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Local contractors being ‘pushed out’ by Flow/CWC - Hugh P. Erickson

October 8th, 2018 | Tags:
‘Local private contractors being pushout’ by Flow/Cable & Wireless-Hugh P. Erickson. Photo: Team of Reporters
(Left to right) Hugh P. Erickson & Mr Ronney G. Sweeney speaking exclusively to VINO. Photo: Team of Reporters
(Left to right) Hugh P. Erickson & Mr Ronney G. Sweeney speaking exclusively to VINO. Photo: Team of Reporters
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Local contractors with years of experience who used to be employed by Cable & Wireless are speaking out against their treatment.

Our newsroom sat down in an exclusive interview with two such persons, one with his own company and another who is employed by a local company.

Mr Hugh P. Erickson the owner of Quality Communications and Mr Ronney G. Sweeney who is employed by a local contractor LVG, both spoke to our newsroom.

Both men allege that their former company, Flow/Cable & Wireless are pushing out local sub-contractors. 

Mr Erickson who worked some seven years for Cable & Wireless—and when they were downsizing he was one who got out, formed his own company—relied on them for contract work in his field.

He said, however, over the past year, he has noticed that he is not often called for work “but instead lots of expatriates’ workers are hired doing the same thing I do,” while “putting me out of bread.”

Mr Erickson said, at times he is asked for a cost estimate, but most often do not get the work, while he sees usually, expatriates doing the same works.

Is someone fronting?

The Virgin Islander said he went to the Minister of Labour a few months ago—Dr the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering (R7)—to log a complain, however, he was told by that the vendor company working for Flow/Cable & Wireless is a local company.

However, while it may be a local owner, it appears that all the workers are allegedly from overseas and would have had to obtain a work permit. 

Mr Erickson’s view is this is still undermining him because with a local owner but expat workers, it means that they are still putting him out of work. 

He noted that sometimes he will hear excuses that his “prices are too high” or their work is “not up to standards”,  but he dismissed this as “nonsense and another way to keep local vendors from doing the work” and “promoting  cheap overseas Labour.”

Another person we spoke to confirm the practice  Mr Ronney G. Sweeney who worked for over 10 years with Flow/Cable & Wireless said, he has faced the same issues while working for a local contactor LVG. 

He said his company is not often called for jobs that local former employees of Flow/Cable & Wireless can do and it means that locals are pushed out the market and cannot support their families.

While Mr Erickson admitted that after the Hurricanes he was called to do “small jobs” the bulk of the work is still being carried out by expat workers even if the Minister is claiming it’s a local company who has them employed.

Both men said all the works being undertaken by the expats' employees can be done by them both locals and former employees of Cable and Wireless with years of experience.

No one to look out for locals!

Mr Erickson and Sweeney both confirmed they can do the jobs that the expats' persons are doing that is being outsourced and its unfair for Flow/Cable & Wireless to claim that their prices are high and their work is not up to standards.

Mr Erickson said he has never been called into a meeting to discuss his bids or even to work out a lower cost, if his price was an issue.

 “I am from here where do I go if I cannot live and work in my own country,” he asked with emotion.  

He also blasted the National Democratic Party government for not looking out for locals and said we have no proper representation.

It was also alleged that one current senior manager of Flow/Cable & Wireless was boasting at a Road Town Bar of how he got rid of some local workers, however, our newsroom cannot independently verify this information.

19 Responses to “Local contractors being ‘pushed out’ by Flow/CWC - Hugh P. Erickson”

  • Bohannon (08/10/2018, 16:59) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
    They which locals to eff around.
  • Imaging. (08/10/2018, 17:04) Like (18) Dislike (2) Reply
    Local contractors not hiring locals. Check the amount of imported workers local contractors are bringing in some of them are not paying their workers benefits. There are skill locals without work. The system the industry is out of control.. Trust me local contractors are better than the imported ones just their greed and selfishness... They need to give skill workers that here who need and don't need permit first preference, a. Chance, So much imported workers right now on a daily bases western Union and money gram are busier than the banks.. Give the people living here s chance..a Friend go looking for a mason Job he has resident status he is told I have 3 Mason coming in. Every where he go to ask for a work they have men coming in.. Imaging.
  • Survey (08/10/2018, 17:08) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    Go around and check local contractors site and see how much locals they have working. Do that survey.
    • Cable TV (08/10/2018, 21:13) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      What's going on with cable TV. Anyone knows? That should be a lot of work coming up soon.
  • please (08/10/2018, 17:08) Like (32) Dislike (10) Reply
    How is this even news? If he was competitive he would have got the work. The other company is owned by a local, what is the issue? Maybe he should apply to the other company and work for them.
  • good (08/10/2018, 17:40) Like (25) Dislike (13) Reply
    Not sure why you'd proud to come forward as someone that has been doing the island communications work for years.....stating that expats are taking you job! It's about time! Island communications have always sucked!!!! Extremely poor internet, cell phone & TV have made us no better than some 3rd world countries for years.
    It's about time they got someone who knows what they're doing. More education, more experience, proper customer service, proper maintenance and no more subpar work!
    • Xpac (08/10/2018, 20:07) Like (21) Dislike (3) Reply
      Just to address a few things. Your assumptions are misdirected. They have to work with the same internet & phone etc they are doing client services not providing infrastructure.
      They are the trained experts in fiberoptics here no one else, trained in UK.

      There is an issue in the BVI, which is 3rd world/underdeveloped itself, where we attack locals and prefer expats b/c the expats don't have the personal history. Try to understand what the point is b4 letting our personal biases & prejudices misled an issue.

      The gov has failed to look out for it's own labour force.

  • FIX THE BUSINESSES PHONE LINES (08/10/2018, 19:14) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Many businesses are still out of phone service including in the Port Purcell area since Hurricane Irma. If these two workers could remedy that why not engage their services.

    All you’re hearing is a cable damaged with no updates.
  • FIX THE BUSINESSES PHONE LINES (08/10/2018, 19:14) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Many businesses are still out of phone service including in the Port Purcell area since Hurricane Irma. If these two workers could remedy that why not engage their services.

    All you’re hearing is a cable damaged with no updates.
  • just Ice (08/10/2018, 20:03) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
    Well hopefully it will be an improvement on the shoddy status quo. If you local so good why you can’t get the work ?
    Worst thing is C+W lime flow are a set of lying overcharging thief’s and I ain’t convince anything going to improve.
    They charge for service they don’t provide...dig up our roads don’t put them back..and now they makin the best of the the new electric better finally come good for this territory you been robbing so long since you had phone booth at village cay
  • eyes wide shut (08/10/2018, 21:07) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    If the minister said that , its a local company... he knows locals are fronting for foreing base companies so that those very same locals can try and survive. That local maybe just undermining the other local who is more capable but like everything else, we are left to fend for ourselves; our leaders has failed us because they have failed in their mission to represent us; they have failed to stay true to themselves and to the mission.#Failedminister.
    • hm (09/10/2018, 09:33) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
      I went to that same Pickering a cople years ago about being bullied on the job. He gave me the same nonshalant response. Pretty much suck it up and drive on. He is uceless and he will never ever receive my support. Pathetic
  • Liat 521 (08/10/2018, 22:29) Like (7) Dislike (9) Reply
    Poor you all who born here not a man to look out for you all
  • wize up (09/10/2018, 05:13) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    bad political leadership: people just can not walk up in this territory and do what they want: it is our own people who give such persons the authorization to work.....let be real; a number of the political leaders uses their political office to establish companies: insider trading....keep telling you(some of us only good enough to vote people into political office after that you get the shaft)
  • Sorry for this (09/10/2018, 06:34) Like (6) Dislike (9) Reply
    The reason all of this is happening, is due to the fact that BLACK people don't look out for each other or care to help each other. Want to know why other races become successful? They help each other.Blacks is to busy being selfish. As far as the contractors go, they are to damn greedy. After the hurricane, they did not have anytime or wanted to deal with homeowners who did not have big money to stuff in their pockets. Let their A**es complain all they want.
  • It's True (09/10/2018, 09:44) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Din th mind the negative comments. Criss and Sweeny we know exactly what going down.
  • ??? (09/10/2018, 13:56) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sorry budd but if you want representation you’re certainly NOT going to get it from the Cuban...
  • mess (10/10/2018, 01:27) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Half the c&w seemed to be doing what they were employed by flow to do on the side and soliciting flow clients to pay them directly. That’s just fraud. The employees there have never wanted to deal with the issues and be responsive to customers so maybe these guys’ work is indeed not timely or if the proper quality and maybe they are gouging on price as so make companies do here. Given the mess flow is in, one can’t much stick up for them but these guys don’t appear to have much to stand on. If their competitors are getting the work and staffed with expats, apply for the expat roles perhaps. Or bring in your own. Or get the training the client requires.
    Born here is not a qualification and businesses fed up of that are moving clients and jobs away, something we need to address. More carrot, less stick.
  • voter (10/10/2018, 04:56) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Another reason why ndp will go

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