The unemployment lines are getting longer. The economy in Grand Bahama is weak. A lot of business houses are barely holding on. Yet some persevere, enabling hundreds to earn salaries. Indeed, a percentage of business operations are maintaining their staff counts and providing incentives as well.
On the other hand, companies are folding, business ventures are closing and in other situations, workers are being laid off. The major organizations such as Bahamas Telecommunications Company and Baha Mar are feeling the economic pinch. In Grand Bahama the job environment is uncertain.
This is certainly not the climate for unions to become aggressive. No doubt, union leaders will push to mobilize workers into organized units under their jurisdictions. There are union dues to be collected once a group is registered. Itâ s worth it to union leaders.
What about the workers?
Do they do enough reflection on the pros and cons of unionism? Do they weigh the working relationship with their employers, pre-unionism against the post period? Do they compare the benefits? Do they appreciate the importance of having a job to go to as opposed to being without any earning power?
This is not a good period for the union movement to be overly assertive.
It is indeed the time, because of a still sagging economy, for workers to be happy they have jobs. Thatâ s the reality of the present day. There was a time when some Grand Bahamians held down three jobs. Many enjoyed two situations of employment. All could work if they wanted to.
Itâ s far different now.
Therefore, it makes good sense for sober union leaders to rein in the more aggressive types.
Union leaders complain about â contractâ work programs. Well, it seems there ought to be recognition that when an economy continues to trend downward, any â contractâ employment is much better than no employment at all. There is a realistic approach that needs to be subscribed to.
The reality of life today is that the job market is far from being bullish. There are signs that give faint optimism about an economic recovery, but not full confidence.
Unionists often preach one-sided sermons. For them, itâ s all about what the workers are entitled to. Well, employers are entitled to appropriate work for pay, respect for job superiors, the workplace and equipment.
Grand Bahama is limping along economically. Thus, the scenario demands reasonable â thinkingâ on the part of unionists and those who are agitating to be unionized.