By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
BAHAMAS Power and Light Company said yesterday it is in the process of mitigating sanitation concerns raised about bathroom facilities at the Clifton Pier plant.
Bahamas Electrical Workers Union President Paul Maynard, who described an employee bathroom as “deplorable,” raised the issues on Wednesday, telling The Tribune workers would be pulled off the job if the matter was not rectified by Monday.
However, according to BPL yesterday, the matter was already being addressed.
“The issues had already been in the process of mitigation and alternate arrangements were being made including the cleaning of the facilities in question,” BPL said yesterday in a brief statement to this newspaper.
“There is also an agreement as well in the manner in which the facility will be used considering the long-term plans which includes office space on the premises.”
However, BPL declined to speak specifically to Mr Maynard’s concerns saying it does not do so when it came to internal matters.
Some bathroom facilities have not been cleaned since December, well before Christmas, Mr Maynard claimed on Wednesday.
He told The Tribune there was a clear difference in standard between the bathroom BPL workers use and those utilised by non-Bahamians who were brought in to do groundwork for the company’s new $95m power plant.
The BEWU chief said he complained to several executives about the condition of the facilities to no avail. As a result, he said BPL has until Monday to fix the issues or else workers will be told not to report to work at the Clifton plant.
The issue was put to BPL Chairman Donovan Moxey earlier this week. He said while BPL does want the best possible facilities for employees, there were a lot of things on the executive board’s plate.
In response to Mr Maynard’s assertion that the standard was different for Bahamians compared with foreign workers, Mr Moxey said: “Station A hasn’t been used in about four years. There are no new bathrooms there.
“From my perspective, obviously we want to have the best possible facilities for BPL employees to work in and that is something that we are striving to do on a daily basis and those things take time.”
Mr Moxey added: “We just got in. Obviously, we have a lot of different things on our plate but again we want the best work environment.”
Meanwhile, the union says having to use bathrooms in such a condition is demoralising for the 100 BPL workers at the plant. They work 24-hour shifts at Clifton Pier.
Asked if the workers were told not to use the better bathrooms in Station A, Mr Maynard said this was not the case, but he said it boils down to proximity, adding the cleaner bathroom were a long walk away.
Mr Maynard said these concerns were not new.
Last year, workers complained the ceilings were leaking and there was mould.
These issues were addressed he said, but ignored the fact that attention needed to be placed on sanitation and upkeep of the facilities, Mr Maynard said.