Categorized | National News

Bastian Calls for the gov’t to intervene

Veteran trade unionist Dr. Thomas Bastian has called on Prime Minister Perry Christie to put together a committee which will examine the actions of Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort in the past few weeks.

Mr. Bastian while a guest on Love 97’s “Jones and Co” added that the hearing needs to be publicized and Mr. Christie should call on Sandals owner Adam Stewart to be present and to answer claims against him.

“I call upon the prime minister to course a committee in the House of Assembly, with representation from the Opposition and the government; with powers to send persons with papers from place to place and to sit at recess time to examine the actions of Sandals,” he said.

“Outside of that, I don’t think anyone can accept what comments would emerge.”

Dr. Bastian says his next suggestion would be for the Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis and Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner to call for a royal commission and a committee to investigate Mr. Stewart and to invite him to appear before the trade union.

Dr. Bastian said if Mr. Stewart fails to appear and repair the damage he has done, then the government would have to accept the situation and revisit the idea of Mr. Stewart’s stay in The Bahamas.

Dr. Bastian further questioned as to why The Christie led administration has done nothing to stop Sandals from doing what they have done to Bahamians.

“What happened to these present honorable men? Are they cold foot? Now Bahamians must be last if 41 persons from another country are working at Sandals and Bahamians have to go to the church in Ridgeland Park to pickup their cheques,” he alleged.

On Friday The Journal spoke to Trade Union Congress President Obie Ferguson who shared the same sentiments as Dr. Bastian.

Mr. Ferguson said since the closure of the hotel on Monday, the government has not met with the union to come to a resolution and he feels they personally do not care.

Last week it was announced that Sandals would host a job fair for new workers. The job fair is set to begin today, only for old employees however.

Mr. Ferguson said it is clear now that Sandals has no positive intentions for the people of The Bahamas and calls on those who are seeking jobs to steer away from the resort’s job fair.

Dr. Bastian says it appears that the government, doesn’t want trade unions in this country.

“They are tolerating trade unions. If the government was concerned about the workers in the country to that extent, why should the trade unions make recommendations,” he said.

“Redundancy provisions, are too weak and that is why employers take the fashions of terminations they do.”

He added that he believes amendments should be made to the redundancy provision act to make it more humane for the employees.

Last Monday Sandals closed its doors, thus making 600 employees redundant.

60 of the employees have been sent to the resort’s location in Exuma.

Employees were told that they can go to Christ The King Anglican Church to pick up severance pay cheques.

The resort was slapped with a summons to appear in court last week, after failing to recognize it’s union, the Bahamas Hotel Maintenance and Allied Workers Union (BHMAWU).


Written by Jones Bahamas

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