Our Lucaya Makes Labour 'Adjustments'

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Both the Minister for Labour and the head of the Bahamas Hotel Managerial Association confirmed yesterday that they met with executives from the Our Lucaya Golf and Beach Resort in separate meetings on Tuesday, ahead of today's anticipated announcement that around 200 workers will be terminated from the hotel property.

Dion Foulkes said he was told there would be "adjustments" at the hotel, but declined to go into details, as he said it was agreed in the meeting that resort management and top executives from Hutchison Whampoa, the hotel's owners, would meet with staff before any public announcements were made.

Mr Foulkes confirmed the meeting involved a discussion of the "economic situation at the hotel", and it was agreed that executives would address staff today to "advise them about the future direction and plans for the hotel".

On Wednesday, The Tribune revealed that sources close to the matter had disclosed around 50 managerial and 150 line staff could be terminated from Our Lucaya in light of continually depressed business conditions at the property. The source said that "tens of millions of dollars" in losses were incurred in 2010, but added that the terminations come ahead of plans to rebrand and "turn around" the resort's fortunes.

"They are committed to making it work," said the source.

Yesterday, attorney Obie Ferguson, also BHMA president, said he, too, met with the hotel and company executives on Tuesday and was told that there would be terminations, which he believed would take place in a "phased" manner.

He said he would be surprised if word is given tomorrow about exactly which persons will be let go, as the BHMA had been promised by executives that the union would receive the list prior to any action being taken.

"They had undertaken they would get back to me as to the areas that would be affected. Once we are in receipt of that I indicated to them that we would wish to have a meeting with them about what is the best approach to take," Mr Ferguson said.

He is hoping that based on the information about which individuals may be set for termination, he may push for voluntary disengagement to be offered to some instead.

"I have not yet received that information, so it makes it difficult for me to meet with them or meet with the 135 members," said Mr Ferguson.

He added that he had not been made aware at the meeting that any announcements were to be made today, as The Tribune's sources maintain.

Attempts to obtain a comment from Our Lucaya executives yesterday regarding the impending staff reductions were unsuccessful, as messages went unreturned. A message left forpresident of the Bahamas Hotel, Catering and Allied Workers Union, Nicole Martin, which represents line staff at Our Lucaya, was also not returned.

The Tribune
Last Updated on Monday, 07 March 2011 13:33