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Ames promises to pay Buccament Bay Resort workers by today

Ames promises to pay Buccament Bay Resort workers by today

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Dave Ames, the founder of Harlequin Hotels and Resorts, the parent company of Buccament Bay Resort Limited, has promised to pay workers their outstanding wages and salaries by today, Tuesday, December 6.

Workers at the resort began protesting last Friday after not receiving their salaries and wages for over two months. This is the third time this year that workers are up in arms over monies owed to them.

On Monday, Minister of Labour Camillo Gonsalves, Labour Commissioner Nerissa Gittens-McMillan and trade unionist and general secretary of the Commercial, Technical and Allied Workers Union (CTAWU) Joseph Burns Bonadie, among others, met with the Resort’s manager Gailene Collins-Crick and other members of management at Buccament.{{more}}

According to Bonadie, a call was placed to Ames in the United Kingdom (UK) and the businessman gave Gonsalves the assurance that he would pay the workers what is owed to them by today, Tuesday, December 6.

“The Minister indicated to them (management) that he did not want to invoke a part of the laws of St Vincent and the Grenadines which makes it a criminal offence to withhold monies from employees who would have worked and that he wanted to speak to Ames immediately,” said Bonadie, who added that when the call was made to Ames, the owner acknowledged that he owed money and he would transfer the money as soon as possible.

Some of the funds were expected to have been transferred yesterday, with the remainder expected today.

Bonadie said that Ames revealed that he had just won a court battle in Britain and would soon have funds available, but Gonsalves insisted that he pay the employees immediately.

Bonadie said that the entire conversation between Ames and Gonsalves was done through a speakerphone and during the call, Gonsalves noted to Ames that this country was the only place in the Caribbean where workers were still showing up for work, although not being paid.

“Minister Gonsalves said that he was intervening because it has gone too far and Ames said that he knows what the workers are going through and he would try to address the issue,” said Bonadie, who added that Ames told them that many reservations were cancelled recently.

“…This must happen because the word is spreading that the workers are on strike and the service expected cannot be rendered,” said Bonadie, who added that the head chef at the resort, who was at the meeting, also expressed concerns about the workers not being paid, as they are very professional and some of the best in the region.

According to Bonadie, Ames also revealed that the monthly cost of running the resort is EC$500,000 for staff salaries and that they have not been paid for October and November.

“The Minister wants the arrears cleared, so hopefully that will happen,” said the trade unionist. (LC)

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