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Bahamasair flying in Mexican workers for Baker’s Bay

Bahamasair is sending a jet into San Jose del Cabo, Mexico to collect over 100 Mexicans granted work permits to rebuild Baker’s Bay Resort in Marsh Harbour.

The first flight is scheduled for today and will transport 118 Mexican workers, according to an internal memo.

“To all, this will confirm Bahamasair’s commitment to provide 1 B737-700, 138 seat aircraft on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 services into San Jose Del Cabo (SJD) and two ATR-72 from Nassau to Marsh Harbour on Thursday, July 2, 2020 and return (TBA) on behalf of Baker’s Bay,” according to the memo, which copies Bahamasair Managing Director Tracy Cooper, Betty Benoit of Leisure Travel and Tours Limited and Bahamasair Senior Manager of Pricing and Inventory Darlicia Emmanuel.

The flight to San Jose Del Cabo departs Nassau today at 5:15PM. The Mexicans will overnight in New Providence before traveling into Abaco tomorrow.

Baker’s Bay initially requested 500 work permits but was granted 300, according to a letter from the National Economic Council.

The resort was severely damaged during ferocious Hurricane Dorian last September and is seeking to rebuild in phases. As a sweetener for the government, which granted the work permits while tens of thousands of Bahamians remain unemployed due to the economic effects of coronavirus pandemic, Baker’s Bay has agreed to build dozens of homes for Abaco residents displaced by the monster storm.

Back in March, the Bahamian Contractors Association urged the government to impose a moratorium on work permits for Abaco until all residents find employment because the construction industry is being "killed and decimated" by the heavy importation of foreign workers for jobs that are not being advertised to Bahamians.

Immigration Minister Elsworth Johnson said at the time there was no way The Bahamas had sufficient workers to fill high demand for employees during the post-Dorian construction boom.

However, Baha Mar is firing 1200 employees, Grand Lucayan in Freeport just let go 116 people and the Hilton made over 20 people redundant.

More redundancies have been predicted in the coming weeks.

Over 55,000 people have applied for unemployment benefits during the pandemic.

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