PLP leader Philip 'Brave' Davis.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party Leader Philip “Brave” Davis has attacked Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis for the “heartless and mean-spirited” way in which redundancies are being happening at the Grand Lucayan hotel.
He called on the Minnis administration to say what relief laid-off workers will receive.
Tribune Business reported last week that the process of permanently laying-off workers at the resort has began as the property’s sale to the ITM Group/Royal Caribbean joint venture nears completion.
The layoffs will be phased-in over several weeks.
“It has come to my attention that the government has made a unilateral decision to release the staff at the Grand Lucayan Hotel in Grand Bahama,” Mr Davis said in a statement. “I remind the prime minister that he went to great lengths to convince the country that one of his primary reasons for his government’s purchase of this hotel was to protect those hotel jobs there. His claim has not materialised.
“I am empathetic to the plight of those displaced workers and others in the industry, but I am very disappointed with the heartless and mean-spirited manner in which the prime minister is conducting this redundancy exercise. Just (last) week, both chambers of the House concluded exhaustive and lively debate on the upcoming fiscal budget and as critical as Grand Bahama is, at no time was this labour issue ever raised.
“I am further advised that both the tourism minister, responsible for the hotel at Cabinet level and the Bahamas Hotel Managerial Association executives were also not engaged and left in the dark about discussions that led to these layoffs. This is regrettable. The Bahamas Hotel Managerial Association executives are not unreasonable, unyielding and inflexible people, but they need and expect a partner in the government who is firstly respectful of them and who consults with and listens to stakeholders with a view to reaching a consensus in the best interest of all concerned. I concur with their basic expectations.
“The unions are not asking the prime minister to work miracles, but at the very least, they expect him to act in good faith and with deference. As the government still has vacant possession of this property, the prime minister must say how the government intends to avoid further assist deterioration until the sale is concluded and what relief is being offered to the displaced hotel workers,” Mr Davis said.