Dept. of Labour reconciling workforce numbers at The Pointe

Dept. of Labour reconciling workforce numbers at The Pointe

June survey on workforce ratio “conflicts” with developer’s data

NASSAU, BAHAMAS- A recent Department of Labour inspection of the workforce at The Pointe development has raised questions about the ratio of Bahamian to non-Bahamian workers, Eyewitness News Online can confirm.

According to Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes, who was cautious about inferring the developers have gone awry to the terms of the heads of agreement, said an inspection conducted two months ago reflected a “conflict” between The Pointe’s workforce data and the Department of Labour’s review.

He said management and the department were in the process of reconciling the figures.

The minister was prompted about the development outside the Churchill Building.

Minister of Labour, Senator Dion Foulkes.

“We have done a survey at The Pointe — that would have been about two months ago — and The Pointe’s results conflict with our internal results,” he told the media.

“Both, the Department of Labour and the management at The Pointe, we are trying to reconcile the two results.

“The Pointe tells us that depending on when [we] come, you could get a different percentage in terms of the Bahamian component of the employment.

“But we are analyzing that.

“We don’t want to make a public statement with respect to that until we get the facts.”

There have been sporadic concerns about the ratio of Bahamian to non-Bahamian workers at the development.

Amid concerns from the Bahamian Contractors Association last year, it was noted that the Bahamians employed at The Pointe had reportedly increased between 100 to 150 per cent.

The terms of the heads of agreement dictates a 70:30 Bahamian to non-Bahamian workforce at the site.

The Pointe has made the case that the agreed ratio was the overarching and ultimate mandate, but at times during specific specialized stages of the project the ratio could vary.

The Christie administration tabled the heads of agreement for the $200 million development in February 2017 in Parliament.

It revealed that between 400 and 500 work permits for foreign labour were agreed to.

Responding to questions about reviewing the agreement to mandate that the Bahamian component remain at 70 per cent throughout all stages of construction, Foulkes said the Minnis administration plans to honour the agreement signed.

He said, “The heads of agreement signed by the previous government had a 70/30 split.

“Our policy is to have an 80/20 split: 80 per cent Bahamian, 20 per cent non-Bahamians at a maximum.

“We have agreed to honour, as all governments do, any agreement signed by the previous government.”

He said when The Pointe is completed another 700 jobs are expected to come on stream.