Pinder: Lay-offs reported at Baker’s Bay

Pinder: Lay-offs reported at Baker’s Bay
The Bakers Bay property prior to Hurricane Dorian.

Labour Department hoping to dialogue with developers to retain some staff to aid clean-up and restoration

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Multi-million dollar Baker’s Bay Gold & Ocean Club has been shuttered indefinitely due to extensive damage sustained during Hurricane Dorian, according to a staff memo.

Labour director John Pinder yesterday confirmed reported lay-offs at the private resort community at Great Guana Cay in the Abacos.

A memo to all Baker’s Bay staff, dated October 21, noted the club will be “closed for the foreseeable future”.

The memo continued: “This closure period is estimated between 6-15 months; however, it is simply a best guess given the large number of variables that factor into the successful reopening of the Club. We are cognizant that the staff needs answers regarding the prospects for future employment. As such, we have developed a staffing model for the next 12 months.”

The company indicated all salaried staff will be paid through October 20, representing the final payment of salaried wages subject to certain conditions.

The memo noted that management at the development has identified approximately 200 positions that will provide support during the Club closure.

“Individuals whose roles align with these positions will be contacted and requested to return to work. In so far as you are selected to return and decline the position, you will be deemed to be tendering your resignation per Bahamian labor law,” the memo stated.

It added: “For those individuals that occupy positions that the Club will be unable to support during the estimated closure period of 6-15 months, these positions will be deemed redundant effective 10/21/2019 and these individuals will be paid in accordance with the Bahamian Employment Act.”

Pinder was unable to confirm how many jobs have likely been impacted, and attempts to reach officials were unsuccessful yesterday.

Labour Director, John Pinder.

“I’ve been hearing about it,” Pinder said.

“I can’t confirm a number at this time because we would wish to continue dialogue with Baker’s Bay to reengage some of those persons with the view to helping with the restoration of Baker’s Bay. While they may carry different job titles, they can help with the clean-up and rebuilding of Baker’s Bay. We certainly are going to talk with them and see what they can do to assist those persons who work at Baker’s Bay now.

“They will have to be given severance pay. We want to see how best we can reduce the number of persons employed. In light of them trying to get works permits we certainly expect that they would give consideration to the staff there now.”

Pinder said that he was concerned over the lay-offs in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, particularly in Abaco.

“In Treasure Cay  they have indicated that as many as 83 persons affected by lay-offs and based on what I have seen there they are in bad shape.”

Pinder predicted that national unemployment figures will likely rise in the ‘low double digits’ post Dorian.

“Perhaps another two per cent based on the number of businesses impacted but that will only be for a short time because we have to rebuild and a number of persons will be re-engaged in maybe a different capacity to help in the rebuilding,” he said.

Back in August Department of Statistics officials reported that the national unemployment rate had decrease to 9.5 percent which was down 1.2 percent from the 10.7 percent of November 2018.