Today, Baha Mar’s non-Bahamian employees will not receive the salaries owed to them because the government is refusing to pay.
Baha Mar informed its employees yesterday that the government has refused to pay the salaries owed to the resort’s non-Bahamian employees, which is disappointing following the attorney general’s statement that the government would cover Baha Mar’s total payroll of $7.5 million.
The total $7.5 million payroll includes the salaries of the non-Bahamian employees and according to Magdalena Hamya, Baha Mar vice president of Human Resources, the resort is shocked and extremely upset by this action.
“We have urgently appealed to the government to reverse its damaging and short-sighted decision,” Hamya said.
While Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson announced during a press conference earlier this month, that the government will pay the salaries of the more than 2,000 Baha Mar employees, she said Bahamian employees who have been prejudiced by Baha Mar’s bankruptcy must be paid.
The attorney general also expressed that Bahamian employees “should not be used as pawns in negotiations about the future of the project.”
However, Baha Mar now believes this is the path that the government has chosen to pursue as it relates to the non-Bahamian employees.
Hamya expressed that the government is sending a “terrible message” to Baha Mar’s non-Bahamian employees, who came to The Bahamas with unique skills and qualifications required to develop the resort and to ensure that it exceeds the highest standards of hospitality and service.
In addition, Hamya said the government’s refusal to pay the non-Bahamian employees is unfair because over a month ago, Baha Mar’s developer sought to make arrangements to ensure that the resort would fulfill its obligations to both its Bahamian and non-Bahamian employees, by seeking and obtaining the approval of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, which would allow for the payment of all salaries and benefits to employees.
The resort’s developer Sarkis Izmirlian also arranged to provide Debtor in Possession financing to fund those payments.
“Unfortunately, the use of these funds has been blocked at this time because of the subsequent actions by the government of the Bahamas,” Hamya explained.
She said Izmirlian is ready and willing to make funds available for the payment of salaries but he is unable to do so as a result of the government’s actions.
“The unfairness of the government’s refusal is underscored by the fact that the government has already processed two payroll cycles for our Bahamian citizens and requested details required to process the third cycle,” Hamya said.