Categorized | National News

Govt Considers Bailout For City Market Workers

The government is considering assisting former City Market workers by paying half of their benefits, according to Labour Minister Shane Gibson.

After the company went belly up almost a year ago about 356 workers were left without millions of dollars in severance and pension pay.

The workers say they are owed $4.3 million and recently rejected an offer for $ 2 million from the former owners of City Market.

Just last month, the workers took to the streets to cry out to the government for help.

The government also recently attempted to assist by purchasing the old City Market warehouse on the East/West Highway in hopes the proceeds would be able to assist the workers.

The building was appraised to be worth around $5 million.

However, officials of the Customs Department, who were supposed to occupy the building, said that it was no longer needed.

While speaking with reporters this week, Minister Gibson said the government is still trying to do its best to assist the workers.

“I don’t know of any assistance that we have given outside of the normal assistance like social services and National Insurance for unemployment benefit. I think in some instances more assistance was given beyond what is usually given and I think they had sent us a proposal to look at paying out a portion of our benefits – half or 50 per cent,” he said.

The minister said it would not be an easy decision to make.

“We’ve not made a decision on that. That is a very difficult thing to do,” he said.

“What you will be doing is taking on the responsibility of the former company, who terminated their services. I don’t know if we should be setting precedence where we just decide to take on the responsibilities of the private sector and so even though the decision has not been made yet. That’s going to be a very difficult one to make.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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