“Cleola Hamilton Must Resign”
Press Release By
Dion A. Foulkes
(Former Minster of Labour and Social Development)
10 October, 2012
To protect the integrity and stability of the labour movement in The Bahamas, it is absolutely imperative that Cleola Hamilton either resigns as a PLP MP and as a Junior Cabinet Minister or she tenders her resignation as President of the Nurses Union and that of Vice President of the TUC.
Trade Unionism in The Bahamas is based on the principle of clear and unambiguous independence between Union leaders and employers. It is impossible to serve the PLP and be a loyal Junior Cabinet Minister, for which Ms. Hamilton took an oath, and also be faithful and loyal to the interest of nurses and the TUC.
There will be many occasions when the interest of the PLP and the Government will conflict with that of the TUC as was evidenced recently when Minister Shane Gibson threatened and berated the Immigration and Customs officers and their Union leadership.
It is well established in The Bahamas and internationally that industrial stability and harmony best occurs when the tripartite system is in full force and respected by all.
In 1999 the FNM Government introduced TRIPARTITE FORUM (TRIFOR) which comprised of Trade Unions, Employers representatives and the Government. I was Minister of Labour at the time.
We again reintroduced TRIFOR in 2007 and to my knowledge it is still the policy of the Government.
Ms. Cleola Hamilton’s irreconcilable and conflicting official political positions and her Trade Union position contravenes the basic foundational principles of tripartism.
I fully support the position taken by our Leader, Dr. Hubert Minnis and the position taken by Mr. John Pinder in demanding that Ms. Hamilton resigns immediately.