Categorized | National News

Sandals Closes Temporarily

Sandals Royal Bahamian & Spa Resort and Offshore Island will close their doors this month after they were slapped with a summons to appear in court for failing to recognize for failing to recognize the Bahamas Hotel Maintenance and Allied Workers Union (BHMAWU) as the resort workers’ union representatives.

In a letter sent to customers, Gary Sadler, senior vice president of sales of Unique Vacations – a subsidiary of Sandals Resorts, said the resort would be closing its doors from August 15 to October 13, 2016.

“We appreciate your patience as we work through this difficult time. We have instituted a streamlined and efficient course of action for those guests who may be affected and are extended all of our call center resources to you, including a 24-hour hotline,” he said.

Mr. Sadler advised that call center agents would be contacting customers to discuss alternative options available including: rebooking at another Sandals Resort or Beaches Resort in equal or better category for the same time period; rebooking for a later date at no penalty; absorbing all airline change fees; or extending two complimentary nights to Sandals Resorts stay valid for one year and based on availability.

Meantime, Sandals Royal Bahamian& Spa Resort and Offshore Island is scheduled to appear in court #10 on August 10.

The union has been agitating for many months for Sandals’ officials to come to the bargaining table and to negotiate.

Recently, President of Trade Union of Congress Obie Ferguson, who is also the union’s representative, has said that Sandals officials would face a strike soon from workers.

Last month, three men were fined $250 each for blocking the West Bay Street thoroughfare to highlight mounting issues at the resort.

While speaking to the Bahama Journal last evening, Mr. Ferguson said Sandals is trying to affect the country’s tourism industry.

“That is designed to affect the occupancy level here in Nassau, which is very high at this point and they have not sent this communication out to the union nor have they sent this communication out to the staff. And so we are very concerned about that,” he said.

“The Constitution of The Bahamas guarantees every worker in The Bahamas the right to join a union of their choice but as you can see they haven’t seen fit to date to send something out to the workers or to meet with the union to discuss the matter. They are creating an incentive for those bookings to go to other destinations with a view to distract from this local property which will have an impact on the occupancy level and obviously will have an impact on the availability of work hours and work days.”

Mr. Ferguson is urging the government to intervene.

“It is totally unfair and again we call on the government to intervene in this matter. We call on the minister of labour to intervene, the attorney general and we call on the prime minister. We cannot allow these kinds of things to happen in our country. ”

Calls were made to Labour Minister Shane Gibson, but they were unanswered up to press time.



Written by Jones Bahamas

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