By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
WATER and Sewerage Corporation General Manager Glen Laville yesterday hit back at the Bahamas Utilities Service and Allied Workers Union, challenging the union to provide “proof” of its recent allegations against him and take the “legitimate course of action in order to correct it”.
Mr Laville said going on strike “does not solve” the union’s industrial issues with him nor other officials at the corporation. He said if the union has a “legitimate” issue with WSC officials then “there is a process for them to follow” to have it rectified.
Meanwhile, BUSAWU President Dwayne Woods told The Tribune that there is now a “warmer atmosphere” between the union and WSC following a meeting with the corporation’s upper management on Monday – Mr Laville included – over the union’s issues. However, he said that if Mr Laville continues “his attitude of judge, jury and executioner,” then the union will continue to lobby for his dismissal.
Mr Woods also said that the corporation will be given a new executive chairman in “short order” to help mitigate against Mr Laville’s alleged actions. The Tribune can confirm that that individual is none other than outgoing Bahamas Electricity Corporation Executive Chairman Leslie Miller.
Mr Woods also said Deputy Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis, who is also the minister of works, has assured the union that there would be no salary cuts as a result of their protests against Mr Laville last week.
Last week, WSC staff threatened to “withdraw their services” if Mr Laville was not removed immediately. Mr Woods, at the time, accused Mr Laville of operating as “judge, jury and executioner” at the corporation, and said his members are sick of Mr Laville’s “foreign and unorthodox style of management”.
Mr Woods also accused Mr Laville of attempting to fire a 54-year-old employee even though the person has not met the requirement age of 60.
When questioned yesterday on the allegations, Mr Laville said: “I’ll put it like this: we’re trying to transform the corporation, and some people are not going to like what we need to do and other people they’re going to benefit from it in terms of being able to be productive employees. So we will always have detractors and we will always have supporters.”
He added: “Anything we do, we follow the industrial agreement and we follow the law. And there is a process. Again, if they think that we haven’t followed the industrial agreement or the law, there’s a process that they follow in order to resolve any disputes. So, you know, going on strike does not solve the problem. If they actually think there’s a legitimate problem they should take the legitimate course of action in order to correct it.
“Regarding any allegations they have made if they have any proof of anything that they have said then they need to bring it forward. That’s it.”
Yesterday, Mr Woods said the union was looking forward to having a good relationship with WSC’s new incoming chairman.
“I don’t know (Mr Miller) that well, but my thing is whoever comes the union wants to have a harmonious relationship with them,” Mr Woods said. “So if it is (Mr Miller) then I encourage the correct spirit and let’s work towards the betterment of the organisation and the government. The union is here to make sense, and as long as the person (in charge) is making sense we will have a warm relationship.”