0

Bpl Unveil Job Cuts

By Khrisna Russell

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMAS Power and Light Ltd plans to soon begin a “rightsizing” exercise, which could see nearly 300 of the electricity provider’s 1,050 employees sent home.

BPL’s Deputy Chairman Patrick Rollins confirmed yesterday during a press conference that the power provider was in the discussion and planning phase of this exercise, although he did not reveal the extent of the staff reduction or when it was projected to begin.

Unions representing workers at BPL said yesterday that the company has said 233 workers have to be made redundant and questioned who these employees will be. The unions also said they have yet to see the company’s full business plan. 

BPL’s former management company PowerSecure stated in its business plan, which was released last year, that it wanted an approximate “30 per cent reduction in staff by year three of the plan.”

That figure would have represented 315 BPL workers and was projected to reduce “the cost of service to customers by an estimated $0.013 per kilowatt hour as a result” the business plan further said.

The Minnis administration severed ties with PowerSecure in September 2017.

Insiders told The Tribune yesterday it was hoped other industry stakeholders would absorb the workers who would be made jobless.

Despite the staff cuts being foreshadowed, the Bahamas Electrical Utility Union and Bahamas Electrical Workers Union were angered by the impending move.

In a press statement issued yesterday, both unions said they would not be “pushed around” and put the country on notice that if the board and executive management attempt to intimidate them, then it would be a “very dark and hot summer”.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Mr Rollins said the need to “rightsize” was due to plans to implement new automated procedures.

He said: “All the stakeholders agree that 1,050 employees, especially as we implement new automated procedures, there is going to be a need to right size. We are in discussions now, in (the) planning stage (and) discussions to at some point have a rightsizing exercise in the organisation.

“We have 1,050 employees at present and our goal is to build a world class organisation with our Bahamian team. We are blessed to have a lot of talented individuals in our company, but there are still some missing skill sets and we are working to fill these missing skill sets and add them to our staff so we can be a first in class utility company,” Mr Rollins also said.

“To fill these positions, we first look inside the organisation. Then we go to the Bahamas we look for a Bahamian somewhere in the Bahamas. If we can’t find a Bahamian in the Bahamas we go international and look for Bahamians. Only then after we have exhausted those avenues that we look for a non-Bahamian to fill those positions and when we bring a non-Bahamian in, that non-Bahamian is assigned to a Bahamian so they could understudy them, so we can have a transfer of knowledge. So, when they go home we’ll have Bahamians filling those positions.

“We’ve heard a lot of talk over the last few days about Grand Bahama Power Company bringing people in. I just want to say many of the people who we got from GBPC are people who were born and grew up in Nassau.”

He said BPL is looking for Bahamians to fill vacancies because executives are confident Bahamians could solve the problems of the company.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 4 months ago

This is nothing but a purge whereby 300 PLP supporters are eventually replaced by 300+ FNM supporters. This has been happening throughout government since Minnis took office. Yes indeed, it's politics as usual when our country can least afford it.

0

OMG 4 months ago

The usual backwoods, third or fourth world excuse .How the hell will the country ever become competitive if every over staffed entitiy is labelled as "political" as opposed restructuring. It happens all over the world.

1

Kalikgold 4 months ago

When you "word" it like that, doesnt sound so bad LOL

0

Well_mudda_take_sic 4 months ago

I guess you don't believe our costly bloated government is in urgent need of some serious downsizing as opposed to just replacing useless Peter with an unproductive Paul purely for political purposes. Paul for Peter does nothing at all for the financial well-being of our country.

0

Craig 4 months ago

I say also cut those employees who's responsibility it is to ensure that the catastrophic island wide blackout that happened this week does not happen. And I say terminate them for cause, negligence and incompetence. In this modern era, especially in such a small power grid, such blackouts should happen very rarely, once or twice a decade perhaps. Modern engineering and maintenance techniques should all but eliminate such occurrences.Terminate those responsible immediately and put people there who know what they are doing. Surely the Unions don't condone negligence and incompetence!!

1

sheeprunner12 4 months ago

Have you ever seen a BPL worksite????? ........ Five fellas watching ONE fella work??????

And how can a BILLION dollar debt corporation pay the BIG salaries and benefits to these largely high school educated, non-degreed workers????? .......... Amazing!!!!!

2

TheMadHatter 4 months ago

Now we know the true value of a Bahamian in the eyes of foreigners, one point three cents.

If they are serious about having skill sets, why not bring in people to train existing employees who are willing to learn?

They haven't added one damn piece of equipment yet to help reduce costs but they want to jump right on the workers.

Try do a grid analysis and figure out why our power costs so much. Why not bring the LNG barge instead of postponing improvements for three years by doing a land based plant? The tie-in is right by P.I. bridge.

0

jboo 4 months ago

If the union and workers feels like it's OK to resort to sabotage because the business is trying to cut cost and pass those savings onto consumers then they deserve to be fired. They're are other ways to resolve these disputes. Consumers are tired of being Punished for these union disputes with blackouts and damaged appliances. All these blackouts are causing business to lose thousands in revenue, wasting Bahamians time with traffic lights being off causing traffic jams, causing business to close early and have to let employees go home because they cannot work. Businesses should not have to buy generators to run their businesses because they are paying for a service. And sadly Bahamians never compensated when they lose appliances, or lost revenue due to blackouts. Unions are now becoming more of a nuisance and hindrance to progress in this country.

0

licks2 4 months ago

Welcome to a first world power generation profile. . .as for politics as usual. . .GET WITH IT THE FELLA. . .GIVE US A BREAK MAN. . .WE ARE PAYING THE HIGHEST POWER RATE IN THIS HEMISPHERE. . .FOR THIS LIL BIT OF PEOPLE!!

2

sheeprunner12 4 months ago

The Government will make headway with BPL ........ Bannister is a bulldog Minister.

The Unions might as well accept this fact and shutup and prepare for downsizing......... Too much deadweight, overheads and national financial liabilities for 1000 workers at a BROKE public entity.

1

sheeprunner12 4 months ago

BPL to cut 233 jobs to save $13million???????? .......... $55,794.00 salary+ per worker?????

Is this the kind of money that line staff BPL workers make?????? .... or are these managers???? .......... And the average Bahamian worker makes less than 20K ........... SMH

0

Tarzan 4 months ago

Oh my... I guess some folks don't know that the cost to a business of an employee exceeds the employee's salary. Not to mention that it is quite obvious that the layoffs will include a mix of managers and line employees involved. And yes, ancillary employee costs can easily be 25 to even 50% of salary.

0

TheMadHatter 4 months ago

Sheeprunner - you are right. The numbers don't add up. But that's what happen when u try do dem big number on abacus. Govt best buy some calculator man.

0

DDK 4 months ago

There is plenty talk of on-going sabotage as it is. Trust these are NOT politically motivated lay-offs. The People also wish to see BEC's business plan. A REAL plan.

0

sheeprunner12 4 months ago

The Unions are of the opinion that they have the silver bullet to solve BPL problems ........ and that the Unions hold the trump card in the "way forward" for BPL ..... what a bigotty set of leaders - who do not pay the salaries of the workers .... He who pays the piper, sets the tune ........ The Bahamian citizens pay these entitled BPL workers these salaries, overtime, healthcare, pension etc. that far exceed anything that the average government worker or private sector worker with (no real skills/degrees) can earn ........ Nurses make $20,000 and they are expected to save lives, teachers make $25,000 and they are supposed to educate the children.

1

Dawes 4 months ago

If they are not needed then this should be done. I am sick of paying over and above what i should for crap service. I understand it is not good for the person being let go, but the company must be able to stand on two legs and not charge an arm and a leg for it. I take it that people who have a problem with these people being let go, never complain about the high cost of electricity and also will not complain when Government raises taxes to continue to have these entities operate at the loss they do. If Government wanted to it could have full employment, of course it would then need to increase taxes to about 75% (figure pulled from thin air) of what the private sector make (private sector as they are the ones paying for the public sector to continue to make these losses).

0

OMG 4 months ago

Mudda take sick, never heard you complaining when BEC workers would delay repairs until after regular work hours to make stupendous overtime income. Oh but of course the PLP never supported corruption directly or indirectly

1

Well_mudda_take_sic 4 months ago

Seems you would rather focus on me rather than those responsible for maintaining our country's infrastructure, whether they be PLP or FNM. I'm important, but not that important.

0

OMG 4 months ago

For once we are in agreement😎

0

DDK 4 months ago

"In a press statement issued yesterday, both unions said they would not be “pushed around” and put the country on notice that if the board and executive management attempt to intimidate them, then it would be a “very dark and hot summer”. Surely these threats are not legal and persons making them should not be in the employ of BEC.

0

sheeprunner12 4 months ago

But the BPL bosses make $200,000 - $400,000 .............. SMH ........ and the line staff make 50K ......... and the managers make 100K+ ....... JOKES!!!!!

How much does Maynard make as Union boss?????? .......... BOL

These people are really out of touch with the real Bahamian struggle.

0

Well_mudda_take_sic 4 months ago

Leslie Miller was paid a small fortune per annum while Christie allowed him to muck up BEC's business affairs. Miller was supposed to use his lucrative BEC related pay to pay down his advances received from Bank of The Bahamas totaling millions of dollars. But that of course didn't happen.

0

sheeprunner12 4 months ago

What do Executive Chairmen and Boards do to earn those hefty "stipends"????????

Hey Mudda???????

0

bogart 4 months ago

ZERO SYMPATHY FOR BPL.......FIRE THE LOT...,IN ADDITION TO HIGHEST CHARGING RATES....INCONVENIENCING CUSTOMERS WAITING AFTER DARK SO THEY CAN EARN OVERTIME....LONG WAIT TO LINE UP JUST TO PAY THEM.....AND THE CRAP FOR EXCUSES WHY THEY CANNOT PAY FOR SURGES ETC TO EQUIPMENT THEY HAVE RUINED.......AT THIS POINT I AM PREPARED TO TOLERATE ILLEGAL FOREIGN WORKERS HIRED TO REPLACE THEM!!!!!!!

0

John 4 months ago

When you have foreign ‘book smart’ but practically inexperienced coming to a multi-Island nation ant attempting to apply a model that was designed for a company operating on a single land mass. And it never works. Not with BTC, not with Alive, not with WSC, not with BPL. They fire or retire a lot of workers and hire even more back. And now even the banks are finding it difficult to operate and turn a profit. Each island requires a mini company or subsidiary of its own. And so labor becomes expensive. Overhead is more than a company with a traditional structure and transportation expenses and movement of equipment and supplies as well. Before mid summer BPL will be rehiring workers and so one must wonder if this is just a scheme to cause workers to lose tenure and their benefits.

0

sheeprunner12 4 months ago

When you have to maintain 3 generators and 45 to 100 miles of transmission on an island like Cat Island, Exuma, Long Island, Acklins etc. for a handful of customers ......... Is there any secret why BPL, WSC, Bahamasair, Cable etc are broke and cannot be profitable ...... but what is the excuse for them in Nassau, Abaco, Bimini, Inagua, Eleuthera etc where you have many customers and/or compact communities????

That is why some serious thought must be put in to how these companies/corporations can turn profits in the big markets and serve the Out Islands efficiently.

0

proudloudandfnm 4 months ago

If this union does decide to blackmail us with power cuts then someone neds to be put in prison. BEV must be downsized for the sake of the country. Pass a law making it illegal to use power cuts as a bargaining tool. Lock the bastards up...

1

seamphony 4 months ago

Bahamian public is not heartless. we feel for the 300 people whose jobs are on the line. But what these handful of union guys are doing is throwing threats at our faces saying you'll sweat your butts off, it will be a dark summer, we are not going anywhere. is this way to represent your union people? is this the way to ask for worker's rights man? it is rude and unfair to all the workers. bahamians shouldered the high cost of electricity for less than mediocre service for decades and THIS is the treatment they get. shameful. You blame it on the foreigners the oil the moon and the sky but somewhere somehow this has to stop. let BPL lower our bills the best way they can.

1

Socrates 4 months ago

the tail can never be allowed to wag the dog. it follows that management's job is to manage as directed by the owner(s). Employees are just that, not consultants. someone needs to send these organized labour groups, who would be called crime families in another context, a message. Reagan did it to the air traffic controllers and the new man in Zimbabwe to the nurses. if you let them all go, the sun will still rise and everbody would know their place in the structure of the company again. order would be reestablished so to speak .

0

sheeprunner12 4 months ago

Exactly ......... maybe the 1000 BEC workers do not live in the same communities as us and need to use electricity, water, cable, phone etc. ...... So if they are so stupid to sabotage BEC - they will only make their own lives and their families miserable and uncomfortable as well (cut off nose to spite face).

0

Sign in to comment