BPL: Nine fail drug testing

By Ava Turnquest

Tribune Chief Reporter


NINE employees at Bahamas Power and Light were terminated this week after taking part in random drug testing, Bahamas Power & Light Chairperson Darnell Osborne confirmed yesterday.

Mrs Osborne did not provide any details on the firings, insisting it was not company practice to divulge such information.

However, The Tribune understands 41 employees were subjected to the testing and nine workers failed.

It was further explained by a source close to the matter that the possibility of random drug testing is featured in employee contracts, and the penalty for test failure is termination.

Yesterday, the wife of one of the terminated employees railed against the company for what she felt was an unfair dismissal motivated by pressures to downsize.

“My husband was one of those who were let go,” the wife said.

“He been there for 10 years; he may come home and smoke a lil’ joint, but he doesn’t have an addiction.

“Where we’re at as a country,” she continued, “if someone smokes a lil’ bit of marijuana and they are not harming anyone, if we’re trying to keep people off the streets, we should offer counselling.

“What bothers me more than anything is the way it was handled. I’m sure some of those executives (at BPL) after work have a glass of wine, it’s the same thing.”

The wife further claimed the group of workers who were fired were sent home but told to return in ten to 20 days to collect their last pay cheque.

She said her husband is a father-of-three and the dismissal will put a strain on the family’s finances.


sheeprunner12 6 years, 4 months ago

This is a REAL easy way to down-size any government department or agency ...... more than half of Bahamians are habitual weed smokers (for recreation purposes) ....... The FNM may have just found the magic bullet to cut the civil service!!!!!!!!!

joeblow 6 years, 4 months ago

I am surprised so few had positive tests!!

realitycheck242 6 years, 4 months ago

This partially exposes the urgent need for updated marijuana laws in this country.Get with the times Bahamas, stop destroying peoples careers and families over a joint !

joeblow 6 years, 4 months ago

we need to raise the bar not lower it! Our people aim for the pavement already!!

DreamerX 6 years, 4 months ago

Yes, lets backslide further into social policies that have not helped. They say if it ain't broke don't fix it, but you seem happy to pick up the broken pieces and proclaim it is better than it was before.

joeblow 6 years, 4 months ago

You may be too young to remember a time when Bahamians had higher standards for themselves and those around them. You may also not be able to remember a world in which people were able to function without marijuana. Sad but true, it is not a necessity!!

A dumbed down society is the norm for some, but not for me!

joeblow 6 years, 4 months ago

an employer sets the standards and conditions for continued employment. The EMPLOYEE who does not adhere to those standards is solely responsible for losing their job as a result. The people who do not adhere to the current standards are destroying their lives over a joint!!! It is not the other way around!

Sickened 6 years, 4 months ago

This 'wife' is trying to get hubby and herself arrested cause obviously ma boy keeps weed at home.

TalRussell 6 years, 4 months ago

Maybe Comrade Minister KP with his nose stucks deep inside anything requiring testing or auditing - can share public how BPL settled on going about either how much cannabis is too much, or how to measure it.... after all this red cabinet can't wait get their hands on taxing home-baked brownies. Listen up, KP, keep ya damn nose out da hobbyist's home-baked brownies, okay.... somethings too sacred be taxing.

DreamerX 6 years, 4 months ago

All they are doing is further promoting the use of alcohol and tobacco to fund the asinine sin tax to be misappropriated away from health care into the haphazard projects of administration after administration.

If we can curb alcohol and tobacco consumption through allowances made on marijuana, we have cut down the average health care bill to be carried on the backs of the people.

JohnDoes 6 years, 4 months ago

If you really want to get rid of the working class. Drug test everyone & terminate them, then you will see that there would simply not be enough people to man the many of the positions needed. The country will of course need foreign workers then. The caribbean has marijuana in its culture whether persons like it or not. Its just that proven truths about marijuana persons do not want to accept. They should randomly drug test these heads of organizations for marijuana & every weekend for how much cocaine lies within their systems so we can terminate and stop paying them their exaggerated salaries, and as a result the country will just be doomed then. I wouldnt even touch on the blood alcohol volume percentages. Our country and its offices will be dry bones by then.

TalRussell 6 years, 4 months ago

Whomever is voted in as Ma Comrade Leader, People's Libertarian Party - he/she must demand all in public life or on public purse jobs doing the ordering drug tests - must themselves submit they's blood be tested by independent lab out USA.

DDK 6 years, 4 months ago

Working under the influence of booze or weed (legal or otherwise) should be grounds for dismissal from any job. What one does after hours should not be anyone else's business and should not be grounds for dismissal unless one's job performance is affected by such use. If drug testing is accepted as part of an employment contract, government or otherwise, there should be clear details of limits and excesses which would constitute grounds for dismissal.

JohnDoes 6 years, 4 months ago

I dont trust that Osbourne woman. She operates like the gestapo with her narcissistic & vindictive ways. Ask anyone that works with or around her and you will know for sure how she operates. I smell that these terminations are based on her selections & nothing random.

hrysippus 6 years, 4 months ago

9 9 out of 41 BPL workers have illegal drugs in their system. I have just had an idea, I might just know why the generators keep breaking down.

JohnDoes 6 years, 4 months ago

The generators are breaking down because there are not enough, they are old & poorly maintained. We are living with out dated electrical generating technologies that each government party fails to address time and time again. Simply slapping on a new logo does not get rid of its current problems that continue to manifest withing the company. Poor salaries & harsh working conditions also contribute to the lack of interest & dedication to the maintenance & repair of these machines but you would think with the FAT timely salaries of these executives who never broke a sweat in their lives that the company must do better. Everyone is working with a 'if it aint broke dont fix it' mentality especially when these machines are working beyond their limits and as a result affecting a mass who depend on electricity & still have to pay its exorbitant prices to keep it on.

John 6 years, 4 months ago

The problem with government corporations and quasi companies is they have too many women employees who behave like they have penis instead of the regular female organ . They either try to emasculate their male counterparts and customers or try to empty his wallet. And this in in every department from customs to national insurance. Prove me wrong!

ohdrap4 6 years, 4 months ago

imo the problem with the female bosses is that, by the time they reach the top of the institution's ladder, they are menopausal or pre-menopausal, and therefore behave like slave masters.

this actaully happens beyond the departments you mentioned above, seeping inot private organizations as well.

BahamaRed 6 years, 4 months ago


This is a company that works in a dangerous environment. How in blue blazes does one think it's okay to do illegal drugs in any form, whether at home or not and it be okay.

That's the problem with this country, low friggin standards. Weed is illegal, whether you smoke at home or not. You were caught with an illegal drug in your system, who cares if you are addicted or not. Fact is until the laws regarding marijuana are amended it's illegal.

Now it's been my experience (I've lived and worked in the USA for over 17yrs) that jobs will assist you with drug rehab or counseling providing you come forward BEFORE not after the random drug test. But once you've been drug tested and it's positive you're done...

Slackness abounding...

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