Almost a dozen British American Insurance Company Limited (BAICO) workers now say they see light at the end of the tunnel in their bid to receive pensions owed to them for a decade.
But it took a meeting spurred by protest for the latest development.
This morning, 11 former workers quietly demonstrated outside the Hastings, Christ Church offices of KPMG – the collapsed insurance firm’s judicial manager – with the hope of finding a resolution to the problem.
Just ten minutes into the protest, KPMG management came outside and ushered five people into a meeting.
An hour later, spokesman for the group, Henderson Headley, reported to his colleagues and the media that some progress had been made.
He said they had met with KPMG’s co-judicial manager, Michael Edghill.
Headley said: “KPMG has asked that we have a meeting and in fairness to them, even though we are protesting we still want to have results to our concerns and they have promised that the matters are being dealt with.
“I think they appreciate the urgency and the seriousness that our cause presents. It is sad that sometimes you have to come on the line to get attention, but I’ve assured him that if we have to come back here we will be back. So I think the meeting was fruitful and we should get some results.
“I think we’re closer to a result and KPMG appreciates our position and our concerns, so I’m confident that out of this meeting this morning we should be in a better position.”
Headley said the meeting dealt with the payment of severance and pensions.
But in the ensuing decade, six former BAICO workers had died awaiting their pensions, a member of the group told Barbados TODAY.
After the news broke, two members of the group said they were unsure how they felt about the latest development.
Randall Callender, 71, who sold British-American insurance policies for 30 years, told Barbados TODAY he hoped things would work out.
“I don’t feel 100 per cent sure, but it seems like this is the best way to fight,” he said.
Trevor Yearwood, who also spent 30 years at the company said he was “holding strain and hoping that things work out”.
BAICO became insolvent in 2009 and the following year was ordered not to write any new policies.
Headley, who spent 25 years at BAICO, said he was still at a loss as to why the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) had refused to pay severance, even though they were obligated to do so by law.
He also said that despite Government setting aside $12 million in the last Budget to pay severance to former BAICO workers, they were still to receive any money.
Several of the former workers told Barbados TODAY while they received a NIS pension, it had been a struggle as it was simply not enough.
Former sales representative Stephen Lovell said it was unfair that they had not yet received their BAICO pensions.
“We should have been paid this pension ten years ago, so this a long time we’ve been waiting.
“[On Wednesday], people from CLICO began receiving their money so we think it’s only fair that we get what is rightfully ours too,” He declared.
Callender, too, called for a quick resolution to the issue, saying that the least workers deserved was a timeline for receiving their payments. [email protected]
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