Categorized | National News

Gibson Says Sandals Lay-offs Illegal

Sandals staff receiving severance packages August 15 2016The ongoing feud between Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort and the Bahamas Hotel Maintenance and Allied Workers Union, does not seem to be coming to an end anytime soon, and after 600 employees were laid off from the resort yesterday, Labour Minister Shane Gibson said it is reasons like this why he is advocating for a revamp of redundancy laws.

Sandals made 600 of its 750 employees’ jobs redundant on Monday, after the property closed its doors until October.

The Labour Minister had previously said he is outraged at this latest course of action taken by Sandals and told The Bahama Journal yesterday that he was not officially informed of the hotel’s layoffs; calling the move “wrong”.

“This is wrong. The tripartite council has to send recommendations to me, and then I could move quickly with it. It is wrong that you just wake up one morning and just end people’s careers like that man; after years and years on the job,” said Mr. Gibson.

Strongly opposed to the resort’s decision, Minister Gibson charged that if Sandals had to layoff, it could have been handled in another way.

“As far as we concerned, what they should have done, was laid the people off and then have them come back to work like every other employer does. These hotels do it all the time. All the hotels do it. During the slow season, they use that opportunity to close down to have their repairs done, and then they bring the people back on the job,” Mr. Gibson continued.

During a contribution in the House of Assembly on Monday, Mr. Gibson said his ministry requested a meeting with Sandals officials on August 3; and present at the meeting were Chief Officer of Sandals Resort International Adam Stewart and other members of the executive and legal team.

“During that meeting we asked them to lay employees off rather than making them redundant. They told us they would consider that suggestion and get back to us in the next 24 hours. However we wrote a letter dated August 4th and they have yet to respond,” he said.

The minister noted that they received a letter on Friday August 12 stating that the resort was going to be closed for 8 weeks in order to complete necessary works.

Meantime, Sandals Resort International Chairman Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, in a statement yesterday gave no impression that the resort’s closure was induced by any sort of negativity.

“We are excited about the future of Sandals Royal Bahamian and look forward to celebrating its re-opening in October.  The resort is on track to realize its best winter season and our actions now are in preparation for that very feat.  This necessary remedial work is aimed at preserving our place in the market by ensuring Sandals Royal Bahamian is in the best shape of its life and its staff, who have the privilege of serving our guests, are also the industry’s very best,” said Mr. Stewart.

“Our guests deserve nothing less and neither does the world-class legacy of Bahamian tourism,” he added.

Mr. Stewart maintained that the repairs and upgrades forced the resort’s closure and are being fast-tracked at an estimated cost of $4 million.

He noted that this to be implemented within 14 weeks.

“We have been in The Bahamas for over 20 years,” says Stewart, “and we absolutely love The Bahamas.  We want to express our gratitude and appreciation to The Bahamian government and its people for working with us in a spirit of cooperation to ensure a successful and timely re-opening; a celebration we will mark with our re-energized staff, industry partners, travel agents, airline executives and key players who build businesses for a better Bahamas,” said Mr. Stewart.

Officials said the latest upgrades follow multi-million dollar renovation projects over the past four years to include the addition of swim-up river suites, full refurbishment of luxurious suites with the installation of new bathrooms featuring Carrera marble and glass mosaics, magnificent showers and soaking tubs as well as the impressive upgrade to the entire Balmoral Tower.







Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook