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Baha Mar, Sandals postpone opening dates; staff reductions feared

Baha Mar has informed its thousands of employees that the mega-resort has postponed its reopening date to October. As a result, some staff members will be made redundant.

In a lengthy letter to employees of the sprawling Cable Beach resort, President Graeme Davis said, "Due to the many variables resulting from the evolving nature of COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to postpone our re-opening date beyond the July 1st reopening of The Bahamas. Instead, it is our goal to re-open in October."

Baha Mar shut down in March, sending home thousands of employees.

"In March, we committed to support you as best we can for up to 90 days. As we near the end of this 90-day period, we will be making additional staffing reductions to align staffing levels with projected business volume upon reopening," Davis said.

Baha Mar has committed to providing up to an additional 90 days at 30% of employees' base compensation as an ex gratia payment in addition to what they are currently receiving from the National Insurance Board. The mega resort will also continue to cover eligible benefits.

The resort made the announcement one day after Sandals announced that it would not reopen the Royal Bahamian Resort in New Providence until November 1. The union representing Sandals staff fears the decision to push back the resort's opening will put the jobs of hundreds of employees at risk.

Days earlier, the British Colonial Hilton made more than 20 employees redundant.

The one bright spot in the hotel industry is the announcement by Atlantis that it will begin its phased reopening in early July.

Labour Minister Dion Foulkes has been silent on the plight of Bahamian workers in the face of the current economic crisis.

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