Categorized | National News

Negotiations for Sandals’ Employees to Begin on Friday

After nine years of battling with the Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort for an industrial agreement for its workers, Trade Union Congress (TUC) President Obie Ferguson confirmed yesterday that negotiations can begin after the Supreme Court ruled in their favour last week.

The Supreme Court last Wednesday “ruled in the unions favour” allowing the Bahamas Hotel Maintenance Unit and Allied Workers (BHMUAW) to be the resorts’ bargaining agent.

Mr. Ferguson said negotiations concerning wages, insurance, working conditions and gratuity are set to begin this Friday.
This latest update in the nine-year long case is of great importance to workers at Sandals as the resort refused to negotiate on an industrial agreement unless the matter was brought before the Supreme Court even after it was before the Privy Council in 2011.

“Today is a big day for these workers, the union and workers in The Bahamas,” he said.

“On April 1 which was supposed to be a funny day, we were successful in the Court of Appeal discharging the injunction and making the way possible for us to sit with Sandals and begin the process of negotiations.”

Mr. Ferguson said although strike is an option for many unions, the BHMAWU realized that it makes no sense and preferred to wait to handle the need for an industrial agreement in a more professional way.

“From 2011 to 2015, there has not been an effort to sit down and negotiate an industrial agreement which is mandated by law to be done and to be done in a reasonable time,” he said.

“Most people’s patience would’ve worn out but this is a new generation of Bahamians and if they want something they will hang on. It may be a little rough as these nine years were, but at the end of the day justice will be done. I have a new found respect and commitment to the Bahamian people after this.”

President of the BHMAWU Lynden Taylor said he and his union are grateful for Mr. Ferguson representing them over the years.
He assured the workers that his union will sit and negotiate with the resort to see that the industrial agreement is completed and the workers are treated fairly.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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