Categorized | National News

Pharmachem’s Layoffs Worries Wilchcombe

Former West End and Bimini MP Obie Wilchcombe wants answers from the government in the wake of Pharmachem parting ways with 32 Bahamians and 11 foreigners.

As Labour Director John Pinder has explained, their contracts were set to expire in December.

However, Mr. Wilchcombe said this is definitely bad news for Grand Bahama, only further decreasing morale there.

“they have been sitting and waiting idly for a long time and they are very anxious for things to happen,” he said.

“Now when you see companies like Pharmachem, which is supposed to be developing this incredible facility, that would play a major role in the global community and then of course they now fired Bahamians.

“However, they are going to continue their progress, they claim. Then of course they say there is going to be a delay in opening the plant, so government should explain that.

“What does it mean? Are they taking advantage of the new legislation?  The legislation that allows you to bring in individuals from other countries to work and they can work without getting work permits and all the rest and it’s going to be almost automatic.

“Are we seeing a situation where they are taking advantage? The government should tell the Bahamian people no.”    

According to Mr. Wilchcombe, having already laid off one group, the Grand Bahama Shipyard is expected to have another similar exercise.

“Are we going to see more of that taking place? Are they taking advantage of the new laws that have been passed? If you’re taking advantage of the new laws, it’s going to hurt Bahamians,” Mr. Wilchcombe said. 

“It goes back to history because it happened before in Grand Bahama where we had foreigners from Malta working at the hotels and of course the Freeport Act was in place at the time.

“The then Leader of the Opposition Sir. Lynden Pindling had to step in and get those people out of the town.

“Are we back to that now? Are we putting laws in place that’s repeating history?

That you are moving Bahamians on the side, bringing others in, calling them experts and the next thing you know you are increasing unemployment numbers and decreasing our levels of hope and our love for our country because that’s what’s going on.

“People want to leave. They want to get out because they are saying nothing is happening for me. “  

The last unemployment survey pegged the unemployment rate in Grand Bahama at nearly 12 percent.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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