‘I’ll shut down island’ threat - over one manager


Deputy Chief Reporter


THE union representing Bahamas Power and Light employees threatened to “shut the island down” yesterday, angered by workers being treated like “dogs” at the power provider’s Mall at Marathon branch.

Bahamas Electrical Workers Union President Paul Maynard launched the threat of industrial action in an email to executives yesterday, and it follows BPL’s fourth fire over the weekend at its Baillou Hills substation that left many residents without power for 12 hours.

In the strongly-worded email to BPL executive Peter Rutherford, obtained by The Tribune, Mr Maynard alleged an employee was spoken to in a “derogatory fashion” and brought to tears by the actions of a manager yesterday morning. 

Mr Maynard claimed he had tried to come to an understanding concerning this manager’s behaviour for four years but to no avail, and would now no longer accept the same issue, or cooperate with BPL until the matter is dealt with.

The email was copied to BPL’s CEO Whitney Heastie and several other high-ranking officials. 

The situation has been compounded, according to Mr Maynard’s email, by the manager’s repeated declarations to staff that nothing can be done with her because her political party is in government.

The Tribune reached out to Mr Heastie for comment but was unsuccessful up to press time.

“For more than four years now I’ve been trying to come to some understanding with BPL concerning the ... manager,” Mr Maynard said in the email to Mr Rutherford.

“I have talked to her personally to no avail, I’ve talked to you, Kevin Basden (former BPL general manager), Hugh Rollins, HR all to no avail. 

“Well I’m at my end, I can’t ignore or soft peddle this situation any longer. This morning, for the second time (the manager) has crossed the line again, she has threatened the employee, talked to her in a derogatory fashion to the point of bringing the employee to tears. The HR department had to drop what they’re doing and rush down to the mall. 

“It’s obvious to me that this woman believes that she’s above the law and you or anyone else is powerless to deal with her. She talks to the employees like they are dogs and tells them it’s nothing they can do with her because her government is in power.”

“The above being said, I fired a warning shot across the bow on a TV show, that I was on, hoping for this matter to finally be resolved but instead of taking my warning and pulling her in to have a “come to Jesus moment” with her, you criticised me for calling her name,” the email continued.

“Well I’m telling you right now in writing I’m not going to put up with this any longer, if it’s war the company wants well “it’s on like popcorn”. Do what you want, I’m not cooperating with BPL until this matter is dealt with. I’m taking my case to the Bahamian people via the press since that’s what you want me to do.”

Earlier this month, the union threatened some form of industrial action after around 50 non-Bahamians were set to be brought on at BPL in the aftermath of 314 workers receiving voluntary separation packages.

However, the union stood down this threat after executives agreed not to proceed with the foreign hires.

However, issues at the corporation continued with successive fires pitching the electricity provider into crisis mode.

My Maynard claimed the fires had left BPL with a repair bill of up to $150 million but this was dismissed as wildly inaccurate by the company.


BMW 5 years, 8 months ago

What he is threatening is treason. Who does he think he is, 4 fires and this loud mouth clown has not been questioned. W.T.F.

ThisIsOurs 5 years, 8 months ago

Is not treason. He's simply telling them they'll be on work to rule or the like. The police have already indicated that no arson was suspected. No doubt because the CEO let all the people go, the normal checks they did on the crappy machines are no longer possible.

concernedcitizen 5 years, 8 months ago

you just make up stuff to feed your bias ..I don,t care FNM ,PLP for thirty to forty years we can,t keep the lights on ,,let someone that can do it ,,and yes there was bidding ,was it fair?? if certain companies don,t think so they can go to court .As far as complaining to the U S State department ,,good luck the Trump administration rolled back the Obama rules that U S companies have to report who they give money and political donations to, bribes , while competing for contracts abroad

ThisIsOurs 5 years, 8 months ago

"Maynard launched the threat of industrial action"

Neither you hippy or sicky like to read. The article said he threatened industrial action. As far as I know that's a legal action and does not equate to treason.

And how is it making stuff up if the police spokesman came on the news and said arson is not suspected? You just upset cuz you can't handle the truth. Lol. The Americans will enforce what they want to, just like the EU. And if you believe just because a foreign company comes in everything going to be honky dorry think again, with the same corrupt family and friends at the top they'll be broke again within five years. Either that or they'll hire only foreign workers and then we'll have another issue to complain about.

concernedcitizen 5 years, 8 months ago

I know BTC and ALIV work way better , under government ownership our cells phones were not compatible w any other net works .I travelled a lot back then for business and had to keep a U S phone , all the while D Barttlet was using the government buying power to sell up to date net works to Turks and Caicos etc.A policeman said arson is not suspected ,,okay where is a report from the police dept ,fire dept etc ,,4 different fires hmmm,,You tell me in 40 years have we been able to keep the lights on ,,PLP or FNM ..Then you go on about the board needs to be people w 10 experience producing electricity ,,Do u think the people on the board of GM are auto engineers or people from the assembly line ,,lol no boards are usually made up of people that are successful in their field , then have studies and talk to experts in the field they are board members on to make decisions .If u think we got to this place in two years of Minnis,,,hmmm ,,I assure you providing reliable electricity from diesel generators is not a new or complicated process ,,and yet in forty years we have been unable to do it,,past time to let those who know how to do it do it

ThisIsOurs 5 years, 8 months ago

I never said "every" member should have extensive experience in the industry. I said "not one" of them have any experience in power generation. Somebody have to know the potential pitfalls. I also said what is their experience at the executive level running organizations of similar sizes.you can't pick someone who was running a corner store and say they ran a business for 10 years so they have sufficient experience to run a billion dollar company. You can't pick someone because they're young and enthusiastic, they'll run your billions into the ground with enthusiasm. Just fir you. I got the list of the current GM board members take a look at the positions they held prior to being appointed to the board and the number is years that experience at the executive level spans.also take a look to see the number of members who have experience at the executive level IN the industry. This is what a well structured board should look like

rawbahamian 5 years, 8 months ago

The word "UNION" has got to be a word from an extinct language meaning " sloth, lazy, entitled because that is all the "union" leaders push for and now they have become so power hungry that they are openly threatening a treasoness act against the country and still remain at large but then again all of our laws just rest comfortably in the disused, dusty books on shelves in a dungeon somewhere !!!

themessenger 5 years, 8 months ago

Agreed, aside from the threats of sabotage out of his own mouth for which he should certainly be questioned by the Internal Security police, these union idiots don't seem to recognize that their stupidities don't have any effect on BPL, but on the community as a whole including their own families. If it could be proved that Maynard and his unionists deliberately shut of the power they should be held accountable for payment of the losses suffered by businesses and households throughout the affected areas of the community. A big slap in their wallet as well as their face is just what they need.

ThisIsOurs 5 years, 8 months ago

I don't like the way these units carry themselves but nowhere in this article did he threaten sabotage. He spoke f industrial action which is perfectly legal. What we need to investigate is how the quotes for engines jumped from 1.4 million to 4 million in a few short weeks, how shell won a contract for something that was not out out to bid and what procedures were involved in organizing the ridiculous VSEP

concernedcitizen 5 years, 8 months ago

Its past time to get a private company to have majority shares and decision making ..Get the deal done w Shell N A pronto .Notice how we no longer have union problems w/ BTC since a private firm has the majority shares and decision making , they can no longer strong arm the government for votes .Also amazing when CWC, now Liberty , took over 51 % of BTC our treasury received twice the revenue then when it was solely publically owned ..Let Shell build own and operate , get politics out of it,FNM or PLP .Let this union gangster deal w private owner that won,t cave for votes , In the mean time we have over 1000 defence force , station them at all critical electrical locations ..

Socrates 5 years, 8 months ago

No employee on any job should be subject to threats, intimidation or disrespectful behaviour. the matter should be investigated internally and addressed as required. As for Union threats to harm the national economy, the Minister of National Security has an obligation to investigate Maynard and his associates especially to see if they have any involvement in damaging events recently. they always amend labour laws for less hours and more pay. well if not already, a law must be put on the books to hold union leaders legally responsible for threats or actions intended to harm the economy. too much loose talk in this country.

Dawes 5 years, 8 months ago

Can the Union be shut down for treating us like dogs for years? Also Mr. Maynard should check his story to make sure it makes sense. If this manger has been treating the staff like this for 4 years as he said, and the reason nothing was done is because her political party is in power, how did this not change when we had an election a year and a half ago? Surely the mangers political party is either no longer in power or wasn't in power for the first 2 and a half years.

ThisIsOurs 5 years, 8 months ago

Or they have family members on both sides of the aisle.

Sickened 5 years, 8 months ago

Maynard needs a mental evaluation... pronto! He's going to shut down the country over one manager!!!

TheMadHatter 5 years, 8 months ago

I think Dawes got this one figured out. Oh the expensive - very expensive - conch slop soap operas we have going on from Walker's Cay to Inagua.

Too bad the general public believe the "fuel surcharge" is actually a fuel surcharge. But, you know, D average could do that. Education policy keeps the people eyes shut to so many things.

Listen to rap music, and pay ya light bill and shut up.

bogart 5 years, 8 months ago

.....if Mr. Maynard had been trying to come to an understanding over wid the managers behaviour over 4 years.....and the present govt been in power fer just lil over 1 years....and allegedly the manager claimjng she political party now in power..?....Bey dis ting go real deep.....but least ting dey should do is fire da HR department for allowing this to go on for over 4 years using up the pore people money all dis time ...... doing notting....!!!...and wasnt HR employees getting packages an dey overstaff...???

DWW 5 years, 8 months ago

I smell a sweetheart somewhere lol

sealice 5 years, 8 months ago

So this idiot is britching to the opposition for support but doesn't he realize he's asking the PLP to fire one of their bullies? Of course we know they support that we get to experience it everytime they are in power....

John 5 years, 8 months ago

Where there is a 1/2 billion (or it it even more) annual contract to supply BPL with fuel, now thats a lot of grease..err OIL. I mean OIL.

Alex_Charles 5 years, 8 months ago

So let me get this straight, shut down electricity for the capital of the country because one of your workers was spoken to harshly by a manager? I honestly don't give a flying fart, while that needs to be resolved, IT DOES NOT = MAKING US SUFFER. We the people that pay for expensive and absolute garbage service aren't the ones that should be losing appliances, business hours, sleep, productivity for your union Sh8t.

Honestly, I'm beyond tired of this union threatening power outages. This is where a criminal investigation should come into play. Sabotage of major city's power supply in some countries is seen as an act of terrorism, which either carries up to life in prison or death.

Gotoutintime 5 years, 8 months ago

Unions are the downfall of the The Bahamas---I fear for my country!

Porcupine 5 years, 8 months ago

I fear that is The Bahamas in a nutshell.

ThisIsOurs 5 years, 8 months ago

@concerned, so you don't misunderstand what I mean when I talk about extensive experience at the executive level and experience within the industry, I pulled the board of directors of your example GM: 7 persons I might have missed one, but whatever, you get the point. Out of the group 5 have EXTENSIVE experience at the EXECUTIVE levels in organizations manufacturing equipment. Two at GM, one at Lucent technologies, ConoccoPhillips, Hewlett Packard and a Four star general. The others have years of experience running billion dollar companies eBay, Walmart for example. I really hope that clears up what I mean by extensive experience and inclusion of persons with industry knowledge.

Mary Barry Prior to becoming CEO, Barra served as Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing & Supply Chain since August 2013, and as Senior Vice President, Global Product Development since February 2011. In these roles, Barra and her teams were responsible for the design, engineering and quality of GM vehicle launches worldwide Linda Gooding Gooden served as Executive Vice President, Information Systems & Global Solutions of Lockheed Martin Corporation (“Lockheed”) from 2007 to 2013. She was Deputy Executive Vice President, Information and Technology Services of Lockheed from October to December 2006; and President, Information Technology of Lockheed from 1997 to December 2006.

Mr. Jimenez served as Chief Executive Officer of Novartis AG (“Novartis”) from 2010 until his retirement in 2017. He was Head of Novartis’ Pharmaceuticals Division from October 2007 to 2010 and Head of Novartis’ Consumer Health Division from April to October 2007. Prior to joining Novartis, Mr. Jimenez served as Advisor to the Blackstone Group L.P., a private equity firm, from 2006 to 2007. He was President and Chief Executive Officer of H.J. Heinz Company (“Heinz”) North America from 2002 to 2006 and Executive Vice President, President and Chief Executive Officer of Heinz Europe from 1999 to 2002. Prior to joining Heinz, Mr. Jimenez held various leadership positions at ConAgra Foods Inc., including President and Senior Vice President of two operating divisions from 1993 to 1998

ThisIsOurs 5 years, 8 months ago

Ms. Mendillo served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Harvard Management Company (“HMC”) from 2008 to 2014, managing Harvard University’s approximately $37 billion global endowment and related assets. Prior to joining HMC, she was Chief Investment Officer of Wellesley College from 2002 to 2008; and prior to that, she spent 15 years at HMC in various other investment roles. She also served as Chair of the investment committee of the Partners Healthcare System

Admiral Mullen served as the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2007 until his retirement in 2011, one of his four different four-star assignments; the others included the 28th Chief of Naval Operations from 2005 to 2007; Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Allied Joint Force Command Naples from 2004 to 2005; and the 32nd Vice Chief Naval Officer from 2003 to 2004. Admiral Mullen has been President of MGM Consulting LLC since 20 Mulva served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ConocoPhillips from 2004 until his retirement in 2012. He was Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of ConocoPhillips from 2004 to 2008 and President and Chief Executive Officer of ConocoPhillips from 2002 to 2004.

Ms. Stephenson served as Dean of the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario from 2003 until her retirement in 2013. Prior to joining the Ivey Business School, she was President and Chief Executive Officer of Lucent Technologies Canada from 1999 to 2003. She was also a member of the Advisory Board of General Motors of Canada, Limited, a GM subsidiary, from 2005 to 200

In July 2015, Mr. Wenig was appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer of eBay. Prior to that time, he served as President of eBay’s Marketplaces business from 2011 to July 2015.

ThisIsOurs 5 years, 8 months ago

"Mr. Mulva served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ConocoPhillips from 2004 until his retirement in 2012. He was Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of ConocoPhillips from 2004 to 2008 and President and Chief Executive Officer of ConocoPhillips from 2002 to 2004.

Ms. Russo served as Lead Director of the Hewlett-Packard Company Board of Directors from 2014 to 2015. She was Lead Director of the GM Board of Directors from March 2010 to January 2014. She also served as Chief Executive Officer of Alcatel-Lucent S.A. from 2006 to 2008; Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucent Technologies, Inc. (“Lucent”) from 2003 to 2006; and President and Chief Executive Officer of Lucent from 2002 to 2006.

ThisIsOurs 5 years, 8 months ago

The experience in the industry and at the upper levels are critical, it's needed in the times of "crisis". Because there's no roadmap. And if ever there was the definition of crisis it's BEC. No experienced person would have organized that failed VSEP exercise. Something else was at work there

Nah you gat me like John posting books, the only thing I didn't do was quite scripture so....just to be complete... John 3:16

proudloudandfnm 5 years, 8 months ago

BPL is a cesspit. Something drastic has to be done...

This garbage has to stop....

sheeprunner12 5 years, 8 months ago

Agreed ............... political stalemate and chaos at the top, status quo and slackness in the middle, self-preservation at the bottom of BPL workforce ............. Piss poor state of affairs.

This corporation MUST be dissolved and privatized for the good of the Nation.

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