Former workers of The Club Barbados Resort will soon receive their severance packages. Prime Minister Mia Mottley said the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) will expedite these claims so the former workers can receive payments by Independence Day.
During a joint press conference on Saturday at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Mottley, sought to clear the air on several issues affecting the tourism sector.
In addressing the issue at The Club Barbados, Mottley cautioned those who would wish to take advantage of the workers’ situation, and added that the Government has been in the process, for some time, of rectifying the situation.
“The notion of trying to use the wellbeing of workers or the situation in which workers find themselves as a platform for PR (Public Relations) or promotion, is a most unfortunate episode because what we are doing is playing with people’s emotions and playing with people’s livelihoods. Between the emotions and the livelihoods, what we end up with is an unstable situation both at the level of that particular worker, at the level of the establishment, and at the level of the country,” Mottley said.
“In one voice yesterday, we agreed that the workers of the club must not be made to be collateral damage of the actions of the owner of that hotel. That secondly, the NIS indicated that they have no such agreement to pay any sums of money, but what we will do without agreement, is act in accordance with the law. The law allows us to take care of those workers, but equally the law requires us, and sometimes it has not been done with as much diligence as I would have liked, requires the NIS to go and to have that money, which they have spent, reimbursed to them, because the Government’s contribution is only 25 percent, but it is the company that must pay 75 percent,” she added.
New representative for St George North, and General Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) Toni Moore, said that discussions have been ongoing with these former workers, and that the general consensus is that they no longer want to be associated with the company after they receive their monies.
“I am happy today, that the workers who now, all of them that I have spoken to really want out because of the conditions that they have had to endure for the past six months in particular, that they can see their severance with urgent dispatch, and that there is now a national commitment to moving in, not only on the Club itself, but other companies that would choose this kind of backyard approach in dealing with serious industrial relations matters, that have direct implications on workers and their livelihoods,” Moore concluded. (SB)