Categorized | National News

Sandals GM Denies Union’s Claims

Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort and Spa General Manager Patrick Drake has denied claims from the Bahamas Hotel Maintenance and Allied Workers Union (BHMAWU) that the resort is refusing to recognise the union as the official bargaining agent for the resort’s 400-plus employees months after the court ruled in that body’s favour.

Last week, a coalition of unionists demonstrated outside the resort’s Cable Beach property.

The BHMAWU has fought with the resort for more than six years and insists that Sandals has refused to meet it halfway at any turn.

But Mr. Drake shot down these claims as he spoke to reporters Tuesday night during Sandals’ Prestige Awards meant to recognise the hotel’s team members who have achieved in excellence in carrying out their duties.

“What we are finding is that the staff is motivated. The staff is working hard to ensure the occupancy stays up; that’s what it’s all about. There were some folks outside the gate last week but that’s part and parcel and the labour movement.”

The union has accused hotel executives of locking them out and refusing to sit and negotiate with them.

In fact, the union has stated that it is now talking to its members about taking some form of industrial action against the resort.

The union and Sandals representatives were expected to hold talks two-weeks ago but those meetings were apparently postponed due to scheduling issues with the resort.

Frustrated union reps have also accused Sandals of using union busting tactics and intimidation tactics, but the resort has refuted those claims in the past and again Mr. Drake insists that nothing could be further from the truth.

The general manager said he will avoid a public row with union officials and instead focus his time on boosting morale among the resort’s employees.

“Our doors can’t be shut; that’s against the law and we can’t do that. Talk is cheap, action is very important. We are going to continue to ensure we have the best staff relations we have ever had.”

Further, Mr. Drake says that moving forward the resort is looking at creating more ways for its employees to gain more training to make them more competitive in the hospitality industry.

Sandals, he says, has made it mandatory that all of its team members complete 120 hours of training each year.

Korvell Pyfrom

Written by Korvell Pyfrom

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