep employment numbers at an all time low for the corporation to remain attractive for outsourcing and privatisation.”
The protest is scheduled for 12 noon in front of the Water and Sewerage Corporation’s headquarters.