Mould, no generator and no air conditioning at general post office

The post office building on East Hill Street.

The post office building on East Hill Street.


Tribune Staff Reporter


WORKERS at the East Hill Street General Post Office protested yesterday because of no air-conditioning and the presence of mould in the facility, Bahamas Public Services Union President Kimsley Ferguson said.

The demonstration, which involved about 60 workers, started yesterday morning.

When asked how long the protest will go on, Mr Ferguson said that would be decided today.

Working conditions at the General Post Office have long been a source of contention between BPSU and the government.

This latest issue stems from electrical problems in the building.

"There has recently been a challenge with the fact that the post office has been running off a generator…for over a month," Mr Ferguson told The Tribune.

The generator itself does not always work, he added.

"And so when the generator doesn't come on, there's no light in the post office. And (so) the workers cannot go in."

According to Mr Ferguson, even when the generator functions, it only has the ability to provide the building with light.

"It doesn't have the capacity to engage the air-conditioning system. And so it's excruciatingly hot in the building.

"From they started using the generator, the air-conditioning has not been on," he said.

The air-conditioner unit at the General Post Office was replaced on December 11, 2017. Transport and Local Government Minister Frankie Campbell confirmed this to reporters on December 12.

Mr Ferguson also called for the health issues workers have experienced due to the presence of mould in the building to be classified as "industrial accidents".

"Also, at the same time, the challenge that we would have had with mould is it building up," Mr Ferguson said.

"That's accumulating all over again. And persons are getting sick in the building. And so we would have taken a position that we are not going into the building. We've been trying to get an update on the position for the new location.

"My concern is persons are getting ill, and it's a result of their working environment.

"And so once persons are getting ill, those ailments should be treated as industrial accidents, because they arise (due to) person's employment.

"And so we would have made an appeal to the minister of public service to see how we can assist staff members who need to see doctors because of respiratory issues, that some specific physicians are set aside so persons see these doctors and be properly looked after."

Mr Ferguson said it has been difficult for BPSU leaders to get a "seat at the table" regarding involvement in the move of the post office to a new location.

During his budget address last week, Mr Campbell apologised for the persistent problems at the East Hill Street building and announced that this facility will be imploded after the office has been moved.

The new General Post Office will be a multimillion dollar building on Gladstone Road, located at the site of the old Phil's grocery store.

"The good news for the public and the postal staff is that the General Post Office is now in possession of the keys to its new premises," Mr Campbell said last week.

"Efforts are underway to transform the building into a modernised, expanded postal facility, to the tune of an excess of $4m."

The new facility will have expanded express mail services, automated counter services, and expanded postal parcel services.

However, Mr Ferguson said this is old news.

"We continue to get the same story…regarding the building, that they now have physical possession of the building," he said yesterday.

"That's the same update that we have been receiving now for more than a month, two months.

"We need a little something more than that so that persons can be aware of or be satisfied that there's some progress being made, and that at some point, they would be relieved from the present state that they're working in."

Mr Ferguson added that union leaders have been "left out" of these discussions.

Mr Ferguson said workers do not know how much longer they will be working in the East Hill Street building.


bogart 6 years, 1 month ago

To transform the building on Gladstone Rd to a modernizrd post office in 'to the tune of an excess of $4m' So in light of all these new taxes that people, complaining, 2.5 billion dollars of previous VAT collected mismanaged,..?.MPs protesting all over TV , thousands protestors marchin all over Bay St, Rawson Square, .....so how much was the cost to purchase this old Phils building wid the money ?????

stislez 6 years, 1 month ago

I used to work for the government at central purchasing unit and was told that building was for a food store for government, police and defense for people and that the products would be sold at a lower price than regular food store, like the food store on the defense force base.

bogart 6 years, 1 month ago

....why would there be a food store at the defence force base and "the products would be sold at a lower price than regular food store?"....and how much does dis cost the taxpayers????????

ohdrap4 6 years, 1 month ago



realitycheck242 6 years, 1 month ago

@Bogart tt's called a canteen most military base's have a store that members who work and live on can easily purchase supplies. Thats why the Base is called HMBS. The S is for ship. Service men who live and work under military rules cannot just leave at any time to go to shop,The would face charges. Sometimes they are restricted to Base for days and weeks.....Thus the need for a Canteen.

SP 6 years, 1 month ago

With so many college graduate geniuses at the Tribune, one would think they could get together and get a four-letter word right.

The correct word for this context and spelling is "mold" not "mould"!

juju 6 years, 1 month ago

How embarrassing! FRONT PAGE!

bogart 6 years, 1 month ago

@Realitycheck242. Thanks for the info. I was looking at it from the view that the cafeteria would provide all meals for all service men, but in addition to the regular cafetaria there is a canteen store having available a set of ....items for purchase by servicemen which is subsidized and which is for consumption ...within the base.

Alex_Charles 6 years, 1 month ago

Of course it has mold. Every government building has mold. Mold is a national symbol at this point.

When the central bank gets their new building I can't wait to see how long it takes for mold to pop up.

OMG 6 years, 1 month ago

Not excusing the deplorable conditions that these staff work in but has this been a problem say 30 years ago? The postal service here is slower than wells Fargo horse and carriage of the last century not to mention the missing post, the periodicals and newspapers that are stolen at the post Office, Many years ago I had a subscription to Mechanics illustrated and an airmail newspaper. I got one copy of the newspaper and no Mechanics Illustrated. The newspaper company was able to confirm that my paper had been delivered to the post office, Most employees are honest but a few are definitely not.

killemwitdakno 6 years ago

Privatize or contract management and fulfillment. Keep the actual mailing. Bring the Amazon delivery boxes. Keep the rest like banking, stamps, etc. For God sakes create jobs with deliveries.

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