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Post Office Staff: We Need New Hq - Now

By SANCHESKA DORSETT

Tribune Staff Reporter

sdorsett@tribunemedia.net

NEARLY 100 employees at the “rat and mould infested” General Post Office demonstrated on East Hill Street yesterday demanding the government either make the building habitable or move them immediately.

In an interview with The Tribune, Bahamas Public Services Union (BPSU) President Kingsley Ferguson said the workers will demonstrate every day and “even march to Parliament if necessary” until someone pays attention to their concerns.

Earlier this year, then-BPSU President John Pinder threatened industrial action if the government did not immediately relocate employees from the “unsanitary” building. At the time, he said his members were forced to work in a mould infested building with rats, termites and a leaking ceiling.

Since then, Mr Ferguson said things have got progressively worse and despite employees only working half days, many of them have reportedly developed respiratory issues because of the toxic environment.

Despite nearly a year of shortened shifts and several meetings with the new government, Mr Ferguson said he has still has not been given a timeline for the relocation of staff and operations. He said however, the government has selected the former Phil’s Food Services building on Gladstone Road for the post office’s new location.

“They cannot work in this environment anymore,” Mr Ferguson said. “There is mould, leaking pipes and rats. People are getting sick and nearly a dozen employees have developed respiratory issues and have had to go to doctors.

“So we are demonstrating in an effort to get the attention of the relevant authorities and have our concerns addressed. We spoke with the minister and we did a tour of Phil’s and we were told that is where we are moving but we want to know what is going to happen in the interim. We have not got a moving date, so are we just supposed to stay in here? Are they going to make the Post Office liveable temporarily? So we will continue to be here on the sidewalk until we get some answers. We will demonstrate downtown if need to be to get the attention of the government.”

In October, Bahamas Chamber of Commerce CEO Edison Sumner said reduced operations at the General Post Office are negatively affecting businesses, adding the chamber sees “no end in sight” to the problem.

The Christie administration, through a public private partnership, gave the green light to a project to relocate the General Post Office to the Independence Drive Shopping Centre off Tonique Williams Darling Highway.

However, the Minnis administration has halted that project, expressing concerns that it was approved without due diligence.

Comments

John 6 days, 6 hours ago

This saga has really been too ongoing to not have been resolved by now. Why exactly did Brent Symnonette stop the preparation of the old Independence Shopping Center and what advantages does his delipadated town center Mall offer over that location? Also when does he propose to have the mall ready for occupancy.

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DDK 6 days, 6 hours ago

What kind of governments and civil servants allowed the Post Office to fall into such a disgraceful state of repair in the first place? It seems that successive Bahama governments spend lavishly and then allow The People's assets to fall by the wayside. Spending like drunken sailors seems to be ingrained while maintenance and upkeep is not. Nobody should get raises until good governance in performed, all around..........

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ohdrap4 6 days ago

the post office is a historic building.

It pioneered the padded contract and shoddy execution and taught many how to receive kickbacks. From day one.

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ashley14 6 days, 6 hours ago

You send things through the mail and the people don't receive it. Even with tracking and insurance.

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baldbeardedbahamian 6 days, 6 hours ago

When the PLP first came to power.............................. And Decided they needed a postal tower............................. they found a site on East street North.......................... The contractor cronies sallied forth................................ The building was so badly made........................... It's visitors became afraid.................................. Of concrete falling on their head........................... Large enough to knock them dead..................... Meanwhile inside, the backed up drains.................................. And the roof that leaks each time it rains............................. Made roaches think they'd found a home............................ And rats a playground they could roam............................................ The workers who have to sort the letters.................... Are shackled by these rodent fetters........................................ To work in this pest-ridden place............................................... Is nothing short of a complete disgrace.

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sheeprunner12 6 days, 5 hours ago

The Main Post Office should be torn down and the site used for the new Parliament and PM residence ........ The new Main Post Office should be relocated to the Town Centre Mall

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CatIslandBoy 6 days, 5 hours ago

The government must do something immediately to bring relief to these workers. No Bahamian should be working in these conditions. This has now become a national emergency.

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ohdrap4 5 days, 8 hours ago

this picture of the post office is at leasdt 4 years old.

they have built a wooden walkway in front of it and added a plywood ceiling to the mezzanine to protect users from falling concrete.

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