The all-inclusive, adults-only resort which last September placed all of its employees on the breadline and for months was embroiled in a protracted industrial relations dispute, is once again looking for persons to staff the luxurious West Coast property.
In a recent advertisement, management of The Club Barbados Resort and Spa revealed that from October 14, they would once again be opening their doors at Vauxhall Road, Sunset Crest, St James to tourists.
According to the advertisement, the “award-winning” resort is seeking suitably qualified people to fill almost 40 different jobs in guest services, maintenance, kitchen, housekeeping, food and beverage, stewarding and the spa.
The resort is promising an attractive compensation package and indicates that all positions fall under the Collective Agreement with the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU).
“If you have a can-do flexible attitude, experience, a great personality and possess a desire and drive to become one of the best in the industry, please submit your letter of application, CV and passport size photo, clearly stating which role you wish to apply for…,” the notice added.
Protests erupted at the property in November last year when the employer broke its promise to pay full severance, instead asking workers to accept 25 per cent from them and the remainder from the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) Severance Fund.
However, after interventions from Prime Minister Mia Mottley, the Ministry of Labour, the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association and the BWU, the company agreed to pay in time for the Christmas season.
Meanwhile, Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations Colin Jordan has been pleading with employers, particularly in the hospitality industry, to adopt a “more refined” approach to industrial relations as the country’s main industry slowly returns to normalcy.
The activism of former Club Barbados workers seemingly emboldened former employees of Savannah Beach Hotel, Accra Beach Hotel and Spa and Hilton Barbados Resort and Spa who also staged protests on similar issues.
As hotels prepare to welcome more visitors to the country, Minister Jordan stressed that they would be required to operate with “fairness, justice and in accordance with the law”.
“I would say to employers I expect a more refined approach to industrial relations, and by that, I mean to see your workers as people, talk to them, talk through the difficulties, win their confidence and people will respond if they figure that you have their interests at heart,” Minister Jordan told Barbados TODAY.
“Like you would do in a family, talk to your people. Explain the situation and try to talk through how the issues and challenges should be approached,” he added.
The labour minister acknowledged that the hoteliers’ decisions to sever staff with the intention of later re-opening was understandable given the economic fallout from the pandemic.
“There is a limit in law as to how long a person can be laid off, so there was a point in time when severance would have become due and payable,” the minister explained.
In addition, Jordan explained that hoteliers were under no obligation to accept the terms and conditions of the Barbados Economic Sustainable Transformation (BEST) programme that would have provided financing to keep their staff in tact.
“They are all voluntary programmes and some hotels joined and others didn’t join. Those are decisions that sometimes people make and we encourage people to do this as a team approach where everybody bears some of the burden,” said Jordan.
“Every employer must look at their money and make certain determinations, but like I said, we ask that it be a shared enterprise, that the pain be shared and that companies do all that they can, not to put their workers at a disadvantage that could otherwise be eased.
“Besides illness and death, pandemics cause pain, so people who have businesses have to make business decisions. We ask that the business decisions take into account that there are people who work in the organisation,” he concluded.