NASSAU| Serious questions are swirling around the Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) which have left workers and executives concerned that they will soon be replaced by foreigners.
BTC, which Bahamian people hold 49% ownership of and a shared 2% stake with its partners, must be firing or considering removing its foreign teams first before it decides to replace workers.
In a long series of downsizing over the years which led to privatization engineered by a former FNM Administration, BTC has let go hundreds of Bahamians which we at BP believe has caused serious financial problems for the local economy while juicy outsourcing contracts have enriched foreign countries to the pleasure of foreigners.
Last week it was laudable when workers and executives at BTC joined hands with the union to protect the interest of Bahamians. They must know more than us, being on the inside.
The march to the Perpall Tract Office in solidarity raised concerns about the serious national security risk of sections of the corporation being outsourced.
Sherry Benjamin, the BCPOU’s president, said, “They are just outsourcing more and more jobs that Bahamians were supposed to be doing.
“They are outsourcing to foreign entities and having Bahamians train them to do their jobs. And they have a lot of persons here on (a) contract that they are frustrating because they’re keeping them up to eight years as temporary or contract workers. These people cannot make any plans for their life.”
Ms Benjamin questioned the risks involved in allowing third-party vendors access to the personal information of BTC customers, warning that this could be exploited by “unscrupulous” individuals who can sell this data to criminals or abuse it themselves.
The loss of hundreds of jobs at BTC over the years is not good. And, while Bahamians lose their income, foreign groups are getting all the sweetness from yinner BTC calls. The money was always generated here in the Bahamas!
Meanwhile, it’s a good thing a former PLP government welcomed Aliv into the Bahamian market to expand jobs and create new businesses for locals to thrive in the telephone market.
What we ga do now when BTC gets rid of Bahamian workers? Who ga answer that?! And we own the company!