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Union members hold emergency meeting over Belco job losses

Belco workers at an emergency union meeting (Photograph supplied)

Union members at Belco called an emergency meeting yesterday about possible redundancies as the company launches a “restructuring initiative” to improve efficiency.

In a statement, a Belco spokesman said: “While specific details are limited due to the sensitive nature of the review, the company has identified certain areas for restructuring that support the current and future needs of the business.

“Belco is engaged with the Electrical Supply Trade Union regarding the proposed changes, in accordance with the Employment Act 2000 consultation requirements.”

The Employment Act 2000 requires that employers inform and consult with employees and their representatives, unions or otherwise, on proposed redundancies 14 days before giving the employee notice in writing that they are being made redundant.

Wayne Caines, the Belco president, said: “We are committed to working collaboratively with all stakeholders throughout this process.

“Belco's legacy is built on a valued workforce and a customer-centric approach, and those guiding principles will not waver.”

As of yesterday afternoon, it was understood that some staff at the power company have been sent notices stating that their positions were under consideration for redundancy while some employees were offered early retirement.

The Electricity Supply Trade Union executive said in a statement that it had been in discussions with Belco about austerity measures being considered, including redundancies.

However, the union said the company had taken steps to “disengage from that dialogue”.

“We firmly believe that there are alternative solutions that can be explored before resorting to redundancies and we have outlined this to the company,” the statement continued.

“Importantly, we do not believe that there is a shared sacrifice across the company. Belco continues to make a profit and continues to award management bonuses.”

The union said it was convinced that Belco could put the staff to use in other company roles and that there had been talks about alternative measures that could mitigate the need for redundancies.

“We are committed to finding a solution that is fair and equitable for all employees and we will continue to engage in dialogue with company management to address our concerns,” the union said.

“Our priority is to ensure that the wellbeing of our employees is upheld and that every effort is made to avoid unnecessary job losses.

“We urge company management to return to the table and to work collaboratively with us to find a more sustainable and inclusive approach that considers the skills and potential of all individuals within the company.

“We remain dedicated to finding a resolution that reflects our values and commitment to our members and Bermuda as a whole.”

For the ESTU and Belco statements, see Related Media

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Published June 11, 2024 at 7:59 am (Updated June 11, 2024 at 7:59 am)

Union members hold emergency meeting over Belco job losses

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