Categorized | National News

No Resolution For City Market Employees

More than 300 former employees of the City Market food store chain are still waiting to hear when they will receive their severance packages from the company.

The employees were laid off earlier this year after Bahamas Supermarkets Limited – the parent company – said the food store chain was not making any profits.

“We just want what’s legally owed to us,” the store’s former Inventory Auditor, Whanslaw Turnquest told the Bahama Journal yesterday.

“The courts have made some rulings in our favour but we still have no word on when the severance packages will be given to us. These people worked long and hard for the company and now everyone is in limbo. Bills need to be paid. These people have children and other obligations.”

Mr. Turnquest said the workers just want what is legally owed to them.

Labour Minister, Shane Gibson told the Journal last month that there has been no formal sale of City Markets however an agreement is in place.

However, it is understood that Super Value owner reportedly bought two of City Markets Stores – Cable Beach and South Beach and will turn them into Quality Super Markets, a subsidiary of Super Value.

“I had an opportunity to speak to Mark Finlayson, one of the principals of City Market, who outlined what their plans were and how best they would compensate the employees,” he said at the time.

“The employees met with me and they were concerned about not getting any information as to what was happening. Mr. Finlayson indicated that the business has not been sold yet. There is an agreement in place with someone who is interested in purchasing them and they’re looking at receiving payment over the next several weeks and once that’s done they will take care of all their obligations.”

Albertha Rahming, a former employee at the South Beach store, said the former employees need the money because they have “bills to pay and mouths to feed.”

“We have been out of work for four months,” she said during a protest the employees staged last month.

“The last time we met up here they asked both sides to stay out of the media and we did that. Mr. Finlayson has been in the media several times saying that we would be paid. This is almost two months and we haven’t heard anything from them. Half of us are not working. We haven’t heard from the minister of labour or prime minister as yet. This issue is not a new one.”

She also explained that the new government has been in power long enough and is more than familiar with their matter.

“Mr. Christie knows what is going on,” Ms. Rahming said.

“Even before they came into office, they had the information. These people are affiliated with the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and nobody has come to our aid. We have a lot of people who have small children and people have been evicted from their homes. National Insurance is not paying us fully for the years we worked and that’s not fair to us. Don’t get me wrong, I thank God for the money, but it’s not enough.”

Ms. Rahming said the company has had enough time to get the former employees their money.

It is reported that the workers are owed about $ 5 million.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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