Categorized | National News

Union will take action following AG’s decision

Several trade union heads gathered yesterday during a press conference at the Bahamas Hotel Maintenance and Allied Workers Union Headquarters to voice their discontentment with the signing of a nolle prosequi by Attorney General Allyson Maynard, which terminated a lawsuit by the union against two Sandal’s Royal Bahamas executives.


Sandals General Manager Gary Williams, and another executive, Fritzroy Walker were initially charged with failure or refusal to enter in negotiations, contrary to section 45 of the industrial relations act as well as the intimidation of an employee, contrary to section 45 of the industrial relations act and termination of an employee, contrary to section 45 of the industrial relations act.


According to Trade Union Congress President Obie Ferguson who led the pres conference, the prosequi was signed on the same day that 600 employees of the resort were made redundant.


“I think the AG owes the workers of The Bahamas an apology and the union for the effect of what she has done. The attorney general doesn’t think you [Sandals executives] have a right to go to court and the man committed a criminal offence,” he said.


“What happens to the five workers who were charged and who will be in court on the 23rd of October? Is this The Bahamas? Is this for Bahamians? This is sad, this is an indictment on the Bahamian people, these two people are foreigners and they have no regard for our laws and the government has decided not to prosecute them for committing a criminal offence.”


The unions say they were also bewildered upon being made aware that the minister of labour Shane Gibson told the public he had no knowledge of the signing nor did Prime Minister Perry Christie.


“We are all intelligent people and there are a lot of people who could comprehend things better than me. I mean could you imagine? ” Mr. Ferguson said.


“If the president of any union, if something happens, are you saying the president can say she doesn’t know. Even if she doesn’t know she is deemed to know, so how could that be?”


When asked just how many of those employees who reapplied to work at the resort were called back Mr. Fergusons said roughly 10 percent of the 600 were contacted.


Still, he touted the Bahamas when it comes to labour laws and what unions can accomplish has drifted drastically.


“We became aware of it well over last week. They didn’t call my office and I’m one of the attorneys on the mater. What is sad is the time we were dealing with the Prime Minister the attorney had already nollied the matter,” he said.


“Why would we while discussing a very sensitive and negative situation affecting the country’s workers if we knew the charges scheduled for the 26th and 27t of this month had been nollied?”


These charges were brought by the Bahamas Hotel Maintenance and Allied Workers Union, representing the employees of Sandals.



Written by Jones Bahamas

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