Still concerns over post office, warns union

The post office building on East Hill Street.

The post office building on East Hill Street.


Tribune Staff Reporter

DESPITE the promises of the government, the mould problem at the East Street General Post Office remains a major concern, says Bahamas Public Services Union (BPSU) President Kimsley Ferguson.

The mould issue, rat infestation, heat from a broken air-conditioner and alleged rashes from handling mail are just a few of the problems post office workers protested throughout last year.

In the run-up to Christmas the broken air condition system was finally repaired and workers agree to return to their duties having staged a walkout.

Mr Ferguson told the Tribune yesterday: “The only thing that has been done in the post office so far is they’ve installed an air conditioner. Nothing other than that has been done, and we had agreed that a mould remediation process would take place.

“What the air condition is now doing is blowing the mould that was existing before the air condition was installed. It was said by management that a cleaning exercise would have been embarked upon, but we have found out that that hasn’t been done as yet either.

“We were hoping that things would have been done in the order of priority, what would have guarded the health of those persons who actually are working in there.”

Other issues include “cosmetic concerns” such as “the filthy carpet that was supposed to have been removed, and then some tiling would have taken place there.”

“(Additionally) the ceiling tiles (need to be) removed and the non-functional restroom (needs correcting) as well.”

Mr Ferguson said he’s had dialogue with Minister of Transport Frankie Campbell and other representatives from this ministry, “and according to them the work is supposed to be ongoing.”

When asked if a timeline has been given for mould remediation, Mr Ferguson said: “I… have spoken with (a representative) from Environmental Health, who (said) that they would have advised the post office what they needed to do to ensure the environment is conducive for working.

“That person could not say whether or not any of the recommendations that he (made) would have been carried out. And so on Monday I’m supposed to have a walkabout with him, and then I would be able to (give) a more definitive response.”

Minister of Environment Romauld Ferreira could not be reached for comment. Mr Campbell, who is out of the country, told The Tribune that he will not give any responses until he has returned.

Last month, Mr Campbell confirmed the air-conditioning unit at the General Post Office had finally been replaced. He also vowed: “We’re doing everything in our power to bring the conditions up to at least that minimum standard that will allow for the employees to be able to return to normal working hours.

“Mould remediation, general cleaning, removal of carpeting and replacing them with tiles, we have the Department of Environmental Health Services (DEHS) on tap to assist with the cleaning and to assist with rodents, etcetera.”

In early 2017, 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.


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