Categorized | National News

Turnquest Concerned About Hotel Outsourcing

East Grand Bahama MP Peter Turnquest has expressed concern that the outsourcing of jobs in several departments at hotels in Grand Bahama may be a shift towards a new paradigm in the industry.

Earlier this week, 55 employees from the Grand Lucaya Resort were laid off.

Most of these employees worked in the hotel’s security, reservations, laundry and housekeeping departments.
The hotel has explained that the workers are able to obtain their jobs through the private firms that those departments have been contracted to, but Mr. Turnquest believes this is a step in the wrong direction.

“I am hopeful that we will be able to resolve this issue surrounding that without having a strike or to take any other action and these people will be able to go back to work with all of the benefits they have worked so hard for over all these years,” Mr. Turnquest said.

“We have to protect this industry inasmuch as we understand the cost structure of the hotel and the need to reduce their overheads we must also understand and appreciate who we are trying to build this industry for. These workers deserve to have the security and the assurance that the industry is being built to entertain our guests, but also to build a future for them – they must have a stake in it. I’m concerned that this is now going to be a new paradigm in the industry where all of these kinds of jobs are going to be outsourced.”

The Commonwealth Union of Hotel Services and Allied Workers (CUHSAW), which represents the employees, filed a trade dispute with the hopes of it bring plans by the resort to a halt.

The union has also requested approval for a strike vote and has promised swift strike action if the request is approved.

Mr. Turnquest expressed concern that the decision by the resort impacts the lives of already struggling low-wage earners and its effects he added will be far reaching.

“We know that housekeeping at Memories Beach and Casino Resort is paying $3.50 per room to be cleaned which is clearly the working poor at that rate,” he told the Journal Wednesday. “You’re talking about $175 if they work five days and clean ten rooms a day and that’s not enough to sustain a family. And a lot of these women who are involved in housekeeping are heads of households and it would be very difficult for them to make ends meet.”

Mr. Turnquest encouraged the resort’s management to meet with the union and work toward a positive resolution.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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