NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Former employees of Sky Bahamas claim that they are collectively owed $740,000 in back pay, vacation entitlement and severance.
The former employees of the beleaguered airline said in a statement yesterday that an arbitration hearing on the matter is set for today before the Industrial Tribunal at their request.
The dispute has reportedly been filed by 40 of the airline’s 48 former employees, 13 of whom were managers.
The former employees claim that salary payment issues stem as far back as May 2019, two months before the local carrier ceased operations.
Sky Bahamas was grounded last July after being denied an air operator’s certificate by the Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority. The air operator certificate is required to carry fee-paying passengers. The airline was subsequently evicted from its head office a month later. At the time, Sky Bahamas Principal Captain Randy Butler told Eyewitness News the airline’s losses were over $24 million.
“We were totally abandoned by the company,” said one former staff member. “We have all suffered a very difficult time during the pandemic. Many are still struggling with unemployment while Sky Bahamas continues to refuse to pay us what they owe.
“Several of the employees who were stationed in Abaco and Grand Bahama lost everything in Hurricane Dorian. Seven of them lost their homes or were displaced and are still struggling to find food and shelter for their children.”
Attempts to reach Butler were unsuccessful yesterday; however, the former staff members say they are interested in the outcome of the recent action brought against him.
In a Supreme Court writ, Butler is accused of conspiring with Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest in a “bogus loan” scheme which defrauded two companies controlled by Canadian businessman Fred Kaiser of some $30 million.