Resort says discussion ongoing with Ministry of Finance over GovUEBex program
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Some Baha Mar employees yesterday expressed being pushed to the brink as they continued to wait after nearly two months for payments from the government’s extended unemployment program.
Speaking to Eyewitness News on the condition of anonymity, dozens of workers have expressed frustration and anger over the delay, insisting that despite constant requests, there has been no guidance from officials on the issue.
One worker advised that they have not received payments since September, while others indicated the last payment was received in mid-October.
When contacted on the matter, Baha Mar said it has been in “constant contact with the Ministry of Finance in regard to the finalization and eligibility of this phase of the Government’s Assistance Program extension.
“We are working diligently with all parties involved and will update our teams as soon as additional information becomes available.
“We appreciate our associates’ patience as we work through this process for our employees.”
Calls placed to National Insurance Board officials were unsuccessful.
An employee, who is a single mother, indicated she felt forgotten.
“This entire process is frustrating because we’re overlooked,” she said.
“Personally I really need this assistance to be able to live”.
Another employee said that while the resort has been subsidizing 30 percent of their income, it is simply not enough to live on given the challenging economic times.
“We have people who can’t eat and have bills and we have [been] hurting,” said one worker, who pleaded for officials to resolve the matter of assistance.
The government launched an unemployment benefits program to assist workers impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in March.
In July, the government confirmed that another $48 million has been allocated to finance the expansion of its unemployment assistance programs administered.
The program initially paid out $200 weekly to those eligible.
That figure has since decreased to $100 weekly.
Baha Mar has announced a phased reopening to guests beginning December 17 with enhanced safety and health measures in place.
The resort indicated that the phased reopening will commence with the Grand Hyatt.
International travelers will be required to meet the entry protocols in place to visit The Bahamas.
The resort is expected to bring back 1,500 associates for the first phase of its reopening.