NOT ADDING UP: Union says 75 percent of hotel workers still out of work despite tourism uptick

NOT ADDING UP: Union says 75 percent of hotel workers still out of work despite tourism uptick
Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU) President Darrin Woods. (FILE PHOTO)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU) President Darrin Woods said yesterday that with an estimated 70 to 75 percent of his members still out of work, the union would have to “wait and see” if the uptick in the country’s tourism numbers translates into more hotel workers returning to their jobs.

“We have not seen much movement in that direction yet to talk about; our industry hasn’t started moving in that direction yet,” said Woods.

“Those who want to go back want to go back to work, and those who don’t, want to be paid out. I guess we will have to wait and see.

“Up to this point, we haven’t felt it as yet. I would say at least 70 to 75 percent are still not back to work. The way they are rotating some people in and out, it’s difficult to put a number on it. The numbers don’t go up; it’s just who gets to go in.”

Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar recently revealed that 60,000 non-residents bought travel health visas to visit the country in March, which was double the number that did so in December 2020.

While the figure represents just over a 90 percent decline when compared to 2019 pre-pandemic numbers for the same period, D’Aguilar said it represents an uptick for the industry that has been hit hard by the effects of the pandemic.

The Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) last week noted that March 2021 has been the most successful month for passenger arrivals since the COVID-19 pandemic commenced and, with Easter, it will allow April to start strong.