Categorized | National News

Hotel To Investigate Racism Claims

Management at the Meliã Nassau Beach Resort on Monday denied its workers’ claims of racism but said due to the seriousness of the matter they would launch an investigation into those allegations.

From claims of forcing some workers to use bathrooms off the hotel property, to segregating races at the pools, last week managers at the Meliã Nassau Beach were hit hard by claims of racism by some workers who said ever since taking over the hotel property on December 1 things just have not been the same.

The issue first came to a head last Tuesday when Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU) President Nicole Martin said some of her members reported first-hand experiences.

“The general manager, as we know it, is telling people of our colour we shouldn’t be at the pool and shouldn’t be on the property,” Ms. Martin said at the time. “I am even told that the taxi drivers are being told that they can’t use the bathrooms in the hotel.”

Last week, The Bahama Journal spoke to taxi drivers stationed around the hotel property who backed up those claims.

“I was one of the first ones they saw walk to the bathroom and one of the new female managers told the bellman not to let us use the bathroom and then they made it official and told the security,” one driver said. “It is apparent that they still think they are in [the south] in America or we are Mexicans and they think they can do anything to Bahamians. We need legislation in place for foreigners that protects the rights of Bahamians. We can’t pee outside.”

“It seems like what they are trying to do is bring back the old times, the old colonial years that we did away with 40 years ago,” another taxi driver added. “If it isn’t racism it’s close to that.”

But those claims are not sitting well with the property’s managers.

“The resort denies all allegations but recognising the seriousness of the claims, has agreed with the union’s agreement to submit the matter to an independent investigation,” a press statement said.

Labour Director Robert Farquharson said the independent investigation would look for evidence that supports the workers’ claims.

The joint press statement also gave a summary of the two meetings held between the two sides regarding employee relations at the Cable Beach property.

In the release, the resort’s management and officers of the union said all of the issues have, either been resolved or a formula has been agreed to, in which the issues would be resolved.

The release was signed by both Meliã General Manager Andrew Tilly and Nicole Martin, hotel union president.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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