Hearing on hotel union elections in two days
Freeport News Editor
The membership of The Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU) are two days away from finding out exactly when the next election will be.
BHCAWU executives and former chief shop stewart David Beckford and a handful of members disagree over the issue and are set to appear before Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett on Thursday, August 2, 2012, for a hearing to decide just that.
Beckford filed the matter in the Supreme Court as a means to seek clarification on whether it is to be held in 2012 or 2013.
The last election is to be called every three years.
The former shop stewart insists it should have been held in May of this year.
However, after writing BHCAWU President Nicole Martin and the general secretary on clarification on the matter and receiving no response, Beckford said he had no other choice but to file the application on May 1, 2012.
In fact, he said he had also sought assistance from the Labour Department, the Minister
of Labour, the Registrar's Office as well as the Office of the Attorney General, but to no avail.
Beckford has retained the services of Attorney Harry B. Sands, Lobosky and Company.
Among the 10 declarations listed in the application, Beckford and others are seeking clarification for the tri-annual general meeting to be convened in May 2012 and that the union executives' term in office expires at the end of May 2012.
The court is also expected to determine whether the executives are in breach of the union constitution for failing to hold regular monthly meetings and, that after May 2012, the executive council has no constitutional power or authority to carry out its duties.
Beckford maintains that a number of members are confused as to when a date for the next election is to be set.
Three polls were held within a year's time to determine the winner.
Martin won each time becoming the first female to hold the post, however, Beckford maintains that according to his calculation, based on the directive from the Court of Appeal, the register used in the May 2009 election should serve as a register of eligible voters for the elections of Aril 2010.
© 2012 The Freeport News