Opposition Leader Phillip Davis insists that there is no multiple interpretations of the skills training for Bahamians and the labour component contained in the heads of agreement (HOA) between the Bahamas Government and Strategic Property and Neworld One Bay Street, developers of The Pointe Resort, as executed on 18th June 2015
Davis, in response to Labour Minister Dion Foulkes’ assertions that the agreement can be viewed from two standpoints revealed that the HOA in clause 3.2 states:
“It is understood and agreed that the workforce employed by the Bahamian subcontractor are part of the overall Bahamian to non-Bahamian labour ratio and Bahamians will represent Seventy (70%) of the total labour requirement for the development.”
Davis added that the agreement also states that “the developer shall make every effort to fill as many jobs as possible with Bahamian citizens.” At the completion of the project, the developer is to hire at least 500 Bahamians in addition to the existing 277 currently employed by the hotel.
The opposition leader charged that during the negotiations, the PLP government took deliberate steps to ensure that Bahamians were well represented and advantaged in both the developmental and operational stages of this project.
“I do not know where the labour minister is getting his double interpretation from but I stand by the letter and terms of the HOA executed by the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) government that the labour ratio is to be 70 to 30 in favour of Bahamians,” Davis said.
“The Minister of Labour appears to be delinquent in his superintendence of this project and giving excuses for why Bahamians are not at work. He must do his job and not give excuses.”
Davis added that one can hardly cause the developer to carry out its obligations under the agreement if the government is failing to carry out its obligations under the same agreement.
Eyewitness News understands that the Labour Department conducted an inspection of the site earlier this week, the results of which, are expected to be made public.