STATEMENT BY D. SHANE GIBSON MP JP GOLDEN GATES
ON THE LAYOFFS AT ZNS
19TH September 2010
The decision of the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas to lay off 93 people at this time is both heartless and insensitive. What is this Government thinking of? In the middle of the worst recession in the history of our country, brought on in part by the government’s policy of stop, review and cancel and its budget of tax and pain, the government is now leading the way in laying people off.
It is of particular concern that the entire Northern Service of the Corporation stands to be closed. That would be a slap in the face to the Grand Bahama, Abaco, Bimini and Berry Islands communities. I cannot see how five FNM Members of Parliament can sit idly by and say nothing in the face of this.
I have a special place in my heart for the workers of the Corporation who supported me during my tenure as President of the Union. I would hate to see all that we have built up destroyed by the whims and fancies of a government that clearly does not have a clue what it is doing. They do not care for people.
I implore all fellow workers in this country to stand in support of these persons, as undoubtedly their terminations will affect all of those who depend on them both direct and indirectly. I ask my constituents and Bahamians of goodwill everywhere to stand with the workers of ZNS.
One hates to say: “I told you so”. However, prior to the 2007 General Elections we, The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), warned the Bahamian public that if the Free National Movement (FNM) were re-elected their intention was to reduce the size of the public service. The FNM denied our claim.
Since the FNM’s election on the 2nd May 2007 thousands of Bahamians have lost their jobs due to the Government’s bad decisions, termination of contracts, and poor leadership. The FNM has been directly responsible for the dismissing people on the Police Force, Bahamas Customs, Immigration, National Insurance, Urban Renewal, and The Department of Housing. Now joining this list is ZNS.
In addition, it is my understanding that the Bahamas Telecommunication Company (BTC), The Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC), Bahamasair, and Water and Sewerage are next in the Government’s downsizing operations.
I condemn this FNM government for this insensitive act, and call on all workers in The Bahamas to stand in solidarity with their brothers and sisters at ZNS.
It is obvious that this Government is unable to find ways in which to expand the economy, and create opportunities within the private sector to reduce unemployment, by making allowances for the absorption of workers that were displaced both direct and indirectly by them.
The Bahamian public has heard this Government say that there is nothing that can be done until the economy in the Unites States rebounds. Now, we see where the accuracy of information regarding our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), given by The
Governmentduring the last Budget exercise, is being disputed and our Debt to GDP ratio appears to be more than previously announced. Subsequently, to make up for their shortcomings, this Government wants to terminate workers, as opposed to expanding the economy.
If this Government was truly committed to the resuscitation, and ultimately the expansion of our ailing economy, why have they not considered a reduction in the size of The Cabinet and elimination of some Government Ministries if they are resolute in their decision to find effective means of cutting cost?
D. Shane Gibson J.P.
Member of Parliament Golden