Union Leader: We Are Not Greedy

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Bahamas Utilities Service and Allied Workers Union (BUSAWU) President Dwayne Woods pushed back, saying line staff of the Water and Sewerage Corporation “are not greedy”  for demanding Christmas bonus payout this month.

Why it matters

  • Based on the workers’ industrial agreement, they were to be paid Christmas bonuses but Water and Sewage Corporation General Manager Elwood Donaldson said the bonuses would be deferred because of the negative effects of COVID-19 on the country.

What Union Leader Woods says

  • Workers are asking for what is written in the agreement. “Please oblige and pay the Christmas bonus as contractually agreed to.”
  • The decision to defer the payout should have been discussed with the union.
  • He is asking for executives to meet the union to work on a solution.
  • He said executives have not mentioned when the money will be paid to workers.
  • “We tried our best to negotiate when payment could be made and the corporation failed to negotiate in that vein. And we view that as total disregard and disrespect for union and its membership.”

What WSC General Manager says

Elwood Donaldson told staff in a letter, that the deferment was necessary and signed off by the government.

He states, “As you are aware, our nation is facing very difficult financial times within our current economy. The Water and Sewerage Corporation plays an integral part in the fight against COVID-19. Our services remain essential and currently given without financial conditions to ensure that the entire nation receives potable water.”

“…Notwithstanding that, we have maintained our staff complement and continued to meet monthly salary payments. This month is no different as all staff will be paid their salaries in full. Due to this current dire financial environment, we are advising that Christmas bonuses…for the year ending 2020, will be deferred until further notice.

Featured Image: The Nassau Guardian

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