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Labour Minister: Laws Needed to Protect Employees

In light of recent layoffs and even more reports of job outsourcing, Labour Minister Shane Gibson has called for laws to be put in place to ensure that the benefits of employees are always protected.

While speaking to reporters yesterday, Minister Gibson said it upsetting to read about companies moving towards, restructuring and laying off employees.

“It is a cause for concern, we (have) to go back to the drawing board to make sure that the employees benefits are protected not only while they’re working but even after they’re terminated or made redundant,” he said.

“We got City Market employees who were not compensated yet, you got Gladstone Farm employees who have not been compensated and we’ve got to worry about employers not just foreign employers. Any employer has an obligation to take care of whatever benefits employees are entitled to, so I think that straight across the board we need to put laws in place to make sure that employees are not taken advantage of, whether it’s local or foreigners.”

The apparent domino effect of layoffs started with CIBC First Caribbean’s decision to cut more than 60 jobs from its labour pool here in The Bahamas, revealing that those jobs had to be out sourced to Jamaica.

UBS Bank announced its plan to cut 70 employees after the closure of its private banking unit several weeks ago.

Additionally, 55 employees from the Grand Lucayan Hotel were terminated and dozens of employees from the Grand Lucayan Reef Village were laid off.

East Grand Bahama Minister Peter Turnquest has since expressed concerns about hotels outsourcing of jobs on the island which he believes is a move in the wrong direction.

More recently, Credit Suisse (Bahamas) made 11 of its employees redundant after merging its private banking and wealth management divisions.

Hard Rock Café abruptly closed its doors on 33 employees who were left unsure as to whether they will be given any form of a severance package last week.

Minister Gibson said he has since encouraged those employees to file a dispute with the Ministry of Labour.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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