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Davis: Grand Lucayan redundancies “heartless and mean-spirited”

Progressive Liberal Party leader Philip Brave Davis railed against the government’s “unilateral” decision to make over 100 Grand Lucayan Hotel workers redundant and called the move “heartless and mean-spirited.”

Lucayan Renewal Holdings confirmed that 116 employees were let go this week. The union representing those workers had no warning.

Davis reminded Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis that he went to great lengths to convince the country that one of his primary reasons for his government's $65 million purchase of the Grand Bahama-based hotel was to protect hotel jobs there.

However, Davis said his claim has not materialized.

The government paid millions of dollars in separation packages to 164 line staff workers and 90 managers months after it bought the Grand Lucayan.

“I am empathetic to the plight of those displaced workers and others in the industry, but I am very disappointed with the heartless and mean-spirited manner in which the Prime Minister is conducting this redundancy exercise,” according to Davis.

“I am further advised that both the Tourism Minister, responsible for the hotel at cabinet level and the Bahamas Hotel Managerial Association executives were also not engaged and left in the dark about discussions that led to these layoffs,” he added.

The Opposition leader said the way the redundancies were handled is regrettable.

“The Bahamas Hotel Managerial Association executives are not unreasonable, unyielding and inflexible people, but they need and expect a partner in the government who is firstly respectful of them and who consults with and listens to stakeholders with a view to reaching a consensus in the best interest of all concerned,” he added.

Some of the hotel workers received their letters this week while the others will collect theirs next week.

The government was heavily criticized after it purchased the hotel in 2018. It signed a deal with Royal Caribbean/ITM group in March of this year but the sale has not been finalized.

As the government still has vacant possession of this property, Davis said the Prime Minister must say how the government intends to avoid further asset deterioration until the sale is concluded and what relief is being offered to the displaced hotel workers.

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