With thousands of people from the tourism and hospitality sector currently unemployed, an advertisement from one popular St Philip hotel for someone from overseas to fill a senior post has drawn the ire of some locals.
And it has prompted one trade unionist to call for “radical change”.
In a newspaper notice earlier this week, the Crane Hotel said “Having received no suitable application in respect of our advertisement for a Director of Finance Hospitality Division, it is our intention to apply for a non-national to fill the position.
“Any person wishing to object to this application should do so in writing to the Chief Immigration Officer within 14 days of the first publication of this notice,” it added.
However, General Secretary of the Unity Workers’ Union (UWU) Senator Caswell Franklyn said the longstanding issue needed to be addressed.
He said he believed in this case, like many others before, a local could have easily filled the position.
“Many jobs that can be filled by Barbadians are not filled by Barbadians because some of them not white and that is mostly what it is. But the biggest problem is when they bring these people in, they pay them four and five times more than they pay the local staff and they provide accommodation for them too. So they are not getting any better work because the local staff still do the work for them. It is just that they are in charge,” he said.
Insisting that the change must come with the minister responsible saying ‘no’, Franklyn said: “We allow it because we want their investment. We are selling our souls. This country is selling its soul for a dollar and that is basically what it is.”
He added: “The government needs to show some intestinal fortitude and tell them no, if you don’t want to employ locals then you can leave your investment.”
Adding that the practice had become the norm in the tourism sector, the outspoken union leader said “The hotels are now the slave plantation of the 21st century. Black people are still being enslaved and treated badly in these jobs.
“No amount of talking will change it, we need radical change in this country,” said Franklyn, who also dismissed the Prime Minister’s suggestion that the country needed a larger population.
“Right now you have almost 40,000 people unemployed and you are going to bring in 80,000? . . . We can’t afford any more people, but this is what the handlers of the Government want and so they make these stupid proposals,” he said.
In response to the advertisement, businessman and former Chairman of the now defunct Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) Adrian Elcock also expressed shock on his Facebook page.
“This is absolute nonsense!!! How can we have almost 40k unemployed, many from tourism; a long legacy of qualified accountants; and this supposedly Barbadian entity can have the temerity to apply for a work permit for a non-national to fill this position, especially at this time?
“I do hope our usually candid Minister of Home Affairs and ICAB speak out on this crap. How insensitive can the Crane Hotel be??? We have to support each other at this time or we all suffer!” added Elcock.
The post garnered over 140 comments and 50 shares at the time of this publication.
Efforts to reach owner of the Crane Resort Paul Doyle and representatives of the Institute of Chartered Accountant were unsuccessful.