Last night we told you about the five BWS employees terminated, basically for a nasty gossip campaign circulated by letter to the Prime Minister and other high officials. That's what CEO Alvan Haynes told employees in a memorandum sent out after the dismissals last week Wednesday. The memo says quote, "the terminations were primarily to do with confidentiality or failure to cooperate fully with the investigation, including providing false information or withholding information."
But that's very different from what the employees were told in their letter. Those letters of dismissal have been obtained by 7news and they say, quote, "Due to restructuring your post has become redundant and as a result your services will no longer be required." Now there's a huge difference between redundancy and circulating gossip and confidential information - and it would seem to leave BWSL management somewhat exposed.
But, more than that - the real surprise is that one of the persons sent home was the Union Vice President and another was the Union general secretary. The surprise is that their union seems to have not protested their dismissals! It's an odd case - as usually - by terms of the labour agreement - Unions have to defend their members, especially against terminations. And you might think that the union would have worked doubly hard to protect executive members. But it didn't; and they were terminated in less than 15 minutes. Anyone with some familiarity of industrial relations, will know that sending home a union vice president and general secretary in one fell swoop is no small task - except in this case it seemed to be.
It's a curious case because as we understand it - the whole issue of leaking out confidential information first started a conference between the workers and management in March of 2012 - when the Union President gave a speech citing specific abuses by management. That speech should have been remained behind closed doors, but it got out - and formed part of the first scandal sheet. Though we must stress, the tone of the speech - which was critical but constructive - differs greatly from the scandal sheets, which are just plain nasty.
Whatever the case, the employees who have been terminated, supposedly for redundancy, have indicated that they are weighing their options and have not yet decided if they will take their grievance to court.