Categorized | National News

Minister Frowns At Scotiabank’s Layoffs

Minister of Labour and National Insurance Shane Gibson said he is disappointed in Scotiabank’s restructuring exercise because it will result in a number of employees being laid off.

Mr. Gibson, who referred to Scotia’s restructuring exercise as inconvenient and unacceptable, said the organization’s decision raises major concern and perhaps forces a review of the country’s labour laws to ensure that employees in the country are given greater protection.

“I’m really disappointed in particular when you have Bahamians losing their job. I don’t know how many work permit holders they have. I don’t know whether it’s one, two, or three,” Mr. Gibson said.
Scotiabank deems the exercise necessary, but Mr. Gibson said he is particularly concerned about the way the process was carried out.

“They spoke to the persons who would be made redundant and I don’t remember them bringing to our attention that they want to cancel any work permits. If you have almost 50 Bahamians being sent home then you should at least include in that list somebody who is now holding a work permit,” he added.

“It tells us that we have to continuously be on top of things in The Bahamas. We have to continuously look at the revision of our labour laws since employers are now finding it easier to make employees redundant. We have to find more ways to make sure that employees are compensated for all these years on the job.”

Mr. Gibson added that some of the employees will find it difficult to land another job because of their ages.
According to Mr. Gibson, the situation also sheds light on the importance of the establishment of the country’s own bank, The Bank of The Bahamas.
Nevertheless, despite Mr. Gibson’s comments that the laying off of Bahamian workers seems to be a new trend in the country, he said the Christie administration is content with the status of the Bahamian economy.
“We are very, very conscious of the fact that we have a lot of Bahamians not working now, but we feel comfortable with the way the economy is moving right now. We are about to have some reports released from international agencies that will verify and validate the fact that we have taken the right actions over the years and we ‘ve now turned the corner as Prime Minister Christie said on several instances to make sure that we’re putting the economy in a position where Bahamians will begin to feel the success of the economy,” Mr. Gibson said.
Yesterday, Scotiabank released a statement announcing the restructuring of its bank network.
Four branches will be consolidated including Caves Village into Cable Beach, Wulff Road and East Street into Thompson Boulevard, Marlborough into Rawson Square, and Coopers Town into Marsh Harbour.
Two branches located in Stella Maris, Long Island, and in North Eleuthera will also be closed down.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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