By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
A trade union leader yesterday said the Grand Lucayan’s managers are “optimistic” that their voluntary separation packages will be finalised shortly once the prime minister addresses their proposal.
Obie Ferguson, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) president and lead negotiator for the Bahamas Hotel Managerial Association (BHMA), told Tribune Business that a proposal had been submitted to both Dr Hubert Minnis and Dionisio D’Aguilar, minister of tourism and aviation.
He said the total value of the payout sought by around 90 BHMA members was $4.1m, close to their last offer to the Grand Lucayan’s Board, which had refused to go above $3.5m.
“We submitted our proposal and are waiting on a meeting to finalise the agreement,” Mr Ferguson said. “I resubmitted the proposal to the prime minister and minister of tourism, and we are optimistic that the matter will be resolved shortly.
“The Cabinet was meeting in Freeport today, and once they return I think all efforts will be made to pin down a meeting to finalise it. We are optimistic that the matter will be resolved.”
Mr Ferguson spoke as members of the Commonwealth Union of Hotel Services and Allied Workers (CUHSAW), which acts for the Grand Lucayan line staff, were due to receive their voluntary separation packages this week.
Mr D’Aguilar yesterday said he was now focusing on completing talks with the BHMA after sorting out the line staff, adding: “We should commence those negotiations and bring things to a conclusion in the shortest possible time.
“We’ve concluded our negotiations with the line staff and all have received their letters. The administrative process is in train to pay them out their final amounts, and hopefully - notwithstanding any glitches - it will be done before the end of this week.”