BTC brings in 12 foreign technicians to install fiber network
The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) has brought in 12 foreign technicians to install fiber cable across the country while Bahamian technicians sit at home unable to find employment.
The foreign laborers were spotted on the job this week.
BTC is in the process of expanding its fiber to the home (FTTH) network across The Bahamas.
The company delivered FTTH to Abaco, Grand Bahama, Exuma and New Providence this year.
Before it was privatized against employees’ will in 2011 under the last Ingraham Administration, BTC boasted a 100% Bahamian staff complement.
However, after a majority share was sold to Cable and Wireless, BTC eventually downsized from 2,400 employees to about 500 workers.
Consequently, foreigners are consistently brought in to complete work that Bahamians are qualified to carry out.
Technicians were among employees sent home. Instead of re-engaging those technicians to do the work, BTC has brought in foreign laborers to replace copper cables with fiber.
In 2019, the Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union (BCPOU) filed a trade dispute with the Ministry of Labour against BTC over its proposed voluntary separation packages.
Some members raised concerns over the financial aspect of BTC’s separation package, which was offered to over 100 employees.