Categorized | National News

Union Meets With Hotel Bosses

Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU) executives and the managers at Melia Beach Resort held a second round of negotiations yesterday as the two sides try to come to a happy medium in their newly formed relationship.

According to BHCAWU President Nicole Martin ever since taking over the former Sheraton Resort, the managers at the Melia have been unwilling to meet with them to chart the way forward.

Additionally, claims of racism made by Ms. Martin and a number of workers around the hotel have caught the attention of National Congress of Trade Unions of The Bahamas (NCTUB) President John Pinder who said he fully supports the union.

“We cannot allow any company to come in this country that does not understand the union culture and believe they are going to push us back into the slavery days,” Mr. Pinder said.

“Slavery has been abolished in The Bahamas. We will give a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay and I will not sit back and allow any level of discrimination from any side. The Bahamas is for Bahamians first of all, but we want to have an industry that attracts tourists to our country and they ought to be in comfortable accommodations. While the Melia may have some sort of European attitude, they must understand now that they are in The Bahamas.”

Mr. Pinder said the new hotel property owners should have done their homework and found out what kind of employees they were coming to deal with.

However, Director of Labour Robert Farquharson refused to comment on any claims of racism.

“I think when you make allegations like that which are very serious, those claims need to be substantiated,” he said. “That process needs to be dealt with though. I think there was a lot of miscommunication that took place and we were able to solve some of them.

“I am confident that all of the matters will be resolved in an amicable fashion.”

On Tuesday, Ms. Martin told reporters that the new management style at the Melia is more militant and foreign.

After calling the police on union executives Tuesday morning and an initial meeting taking place that afternoon, the negotiations continued yesterday and according to Director of Labour Robert Farquharson who is mediating the talks, based on what has been discussed so far they are making progress.

“There are a number of allegations regarding the collective bargaining agreement and the relationship with the management of the hotel and some concerns regarding the new culture in the hotel,” he said. “The meeting was productive on Tuesday and we were able to collectively identify what the problems are and we came to a number of solutions that day.”

Mr. Farquharson said after the negotiations are done he plans to update the public via a press statement on what agreements were made.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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