A tearful woman cried out to her fellow worker: “Jerome They Fired ME!”

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Jerome Sawyer clinches Laura Lowe in a tearful embrace. Laura was seen escorted off the BCB property with police as if she was some criminal. Lowe had worked for ZNS for 29 years. Photo by Rodney Moncur.

Nassau, Bahamas — The separation was painful, tearful to say the least as scores of Broadcasting Corporation employees were handed separation packages today.

Among the casualties were: Audrey Deveaux, radio announcer The B Man, and the entire janitorial staff at ZNS. News reporter Charlene Ferguson and sports man, Marcellus Hall, were also given walking papers.

It was a bloodbath in the sales department as almost everyone went home including senior managers Blossie Smith and Dorothy Campbell.

Laura Lowe expresses her emotions as she was painfully dismissed by the ZNS Corporation today.

Then there were technical persons who shared the painful moment of being axed, which included Kenneth Sands, Charlene Johnson, Debbie Sears, and Bobby Deveaux.

The brother of Cabinet Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and ZNS makeup artist, Rudolph Minnis, was the first to be escorted off the property.

In a tearful moment the staff lined the corridors leading to the death chamber of the boardroom, all to learn their fate.

Nothing drove emotions higher than when camerawoman, Laura Lowe, was seen outside the Corporation gates holding her letter in hand as she tearfully shouted to her former colleague, Jerome Sawyer.

“Jerome they fired me, they fired me,” she shouted. Sawyer then rushed out of his car to greet Lowe in the tearful embrace. Lowe had served the Corporation for more than 29 years and earlier could be seen escorted off the property by armed police.

Union official stood powerless as they lost more than 80 workers today.

Corporation officials told BP, packages for Grand Bahama employees would be dispersed on Monday. Some 50% of the staff from that division of the BCB are expected to join the unemployment line.

We advise all workers dismissed to now head on over to National Insurance Board to collect their monthly unemployment benefits.

Look what Hubert Ingraham and Tommy Turnquest has done to their own. They fired Bahamians to hire Chinese. THEY HAVE NO SHAME! Photo supplied by Rodney Moncur.

30 COMMENTS

  1. The government is cold & heartless & the entire BCB board should be whipped. Both unions had asked months ago for names so that we would be able to prepare persons for separation in getting their affairs in order. If they “did this” what will the private sector do to their staff? One of the Board members is a former staff member. Is that unethical? The so called separation was very,very emotional. These people have worked together an average of 20years…this was family, despite politics…they cared for each other. Personally I don’t think HR was involved in the process.
    In a few cases politics was the foremost selection….
    People they decide our fate & beg for our vote.

  2. As a victim of this type of scene 2 years ago, I feel your pain. Know what hurts most? You always gave 100% plus, and some persons don’t understand that it’s not that you thought you owned the “Man Job” you just never get used to the insensivity. Keep the faith “This too shall pass” It is rough but hold your head high and never compromize your standards.The pain gets better when the healing begins.

  3. If the Company isn’t making any money what you want them to do? keep them on .I hope thats the reason for letting them go. This is the government you all vote in (better better lmao) thats what you all were saying when they won but the jokes on you, now you crying ,so sorry to say this and I don’t wish this on any one but thats good for you. Think before you vote money hungry people in power.All for me and none for you, thats the FNM way.

  4. To all ZNS employees affected by the layoffs. I know it is difficult for all of you to emotionally come to grips with this abrupt change, especially those who have faithfully worked for over 10++ years for a company. However, I would like to urge all of you to seriously enquire of the Lord on your next move from here on. It is imperative that you do this to ensure that all of you make the MOST of this NEW SEASON that you are about to embark upon. Change is always hard but ALL of US (including myself) must awaken to the fact that ‘working a job until retirement age is a fallacy.’ We must become ENTREPRENEURS in our own right, live ‘below’our means and invest wisely.

    REMEMBER: ‘ADVERSITY IS USUALLY THE BREEDING GROUND FOR MIRACLES’….please try to find your miracle in the midst of this.

  5. Its amazing that 29 long years of hard work can go by so quick just like a blink of an aye. Blood, swet and tears goes down the drain. Being a witness of how hard she worked, and always knew what was going on and then called ZNS to let them know to get on the scene of the crime. Can you imagine just making $90 a week back in ’85 being a single mother with 5 kids how hard it was. WAIT!!!! you can’t forget about me so it was just like she had 6 kids. I was always around I AS LIKE THE PISTOL TO HER HOSTER and i grew up in ZNS believe it or not, well we all did. Now she is fired?Why? A Question that i would love to be answered.Who ever have the answer to this quesion can write me in a e-mail or tell it to my “2mommy” aka Mrs.Laura Lowe

  6. Not one reply has touched on what is really going here and this is most disturbing!
    The FNM Govt is satisfying speciall interests yet again. Don’t forget that it was the FNM that ushered in private broadcasting and ZNS is unwanted competition. With the change in its business plan by way of the right sizing of ZNS it has simply removed itself as competition to the private sector.
    Unfortunately those persons let go will most likely not find employment because of age and the depressed economic environment.
    Sadly the government has failed its people once again. It could have gone about the restructure differently given the circumstances however persons still would have been let go but only by way of retirement.
    I applaud the government since during the 2007 rallies we were told to expect these things but the volume was so high we didn’t hear the message.
    FOOLS we all are as the bell will toll for us all it is only a matter of time!

  7. I have followed this political circus for quite some time. It’s terrible we must treat fellow citizens with such blatant disrespect. However, what baffles me is the fact that would be former employees of the Broadcasting corporation are asking to be transferred to other government ran institutions.

    Are they not aware that the Public Sector on a whole will be trimmed down in time to come? They will be out of a job again in less than a year if they transferred out. The government will cut down the Public Service.. Mark my word..

    Bahamians are being used like puppets in their deceitful game of politics..

  8. It is sad that several of the workers at ZNS are now out of jobs. I want to encourage them to not be selfish and think of the long term effects it will have both for them and the country.

    It is a crisis situation that can be viewed as an opportunity for NEW ventures for them in the advancement of their professional experience. THIS IS TIME TO ACT, SELF EMPLOYMENT-SELF STARTER Programs. You all are talented. EVERY SET BACK can be viewed as a SET UP!

    We must be wise as the country is complaining about the debt that is being prepared for future generations. This is an exercise that is not solo to the BAHAMAS there has been downsizing WORLDWIDE and it is sad but we must be good stewards of Gods people resources and time.

    NO the FNM does not want to HURT anyone or bring in the CHINESE as you saw MR PM request BAHAMAR to REDUCE the amount of CHinese. Come on people LEADERSHIP calls for TOUGH DECISIONS! The PM is willing to make them!

    MARCH ON BAHAMALAND…MARCH On!

  9. well Rex, you aeem to be an informed somebody. and you would no doubt agree that the solution to all the mentioned challenges facing the government is not to add to the unemployment figure by forcing eighty one (81) Bahamanians on the streets.

    Unions do what unions do and that is to negotiate on behalf of their constituents or their members.
    The government must be consistent with the message they send to their constituents and their partners.

    it is only fair for those union leaders to ask for similiar seperation packages given to other civil servants who were sepreated.
    I hasten to add that these people were seprerated and recieved better packages, when the country was in the valley of the recession.

    so why is it, that this government choose to treat the staff of The Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas so differently.

    I saw the seperation exercise at BCB as more than just a right sizing exercise. I say that and only wish to add that false claim was made against some members of staff to justify their removal over other staff who may’ve been a more suitable candidate for seperation.
    Board members were to intimately involved in the exercise including one who was a member of staff up until a few years ago and had their own personal axe to grind.

    • zns workers….remember the god of the mountain is the same god of the valley, the god of thegood times is still the god of the bad times and also the god of the day is still the god of the nite.. be encourged,,i remember Minister Dwight tell me to be strong when i had a serious situation…minister and ALL former staff be strong….GOD IS NOT FOR ONE ..HE WATCHES OUT FOR ALL,,,and ALL OF U ARE VERY TALENTED PEOPLE…God Bless u and your families. I’ll be praying for ALL of u.

  10. Marcellus Hall didnt got fired, go to his facebook page and he wrote this i quote:
    “no worries my friends i left on my own terms listen out for me on sports radio 103.5 beginning at the end of the month” end of quote. thats what you all a big man heart!!!! were to go Mr. Hall proud for you!! One door close, the next one open, God is Good!!!!

  11. We need to get away from our socialist attitudes and dependency upon government, an attitude that was perpetuated by the original PLPs. Keep your ham and turkey, at Christmas. Keep your government appointed jobs. My vote is not for sale(…they got this one from the UBP).

    PLPs, this transition will be difficult, but all labor is – ask a mother giving birth. I want a hand up and not a hand out.

    Nobody can take a job from me that I own. It is time to put ZNS and ALL government agencies on a diet. They are all too fat for nothing – just poor service. Perry is happy, because he was afraid to do what was needed for years. The official opposition is very quiet. They preach, save the 8 straw vendors, but nothing about the 80 at ZNS – Perry is happy, happy, happy.

    I was terminated a year ago when the bank was sold to Bahamians. The bank owed me NOTHING (other than what is required by law), as I was paid for my service during my tenure. No soul is obligated to keep me employed, but God and me.

    • Let’s start by taking back the $26 million in tax dollars given to the rich port owners to construct a facility at Arawak Cay. And we can also take back the money to build the straw Market. Fact is we are only building another DRUG House for a few families anyway! Start there not with ZNS workers! CUT THAT FIRST!

      BP

  12. ZNS unions want too much!!!!

    Unions in The Bahamas must accept that the government does not have the money to indulge them forever.

    The government is offering ZNS workers who accepted the voluntary separation packages offered three to four months pay in addition to what is owed to separating workers under the unions’industrial agreements with the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas.

    The Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union and the Bahamas Communications and Public Managers Union want more.

    The unions assert that employees who qualify for full retirement benefits should also receive six months pay, while those who qualify for early retirement should receive eight months pay.

    They also argue that those employees who have served 25 to 29 years should receive 12 months pay and those who have served less than 25 years should receive six months pay.

    The government should give the workers what is owed to them under the law and the industrial agreements signed with both unions regarding separation.

    However, the government should give no more.

    It was wrong for the government to offer a’sweetener’beyond the terms of the industrial agreements.

    The Government of The Bahamas is dealing with undesirable debt levels as a result of a prolonged recession and increased expenditure to offset private sector withdrawal. It is projected that the country would have been in recession for three consecutive years by the end of 2010.

    According to the Central Bank’s August report, the government’s fiscal deficit expanded to$63.8 million over the first two months of the 2010/2011 fiscal year.

    “With ongoing weakness in consumer and business spending, unemployment is projected to stay elevated in the near term,”said the Central Bank.

    “In the fiscal sector, government’s ability to achieve a reduction in the fiscal deficit and the relevant debt-to-GDP ratios in the short term will continue to be constrained by the general weakness in domestic economic activity and the corresponding adverse implications for revenue collections.”

    With a national unemployment level above 14 percent, a crime problem, and the need for hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in the electricity grid and the water system, the government has many priorities to satisfy.

    It cannot give what remains in the Public Treasury to civil servants or public sector workers who have lived protected by the state for most of their professional careers.

    The government also has a number of pending industrial agreements it must resolve with other unions including: The Bahamas Union of Teachers, the Bahamas Public Service Union, workers at the National Insurance Board, lecturers at the College of The Bahamas, and workers at the Water and Sewerage Corporation, the Bahamas Nurses Union, the Airport, Airline and Allied Workers Union and line staff at the Bahamas Electricity Corporation.

    All of these groups want enhanced benefits with their new deals.

    The government must stand firm and say no to all of these unions. Any new deals with new perks would be paid with borrowed money. Burdening the rest of the country with increased compensation to civil servants and public sector workers is unfair, especially in these times.

    • You are hitting the nail right on the head. Kudos.

      But you are failing to present any solutions. I suggest…no I state with confidence and conviction that we must LEAGLIZE gambling now!

      Prayer will not save us. We need REAL solutions to the REAL problems and economic distress in this country – just like you said: we’re broke! We have no money! While the Government must cut, it also MUST RAISE revenue, otherwise we’ll just be stagnant never ever progress out of this recession. The realistic answer to this problem is that now that the government is saving money, it must now make money and the way to do it is through gambling, marijuana, and international trade. How much longer must our country suffer because of failed, over-zealous religious influenced policies? The people of the Bahamas can take it no longer.

      Think Progress.

  13. What an unprofessional and intentionally embarrassing way to end the long serving careers of our public broadcaster’s employees, than to make then line up like wounded sheep, for no other reason than to single them out, to later be paraded for public humiliation. Is this the PM’s way of sending a clear and loud message to all others, that you best not step out of line in making your demands? Is the government also now giving a green light to private companies, that they too can just go ahead and fire with their employees? If you think the government is being tough, you just wait until the Chinese government is your boss?

  14. Witnessed that moment between Laura and Jerome and I have to say, it was far less emotional and grandeur as what is being reported here. BTW, Laura was with ZNS for 23 years. And you guys reported Jerome was being let go, didn’t he report the news last night? Or is his contract which expires later this month not being renewed?

    • Yeah just as numb as it was for Kaylessa to write the letters and Hubert to issue the order and Tommy to standby as if nothing was happening hey. BOI COME SUNDAY BP GAT ONE FOR YINNER!

      KEEP READYING!

      BP

  15. Barbara, all I’m saying is that these people, people who behaved like thugs, got good payoffs. There are a lot of people in other industries who lost their jobs, got no recompense, yet walked away with dignity. Pray for them instead.

  16. When these ppl knock YOU over YOUR head and rob u blind to get money… then you insensitive brutes will be singing a new song!Their day today… yours tomorrow!!! Its a sad day in this country when we no longer care for one another! Yeah.. we r living in a dog eat dog world!!!

  17. The trail of tears led all the way to the bank where they cashed their big fat payoff checks. Save your prayers for those most deserving.

  18. Sad. What is so amazing they have a man in his retirement age as chairman of 2 paying corporations he earns enough money to pay at least 6 employees of ZNS….fire him and leave some of the workers on the job. Michael Moss appears to be a mean cold hearted man. God is in control of all these people

    • This is a sad day for the people of ZNS,but my sisters and brothers dont give up God always have a plan i know it dont look like it now but trust me he does’brighter days are ahead ,i know how you feel because when i lost my job they give me two hours to leave ,but i can assure you u will have the last laugh,God is able to take car of you just trust him ,

  19. To all the former staff members of ZNS who were given packages I feel deeply for you. I hope and pray that our God and Father will guide, bless and protect you all. Please take whatever time you need to make yourselves feel better. Keep your faith in the Most High and He will bring you all through these turbulent times to your Promised Land. I say to you all, with and through God’s grace it’s time to move on and be blessed!! Take care brothers and sisters, I love you all but God loves you best!!!

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