By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
A MOULD infestation at one of Bahamas Power and Light's Clifton Pier buildings led workers to refuse to suit up for work yesterday morning as a form of protest over BPL's failure to address the issue.
According to Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU) President Paul Maynard, the mould issues at the plant are due to severe roof damage the facility sustained from Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
More than a year later, Mr Maynard said the roof still remains extensively damaged.
However, he refuted claims that the workers protested, saying they instead "refused to suit up for work" yesterday morning. This resulted in them being temporarily relocated.
Works Minister Desmond Bannister, who has BPL in his portfolio, yesterday added that the electricity provider would do whatever it could to ensure workers can perform their duties properly and safely.
About 120 workers are stationed at the Clifton Pier facility, Mr Maynard said.
"Since Hurricane Matthew the roof blew off at Clifton Pier. It was going to get done that next month after the hurricane but in the end the decision was made that it was just too much money to fix," Mr Maynard told The Tribune.
"So now the roof (has) been like that since 2016. It is now getting ready to be about two years and mould all about in the building and we put up with it.
"It's not the minister or the chairman's fault and the procurement committee was back and forth with it requiring this and that."
He continued: "But it wasn't a protest. The guys did not go in the changing room to report to work this morning.
"So I went down there this morning (Thursday) and ensured the fellas were moved out and they were put in a temporary place until we get the building repaired and sorted out."
He said there have not been any complaints of health issues because of the mould, but BPL has committed to ensuring all workers who frequent the building are checked out by medical professionals.
For his part Mr Bannister said BPL cares for its employees.
He said if they have any issues it is important that they be dealt with expeditiously.